Author Topic: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)  (Read 29609 times)

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #45 on: December 25, 2015, 06:37:25 am »

I wasn't that impressed with Ezra from Season 1, nor Kanan for that matter. However the Kanan comic, I've liked what I read of it, so I might give him another chance.

The only reason I kept watching season 2 was Asoka and maybe habit.  It's on the DVR.  The only great moment was the Asoka fight; other than that... Eh... It's nowhere near as interesting as Clone Wars was.  None of the new charters are interesting.  Nice to hear the comic is better.  May check it out. Doesn't Kanan also have a novel?
« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 06:38:59 am by KIP LEWIS »

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #46 on: December 25, 2015, 06:55:42 am »
Yes there is a novel. Called A New Dawn I believe. You can buy it single or pick it up in a combo with the novel Tarkin. I thought the combo wasn't a bad deal. Even though I had picked up A New Dawn already. I haven't read it yet.

I've only read roughly the first arc of the Kanan: The Last Padawan comic. I thought it was supposed to be limited, but Marvel kept it going. I like the post-ROTS/Dark Times setting. And while it's not canon, I recommend the Dark Times comics. I think Marvel is collecting them in their Epic Collections so it will be cheaper than picking up the individual Dark Horse graphic novels, but in any event I think Dark Times comics explored that part of history well. I also recommend James Luceno's novel Dark Lord (which follows ROTS).

I do like Clone Wars more than Rebels. I didn't gravitate really to any of the characters, though some have potential. The Inquisitor was a decent antagonist and I liked what happened to him in the Season 1 finale. As for Season 2 I think bringing Vader into it is way too soon so I'm curious to see how that's going to work out. Also the other Inquisitors, I'm curious about them. And I'm definitely curious about Ahsoka. I did get to see the one scene where she senses Anakin. I thought that was awesome.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #47 on: December 25, 2015, 06:58:24 am »
Yeah... I never thought EU was hopeless.  Some like Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy was some of best SW I ever read.  But I ended up stopping when I found it becoming repetitive.  (I may not have stopped too soon, but by then I missed too much.)

Though, eventually I did come back to Dark Horse's Legends series.  I really liked that.

But yeah, JJA's SW was more hopeless than anything I read in the EU.

I've only read the first book in Zahn's trilogy. Though I do have the others. Just haven't put the effort into reading them. I really got into the Star Wars EU novelverse during the New Jedi Order series with the Yuuzhan Vong and just went from there. To me the Vong War was the highlight. The subsequent major novel series-The Legacy of the Force and The Fate of the Jedi-each had their own problems. That being said there were things I enjoyed in both and I chalk some of the failures up to misguided or poor execution.

Offline TripleX

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #48 on: December 26, 2015, 02:12:42 am »
Triple X,

My reaction wasn't as strong as yours. I thought it was a good film. But you pretty much get it about Finn. His portrayal was unsatisfying. Almost everyone's raving about this film, completely caught up in the hype of it, that I think its hard for some to look at it with a critical eye. To me there also seems to be a gleeful need to poke Lucas in the eye, to really show him how much his prequels sucked by uplifting this film to the heavens.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
And I think a lot of people are really drawing dividing lines with the character Rey and there's always the hint or charge of sexism around it. But I see Rey as a case of them replacing a super duper white guy with a super duper white female. It is diversity and progression of a sort, I suppose, but when you look at what they did-or didn't do to Finn and how they covered up Lupita, one of the most beautiful women on the planet and as far as I know the only one in the cast to have an Oscar-and if she isn't the only one, perhaps the most recent, I'm not 100% on board with that kind of 'diversity'. And there's a part of me that can't help but wonder if Rey would've  been so standoffish, 'don't grab my hand' if it wasn't Finn attempting to do so? I can see it being a good example for a feminist hero/heroine, a show of independence for the character, but the lizard part of my brain makes me wonder. Will Finn get friend zoned? And is that okay with me? Yeah and no I guess. I want black characters to be romantically and sexually active-in healthy ways-in films, but I frankly would like more intraracial relationships depicted than interracial. I think the trend is interracial and it just reinforces the idea that black- black relationships and sexuality and desirability is not desirable.

As for Kylo Ren yeah he could've kept his mask on. As soon as he took it off the menace started to fade
Spoiler (click to reveal)
and then he went out with a whimper.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
That being said I did see a side-by-side picture of him and Harrison Ford and they do have similar noses.

I'm not sure Rey is Han and Leia's kid. I'm thinking she's Luke's daughter. I mean if she was their kid why didn't they say something?
Though with this film there were a lot of questions left unanswered, confident that there would be sequels and follow up material. Not every film gets that luxury and it's not one I think even Star Wars should take lightly. I do think eventually with the plan to have a Star Wars film every year will eventually dissipate interest in the franchise. Disney is determined to have their cinematic. It might work for a while but I think people will tire of it.

