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Discussion Making sense of the Force Awakens

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' started by QuiWanKenJin, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Qui-Riv-Brid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2013
    star 5
    Of course she is.

    Just as she is surprised at what she was able to do. So obviously she didn't know she was that good a pilot!

    That is a detail that JJ did get in that told us something about her although that line flys by so quick anyone might miss it.

    That is not what I am talking about.

    I am talking about the level of detail that Lucas had in his films that pass by so quickly that we don't notice them much but it adds to the whole.

    What happens in TFA is the difference between Lucas attention to these details and in this case JJ's which assumes a lot of what is going on because it's Star Wars.

    That is not to say TFA is totally bereft of this kind of detailing. It's just not at the level of Lucas' at the very least in character terms of Anakin to Luke to Rey. Now how much of that stems out of wanting Rey to be a mystery and reveal as little as possible I don't know.

    Well we get it with Luke first in ANH and Anakin in TPM so Rey for whatever reason got left out in comparison. This is not about men vs women this is Lucas vs JJ. Lucas "wasted" valuable time apparently. That is the relative seconds here and there that establish these things.

    Rey is not a good pilot. She like Anakin is GREAT. Luke one can argue is very good but he is not seen to be awesome in the extreme as Biggs and Wedge seem very good as well.

    As I said there are several small points in the movie from the model to the actual ship in the garage to Obi-Wan talking to him to Biggs talking about him as well as Luke himself giving examples of his bullseyeing womp rats.

    Lucas vs JJ is a man to man sexism? JJ is therefore sexist against his female heroine? I think that isn't likely.

    Lucas also makes the point that Anakin has never even finished a podrace. That he can race at all is incredible for a human but it's only after instruction from Qui-Gon that Anakin actually taps into the Force in a way that allows him to win the race. With Rey it just happens for some reason with no help.

    Anakin needs help from Qui-Gon. Luke needs help from Obi-Wan to hit the exhaust port. Rey doesn't get any help for the Falcon flight. It just happens.

    So does that make Anakin and Luke weak because they need help and Rey strong because she doesn't?

    I'd argue that needing help doesn't make you weak but increases your strength. With Rey her flight doesn't help (or hurt) her character it does as it probably was supposed to increase the mystery of her existence without deepening the character.

    Well said. It's sort of the opposite. Rey is questioned (as it happens by men) so what was JJ going for? If Rey had been a boy would the lines have been in there?

    And of course he can't believe it herself so something is going on. Maybe lost in the edit?

    That of course is what I am talking about. We as the audience can make the assumption to Force sensitive equals very good to great pilot.

    Fine. TPM though doesn't simply use that assumption and points out that Anakin can fly (he must have Jedi reflexes) but hasn't won or even finished. So it's an accomplishment that he does.

    We are set up that it grows out of his life and circumstances on Tatooine. How Rey even gets to fly anything at all is totally left out.

    Does it destroy the movie or Rey? Of course not but it's detailing like this which helps to define and draw the character.

    Like I said JJ didn't want to do this so much as make her a mystery ie How is she doing this? So I suspect that drew him to make decisions all along her story path.
    Last edited by Qui-Riv-Brid, Feb 1, 2017
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  2. CEB Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2014
    star 5
    @Qui-Riv-Brid you don't see the difference between being able to fly a ship, and being able to fly a ship while being pursued by people who are trying to kill you from their ships?

    As for Rey's "I can do this!" line, well quite obviously that was to show that Rey is by no means certain that she has this situation - it contrasts quite nicely with the way that the trained Jedi in (especially) TPM take virtually everything in their stride
  3. oncafar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2017
    star 5
    i wasn't sure if anakin needed help from qui-gon. qui-gon just has to go give his advice whether anakin needed it or not. qui-gon was already commenting at how the force is unusually strong with anakin, so i think he's already been using it and is such a natural he doesn't really need to even try. luke just wasn't there yet... he had all these humps... "i can't see with the blast shield down," "my ship's too big, i can't get it out of the lake," etc. he's blocked by his preconceptions a lot, as yoda points out. as for rey, her character lives in this scramble for survival, in anxiety, so on. throughout the film she has to improvise a lot and i think that this is kind of her unique quality (if it's not just an abrams style... ahem)... she has to learn from everything around her and put it all together, and often has to do it quickly, *because* she doesn't have anyone to help her. she is more independent than either luke or anakin who always had a little more help than she seems to have had. luke, the one who had the most help, is the one with the most preconceptions and is the one who was the least independent.

    i would say, not always but often. but with anakin and rey they both taught themselves not only how to pilot but how to do all sorts of mechanical stuff (like how anakin built that pod racer all by himself though i mean he used the other kids as assistants at times, but he was clearly the brains behind it), and they're amazing linguists. rey *is* exceptional imo, but not any more than anakin is.