I definitely agree with you about the lack of originality.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The First Order, Resistance, Ren, Snoke, all just came off like pale reflections of stuff that's come before. I wish they had taken more risks and really expanded the story, pushed it forward. But they pretty much just returned to the state of the galaxy in A New Hope without filling out the details of why that was? I mean there is a New Republic now, but how big and powerful are they and why are they funding a Resistance? Can't they put their own Republic ships in the fight? How big and powerful is the First Order? Are there other Imperial factions out there? Obviously the First Order is powerful enough to develop the Starkiller Base. Why did Ben Solo turn against Luke? Who is Snoke? And if Ben/Ren was defeated by Rey and Finn held his own for a moment against him (granted Ren was injured), but still, how did this guy defeat and kill all of Luke's students?

And for a self-confessed fan of the originals and TFA was a very heavy homage to the original films, particularly A New Hope, why did Abrams give the Big Three (Luke, Leia, and Han) such sh*tty post-ROTJ futures? Han and Luke run away. Leia becomes a hardened, or rather weathered general.

I only read the first in Zahn's Thrawn trilogy, but yeah I would've liked that story or a variation on it to make it fresh more. I mean you even had Max Von Sydow there to play the crazy Jedi C'boath if they had wanted to go that route. I liked the Yuuzhan Vong stories and would've liked to see them. A different enemy-not Sith-that's outside the Force. I thought they were cool. Or even adaptations of the Legacy of the Force or Fate of the Jedi series.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Though to be fair to TFA there are shades of Legacy of the Force in this film. They might as well called Kylo Ren Jacen.

"Unsatisfying" puts it so much nicer and succinctly than I did, thank you. I've seen it again and my thoughts on Finn haven't changed. The scene with him getting kicked out of the space hippo's watering hole was a bridge too far. It almost ruined a great movie for me.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #49 on: December 26, 2015, 05:35:02 am »
I know I will probably see it again. I'm debating about whether I should take my nieces or nephew to it see it. I think it's great for my nieces to see Rey, however I don't feel good about them seeing Finn. And same with my nephew, about seeing Finn. If I wasn't so cheap I could buy the Clone Wars so my nieces could watch a great female Jedi character (one better fleshed out than Rey so far) in Ahsoka.

Offline Hypestyle

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #50 on: December 28, 2015, 08:05:45 am »
Finn needs his own warship.  Poe is being set up to be a buddy, so maybe he’ll get further flight training.  There needs to be a new class of ships created.  We’ve already seen the vaguely-tweaked updates of the X-Wing fighters.  Since BB-8 seems to informally belong to Poe, Finn should also get his own astromech droid.  Also: so far, we've never seen anyone wield a black lightsaber. (hint).. make it happen.. ;)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 08:07:21 am by Hypestyle »
Be Kind to Someone Today.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2015, 12:39:39 pm »
^
Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) wielded a lightsaber in Episodes 2 & 3.

Offline TripleX

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #52 on: December 29, 2015, 03:33:10 pm »
^
Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) wielded a lightsaber in Episodes 2 & 3.

Yeah but it was purple, not black

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #53 on: December 29, 2015, 05:35:44 pm »
Sorry I misunderstood what Hypestyle had said. I thought he meant that no black person had wielded a lightsaber before Finn. As for the black lightsaber (darksaber) you never know we might get that. It's canon, since one was in the Clone Wars.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #54 on: December 29, 2015, 06:11:37 pm »
Some articles about Finn:

http://thenerdsofcolor.org/2015/12/23/for-the-love-of-fn-2187-why-finn-is-one-of-the-best-new-characters-in-star-wars/

http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/the-mission-star-wars-the-rey-finn-dance-and-a-post-racial-futurepast

http://hannibaltabu.tumblr.com/post/135433506509/why-i-hated-star-wars-the-force-awakens

http://www.racialicious.com/2015/12/28/voices-the-debate-awakens-around-john-boyega-and-star-wars-finn/#more-40172

I didn't listen to Brandon Easton's full argument but from the snippet posted at Racialicious I think he's tarring black critics of Finn and not taking some legitimate concerns with that character. He himself admits that the image of black males is often denigrated, though I do think he defines that denigration in two very broad extremes-presenting a 'false choice'-in the word of Obama (or should I say President Finn, but that's for another conversation). Finn does show interest in Rey, but she didn't reciprocate (at least in this film though I doubt it will happen in the future films), so he was sexless. He was blue balled. He was friend zoned. He isn't a criminal true, then again that's also a matter of perspective. In the eyes of the First Order he is a criminal, and quite possibly in the eyes of the New Republic which I don't think officially recognizes or supports the Resistance. He isn't an actual criminal, IMO, but it is telling that Rey and BB-8 initially consider him a thief.

I'm disappointed that a guy like Easton doesn't see some of the odious racial imaging going on with Finn that I've written about before, as have others on this board.

As for Jamal Igle, he's making the Finn as Han Solo argument. I don't buy that either. Han Solo starts out with his own name, his own ship, his own agency. He doesn't get lovesick and follow Leia around or become second fiddle to her. He's also more brave than Igle gives him credit for. He has a kind of crazy, reckless bravery in the action scenes on the Death Star for example. Han isn't knocked out at the end of ANH, he helps save the day, and he gets a medal. Finn, while unconscious-highlighting his uncertain future-gets a chaste kiss on the forehead from Rey before she goes off to fulfill her destiny. Like he's a pet.

I have to wonder if some of the black Finn defenders are so into the character because he's a nerd. I've been thinking more about Finn and while I can't quite say he's an everyman, not like that the way it's been traditionally defined (white/white ethnic male, hardworking blue collar/working class, more than likely heterosexual and religious to a degree, humble, honorable, etc., etc.), Finn might be more a geek surrogate. He's awkward and a bit bumbling, at times cowardly and totally falls for a girl out of his league, though he shows flashes of charm and bravery. I have to wonder if some black nerds aren't going gaga over Finn because he's a lot like us. One of the Igle article commenters also made a good point. Han was an Alpha male, which is true. Finn is not. Finn is not a successor to Han. And Rey has taken the Luke spot. That leaves Leia and as I mentioned before, Chewbacca. And I still see him fitting more the Chewbacca role. A trusted, 'valued' sidekick, a stalwart friend. Maybe a Samwise Gamgee for Star Wars.

Igle presents another false choice, concluding that not every black hero has to be like Wesley Snipes. On the surface that's true, but when you see the dearth of black heroes in media and in particular genre stuff, yeah, I do want a competent hero that kicks ass. Despite my gripes about the overusage of the n-word in Django Unchained that final bloodbath was thrilling as heck. Igle also says he wants to see a hero stumble, fall, and get up again. It's like he's ignoring that Finn was knocked unconscious at the end of the film. There was no getting up at the end of that film for him.

I want to see black Alpha male heroes. Why can't black males kick ass and get the girl at the same time as well?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 06:13:49 pm by Emperorjones »

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #55 on: December 30, 2015, 02:02:01 am »
I slept on it, and I wanted to say that 'odious' might be too strong word when describing Finn's depiction. However it does feel retrograde or regressive. And even the racially/culturally insensitive characters from The Phantom Menace/prequels at least were cast as aliens. I do think it's more damaging when you have a human character that exhibits questionable (at best) behavior and actions that harken back some very odious (there's that word again) images of blacks in media.

As for Finn/Obama, they are not alike on the surface. However I think the attempt to craft a safe, non-threatening black male is what ties them together. I think of Finn as something of a space Kevin Hart as well. Though at least Kevin Hart sometimes gets the girl.

And it was unfair and inaccurate to say Finn has no agency. He does have some agency, at the beginning when he refuses to fire and then when he breaks Poe out. However it feels undeveloped and subordinate and largely in support of the non-black characters, particularly Rey.

And I wanted to return to Easton's comments, and his 'pseudo-revolutionary' charge. To me I think that's disparaging. He's trying to make opposition or criticism sound ludicrous or over-the-top, illegitimate. When what I've read so far about Finn isn't much different than other stuff about the depiction of blacks in media. Some of that can get heated. But it's not out of bounds. And I don't think it's pseudo-revolutionary. As I said before even Easton knows how sketchy the depiction of black males are, so I don't get why he's damning the 'righteous anger' of some Finn critics. If some people are angry, why shouldn't they be? And definitely if they are disappointed?

Perhaps some might think Star Wars or the size of this movie insulates Finn but from what I've seen-disappointingly-it has not. If anything it's put Finn in stark relief, made him bigger than life. 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 03:51:25 am by Emperorjones »

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #56 on: December 30, 2015, 08:36:34 pm »
Does anyone else besides me think Snoke is an odd choice for Supreme Leader's name?  It really isn't that awe inspiring or fearsome sounding.

(Then again, Luke doesn't sound like the name of some great Jedi Master.  It worked when he was a kid from a backwards world, but in the new series... Jedi Master Luke just falls flat.)

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2016, 11:33:46 am »
I don't care for the name Snoke. Some of the other TFA names didn't sit well with me either when I first heard them. I liked the names Lucas came up with a lot of his characters. While Luke might sound ordinary, you add in the Skywalker. It's all good.