    i agree they were possibly sloppy with the dialogue and i've been thinking about it more and it seems that really it's kind of like what abrams did in star trek. he wanted to put a bunch of rookies (not even finished in star fleet academy) in an epic adventure where they learn and make it up as they go along, and save the galaxy! and there's a similar thing going on here with rey, finn and also to some extent, kylo ren.

    since i saw rey's "force awakening" moment as when she was evading the TIEs flying the falcon, i saw that as why she is surprised at herself. she's started using the force in a more active way, but she doesn't know yet that this is what she's doing. i saw it as basically a repeat of luke's "force awakening moment" at the end of ANH when he's flying. before then he said he did feel something, and was able to defeat that laser thingy blind, but when he's flying at the end i think that's when he figures out how to actively use the force. he "lets go" as obi-wan advises and lets it flow through him and without his targeting computer he's even more blind (and blind for longer) it seems than with the laser ball. and after he wakes up with the force he's ready to try everything like using it to get the light saber in the beginning of ESB (which he's forced to do, or he will die... and i think *that* has been much of rey's life... you must figure it out or you might die).

    i'm not sure this makes total sense in general... as the force has been assisting rey in some dormant way all along. i suppose i think these things aren't well enough defined to pin down and i can leave it as "the force is mysterious"?

    sebulba kept cheating and sabotaging his ship or flashing him with his vents or whatever. lol - and actually i also wonder if anakin was more aggressive towards sebulba this time because he knows the stakes are so high. he left sebulba crashed in the dirt; maybe he wasn't willing to go that far before? (just a sudden speculation)

    actually anakin's rocky piloting above naboo reminds me a bit of rey's piloting. both of them have these rather reckless tendencies it seems, though anakin is often fearless while rey is full of anxiety. rey also has slightly more experience, but i only know that from other sources, like how in her backstory she supposedly repaired/built a ship and flew it. but that would have been her first time flying a ship and she picked it up quickly.

    anyway, i found anakin's flying a bit unbelievable when i first saw TPM, but after him, i can't find rey's unbelievable. i wouldn't expect that *every* force sensitive person would have such exceptional aptitude, but anakin and rey are among those who do. and in the next film rey's special destiny as descending from dark force trees will be revealed and explain it all i'm sure.

    eta: regarding rey's anxiety it makes sense to me in the sense that what she does is for survival. she can't pod race for fun for instance. she can't afford hobbies. so for her these situations are often perceived as life or death perhaps because she hasn't had any security.
    Last edited by oncafar, Feb 4, 2017
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  4. Qui-Riv-Brid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2013
    star 5
    That happened to Anakin, Luke and Rey so where is the difference in these cases?

    She has no training as far as well can tell. Right after the escape the lines are something like this (might be slightly displaced here):

    F: Now that was some flying!

    R: Thanks!

    F: How did you do that?!

    R: I--I don't know!

    F: No one trained you? No one? That was amazing!

    R: I've flown some ships but I've never left the planet!

    Anakin never even finished a pod race before never mind winning one. "Feel don't think"

    Yes. I think his idea is that for TFA them doing things without help or training make them more exceptional. Which I find goes against some of the basic nature of Star Wars. Them helping each other co-incides but having no one help them before doesn't. How Finn and Rey are who they are with basically no help is to me the great mystery.
    Last edited by Qui-Riv-Brid, Feb 5, 2017
  5. Christopher Blair Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2015
    star 2
    sorry to resurrect an old thread but I really like this video

    NSFW language warning

    Last edited by Artoo-Dion, Nov 2, 2017
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  6. ObiWanKnowsMe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2015
    star 4
    I agree @Christopher Blair
    I wasn't really fond of TFA for a while but it's grown on me. Much better than people say
  7. Artoo-Dion New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 5
    It's kind of crazy that a film that grosses $2b worldwide with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93% and a Metacritic score of 81 has to have a video saying that it's OK to like it, as if that's a controversial opinion.
    Satipo, redxavier, Dandelo and 4 others like this.
  8. Lulu Mars Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2005
    star 4
    I stopped watching when he used TPM as empirical evidence that originality doesn’t guarantee good quality [face_tired]
    I don’t really need a video to convince me of what I already think, though. TFA is a great movie.
  9. Martoto77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2016
    star 4
    People always find a way. o_O
  10. williamjj666 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2016
    TFA is a good movie..yes it has similarities and nods to OT but it also has its own story and its own differences... but i hope the nods to the OT would become more subtle as the trilogy progress
    Sarge likes this.
  11. Qui-Riv-Brid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2013
    star 5
    Yet that is exactly what has happened which just goes to show how the vast minority can shape "accepted" opinions on movies.

    This is hardly anything new to either Star Wars or movies in general.