Back to Snoke...when I saw the character in the movie, he did look like he could be named that. However its one of the weakest dark side character names I've heard of.

Offline Mad Coco G

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2016, 02:30:43 pm »
I slept on it, and I wanted to say that 'odious' might be too strong word when describing Finn's depiction. However it does feel retrograde or regressive. And even the racially/culturally insensitive characters from The Phantom Menace/prequels at least were cast as aliens. I do think it's more damaging when you have a human character that exhibits questionable (at best) behavior and actions that harken back some very odious (there's that word again) images of blacks in media.

As for Finn/Obama, they are not alike on the surface. However I think the attempt to craft a safe, non-threatening black male is what ties them together. I think of Finn as something of a space Kevin Hart as well. Though at least Kevin Hart sometimes gets the girl.

And it was unfair and inaccurate to say Finn has no agency. He does have some agency, at the beginning when he refuses to fire and then when he breaks Poe out. However it feels undeveloped and subordinate and largely in support of the non-black characters, particularly Rey.

And I wanted to return to Easton's comments, and his 'pseudo-revolutionary' charge. To me I think that's disparaging. He's trying to make opposition or criticism sound ludicrous or over-the-top, illegitimate. When what I've read so far about Finn isn't much different than other stuff about the depiction of blacks in media. Some of that can get heated. But it's not out of bounds. And I don't think it's pseudo-revolutionary. As I said before even Easton knows how sketchy the depiction of black males are, so I don't get why he's damning the 'righteous anger' of some Finn critics. If some people are angry, why shouldn't they be? And definitely if they are disappointed?

Perhaps some might think Star Wars or the size of this movie insulates Finn but from what I've seen-disappointingly-it has not. If anything it's put Finn in stark relief, made him bigger than life.



There's been actual legit criticism of Finn? You mean calling him JarJar 2.0 is to be taken seriously? All I've seen is a Bich of folks mad they didn't get Space Shaft and bitch and moan non stop about it while staying silent on actual questionable sh*t in film/tv( these are the same folks jumping up and down over how great a showing Storm has in the trailer for Alocalypse ignoring that the same director hasn't given a sh*t about her in over a decade ).

I agree with Easton and it's just pseudo-revolutionary HOTEP bullsh*t akin to Gamergate

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviewed (with spoilers)
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2016, 05:50:35 pm »
Well I guess it depends on what your definition of legit is. I've laid out my reasons to the best of my ability and provided other criticism as well. Of course that's no more "legit" than the people who have reasoning for why they like Finn or don't have a problem with him. As for Space Shaft, once again I see the critics of the Finn critics seem to go for extreme examples in an attempt to make any criticism seem ridiculous or irrational. Though when you see Finn wield a lightsaber in the trailer and on posters you might be forgiven to expect to see him be a Jedi or kick ass. And when you see him in Stormtrooper armor I also think you can be forgiven to expect that Finn might be a badass or capable soldier in a movie replete with capable people. Compared to Rey and Finn, his co-stars, Finn was the most ineffectual of the trio. Look at my posts, I know they are long, but since you replied to something I wrote, I ask that you take a look at all the things I wrote about Finn. If I had gotten Space Shaft I would be fine with that, but what I wanted was a character that wasn't subordinate or the comic relief. Someone with his own agency, that was competent, and not chasing behind Rey. I didn't really expect Finn to be the main character but I wanted him to be a better developed character.

If Finn isn't questionable, then what is about TFA? What's the truly important stuff that you are suggesting that Finn critics are ignoring? And I would argue that while I have been critical of Finn, my criticism of the film did not stop there. Finn was something I definitely honed in on because I do care about the depiction of black people in media. How is that any different than your concern about Storm's potential mishandling in the upcoming Apocalypse film? It's different in one respect in that we see the finished product with Force Awakens and have not seen Apocalypse yet. I'm a Finn critic and I'm not jumping up and down about Storm from the trailer. I don't expect we will get much out of her, like the previous films, but that will remain to be seen.

I didn't call him Jar Jar 2.0 in any of my posts. Though at least Lucas had the decency or perhaps the lack of stones to hide his racial or cultural insensitivity under CGI and make up with Jar Jar, the Nemoidians, and Watto. Finn is front and center and more than likely developed with the best of intentions and no surface ill intent.  I didn't compare Finn to Jar Jar, I compared him to the other black male characters, the prominent ones, in Star Wars, Mace Windu and Lando Calrissian,and I found Finn wanting in those comparisons. I looked at Finn as objectively as I could, and listed what I thought his positives were and his negatives. Instead of coming in here to rage or be dismissive, how about providing a 'legit' counterargument.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 06:21:30 pm by Emperorjones »