    Obviously on these forums we talk about this effect that has happened to these movies in particular whether it's TESB, ROTJ, TPM, AOTC, ROTS and now TFA.

    http://www.slashfilm.com/the-force-awakens-and-a-new-hope-similarities/

    “[‘The Force Awakens’] was a bridge and a kind of reminder; the audience needed to be reminded what ‘Star Wars’ is, but it needed to be established with something familiar, with a sense of where we are going to new lands, which is very much what 8 and 9 do. The weird thing about that movie is that it had been so long since the last one. Obviously the prequels had existed in between and we wanted to, sort of, reclaim the story. So we very consciously — and I know it is derided for this — we very consciously tried to borrow familiar beats so the rest of the movie could hang on something that we knew was ‘Star Wars.'”

    Personally I don't buy that was the reason. The audience didn't need to be reminded what Star Wars is. The reason I think is far simpler and understandable. They didn't use Lucas' storylines, had little time to come up with anything new and knew they wanted a reset/reworking of the set-up of ANH.

    Even some of it's biggest fans of TFA have long been saying that as much as they enjoyed it they hope they story moves forward in new directions. Lucasfilm themselves have been reacting to TFA talking about how TLJ and IX are not going to retread TESB and ROTJ the way they themselves accept and acknowledge the way they did ANH with TFA.

    For TFA a lot of the marketing was about the "return" to "practical effects". The marketing of TLJ is about how it's "this is not going to go the way you think."
    {Quantum/MIDI} likes this.
  12. moreorless12 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2016
    star 4
    Avatar grossed even more and was generally well reviewed at the time as well yet I think there's no doubt that general opinion on it has soured.
    Last edited by moreorless12, Nov 11, 2017
  13. TCF-1138 Porg of New Films & Fan Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 5
    I wouldn't exactly call it a controversial opinion to like Avatar either.
    Artoo-Dion likes this.
  14. moreorless12 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2016
    star 4
    Really though the issue would be that "like" has been equated with believing TFA is great cinema.

    That in itself is I think actually quite revealing of a divide that's grown up in viewers with I think a popular mind-set with many being that "like" is the highest level blockbuster cinema can aspire to.
    Last edited by moreorless12, Nov 13, 2017
  15. Artoo-Dion New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 5
    Is someone making the argument that it's great cinema? IMHO, it's rock solid popular entertainment--a solid 8/10--but it's not on the level of something like Brazil. But if general audiences walk out of there thoroughly entertained, and it provides enough of a foundation for what's to come, then it's certainly not bad cinema.
    Miles Lodson likes this.
  16. moreorless12 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2016
    star 4
    That to me seems up the divide though between "art" like Brazil and "entertainment", for me TFA not only fails to reach the level of something like Brazil it also fails to reach the level of something like the OT or Rogue One that merged art and entertainment much more successfully.

    Even as pure entertainment I honestly don't think it ranks very highly myself, something like Thor Ragnarok for example I find clearly superior with more wit and imagination on display whilst Abrams resorts to reheating tired clichés.
    Last edited by moreorless12, Nov 13, 2017
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  17. Artoo-Dion New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 5
    Sure, I think R1 is a better movie as well. But again, that doesn't make TFA bad, just not as good, and even that's debatable.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  18. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    I don’t like a lot of the movies that are considered great cinema, so there’s that.

    I definitely prefer Rogue One for a lot of reasons but I liked TFA well enough.
  19. jc1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2004
    star 2

    First off, good questions.

    While I like to read the ancillary material (Art of books, novelizations, and so on), I try to take what the films present us with, as the other material can be rife with contradictions and is often made obsolete when new films come out. For example TPM visual guide, that described Ki-Adi-Mundi as a Jedi Knight, and how there is always a single "knight" on the council. This was clearly not the case when RotS released. So, going on what the films say, for me:

    -Rey seems to be more of a freelance agent than either an employee or slave--she has her own speeder and home which are not connected to the settlement. There could be a line of people waiting to use the table and equipment to brush up their finds, which is why the alien is giving her grief to hurry. She's not really free, though, as she is dependent on Unkar to trade for food, and has to accept whatever offer he makes.

    -About Rey's knowledge of Luke/Han: Consider the company Rey keeps. From the film she looks pretty isolated, but comes into contact with others at the settlement, which functions as an ad-hoc spaceport. This would attract outlaw types, down-on-their-luck smugglers, space pilots, and other riffraff. They would likely tell stories about someone like the famous Han Solo, who was much like them, than a mysterious warrior/protector that supposedly uses a mystical power. Also, note that Rey knows about Han as a smuggler, as opposed to Finn, who knows about him as a rebel general.

    -Kylo has certainly heard of the CW. If Luke, a youth on an out of the way homestead on a backwater world, has heard of the CW (ANH implies this) than Kylo must have, with his connections and position. Kylo is more sticking it to Hux about his stormtroopers than really saying "we need to go order us a clone army right now."
    Dandelo, Martoto77 and TCF-1138 like this.
  20. Miles Lodson Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 1998
    star 4
    I did not like it the first time i saw it. But it grew on me. It took some work, but there is a really, really fun movie there. And my 7 year old adores it.

    Very similar to the PT - with a little work, they are a lot of fun.
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