Connecting to a series of Kernan's thoughts:
The "Death Star III" (planet destroyer or whatever.. all the names are still new to me) battle before it blows up the hidden base is so much like Episode 4, it's true, and I doubt anyone who follows the series wouldn't compare the two. But there are a lot of scenes that parallel other trilogies. The one on one ship-to-ship combat in episode 2, for instance, reminds me of Episode 5. Thre are lots of these parallels.
The Death of Han Solo... yeah, it made me mad! But popular characters die all the time in the series: Darth Maul & Qui Gon (ep 1), Jango Fett (episode 2) General Grevious, Darth Tyrannus, and Padme (ep 3), Obi Wan (ep 4) Han Solo (or so we think) (ep 5) and Boba Fett, Vader and the emperor, and Yoda (episode 6). Maybe Han will appear as a spirit in episodes 8 and 9, the way Ben Kenobi did. (I wrote this before proceeding to furthur posts; I see now it was similarly answered.)
"What is the republic anyway?" Well, it happened so fast so I'm not sure it was what happened, but the republic is the representative government and its people, and the entire senate was oblieterated by the star killer! That should throw the republic in turmoil. Again, it is a parallel to episode 4, where the emperor dissolved the senate.
Replying to Lechnology:
1) That frozen laser was just AWESOME! What I like about the movie was seeing new and surprising twists on things that we are otherwise accusomed to.
2) The droid was worth 60 "insta-breads", not 100.
3) That destruction of Corusciant (if that is the location of the senate) did seem a little "close" to me too.
4) And the "laws of hyperspace" are just fantasy, so who knows what laws of physics they can break and which they can't? Actually, good sci-fi DOES establish the what the rules are beforehand, otherwise it's a free-for-all.
5) I too, would have gone for the long shot at the end, typical of closing moments of all the Star Wars movies. I still liked the ending, and because the movie DIDn'T end the way it usually does, thought more was coming!
Your review seems to be almost all criticism, though. Not that I have a problem with that.
Lechnology's second post:
I like Kylo's tantrums. It shows that he still lacks discipline and can evolve in who knows what direction?
I, too, want to know more about the new universe, but as Lloyd Bridges says, "leave 'em wanting more." Star Wars episode IV was "basic", in much the same way this episode was. The Snoke character (is that his name?) conversations seemed very much Episode 5, where Vader is talking with Emperor. I never considered that he could be a hologram until it ws shown! Maybe he's super-tiny!
Okay, so that WASN'T Couriscant (#3, above). Now I know.
Now for my thoughts!
I absolutely loved it. I actually thought that the first third was the slowest. Maybe because I wanted to see it all and understand everything at once!
Some cool things about the star killer: It was made OUT OF a planet? It is actually pretty awesome, but if it sucks up suns, wouldn't it be not so snowy?
Yeah, the Death of Han Solo. Kylo kills him right at the moment we start to feel sympathy for him. And just before it happened, I suspected foul play; his conversion just seemed to quick. But because he gained my sympathy first, I despised him all the more for his treachery.
I also like how Rey's newfound force powers are overriding Kylo Ren. I expected her to be the one to get the lightsaber in the end with the force, not Kylo. I also like Kylo's insecurity. It reminds me of Rodimus Prime in the Transformers, who always felt he couldn't fill Optimus Prime's shoes (if he could wear them) but showed so much potential for leadership, if he only believed in himself.
The voice was important to me. Whenever there's a new villain, he gets compared to Darth Vader. I knew the quality of the voice had to be important to make the persona work. I absolutely loved his voice. I can listen to him speak all day.
The First Order is more like the Nazis than ever! Even the red banner of National Socialism was behind them. The First Order Troopers' salute; all that was missing was "Seig Heil!" I always loved the SW franchise's allusions to Earth history and culture (or... stealing from). I loved the uniforms of the Imperial navy. I became in trigued by this Phasma character, but wonder what her fate will be, because she didn't get much spotlight.
Scavenging from Star Destroyers... cool to me.
I think about a new Star Wars movie for a new generation. I watched the movie as myself- a person whose first theater experience was the original "Star Wars". Then I'd go back and forth and look at the movie as someone young, growing up in the "Hunger Games" gneeration. In my opinion, it works for both generations. Poe's cockiness when confronted by Kylo Ren was definitely for that generation. The young, fresh characters are perfect for fans of Divergent/Hunger Games/Michael Vey/The Giver/Maze Runner/dystopia with a hero approaching adulthood. The inclusion of the big six (Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Princess, I mean General Leia, and Luke, I think was necessary for the long-term fans who would feel something's missing fromt he new movie and would consider the franchise a "facelift" to the dystopia with a hero approaching adulthood. Especially the moment when Kylo removes his mask and he is a teen heartthrob with flowing raven hair. The young new heroes and villains are worthy additions to the series to me, considering their acting skills. Not that everyone in episodes 1-6 were great actors.
I thouroughly loved the movie. It had its problems, but big deal. As much as I love the dogfights and things blowing up and that exciting stuff, I really watch the movie for the characters... and the light saber battle in EPisode 7 was much more interesting than in episode I, where there was absolutely no drama- just fighting.
By the way, and now I'm going WAAAAAY off topic: besides the lightsaber battle in episode 1, I loved the four-front battle of Naboo (field/ Theed Palace/ Battleship/ Lightsaber duel). There is an excellent board game by Avalon Hill that re-enacts this battle and it's easy to learn yet tremendously enjoyable to play. It's called "The Queen's Gambit". I bought this game back when it came out in 1999. I think I paid $80 for it. Nowadays it runs for about $300 on eBay. If you LOVE Star Wars AND board games and have the money, I suggest you buy it, or put it on next year's Christmas/Hannukah list.
There were othere things on my mind. I can't remember them now. When I remember them, they will be below.
Yes, I remember. We all go in to the movie with expectations. We never know what they are specifically, but we do know that we want to compare it to Star Wars and have all the magic. That's a tall order. And I think I figured out why. When all there was was episode 4, 1) there was nothing else to compare it to, including all the merchandizing and immersion into the collective consciousness of our culture. 2)it was all organic, the phenomenon took on a life of its own. It's impossible to return to that no mtter how hard one tries. Also, as someone who in the 1990s read the Timothy Zahn novels that were the unofficial 7 8 and 9, I had already a sequel universe. And so, whatever plot direction J.J. Abrams takes, there will be some, even many, who are guaranteed to be disappointed!
Personally, my expectations were low until they were raised by these events: 1) the trailer that indicated that the series was returning to its roots. 2) I heard that JJ Abrams didn't seek Lucas for advice. 3) I heard that Lucas offered to provide advice, and Abrams refused. With my expetations still moderately low, and my mind open going in, I enjoyed it much.
My brother, who saw it 18 hours before me, took a different approach. He enjoyed episode I, but now, watching it after over 15 years, can't stand it. He went in as a person in 2030, seeing if the movie would hold up for him after 15 years, or if he would come to hate it. I saw him briefly before he began watching the children while my wife and I went to see it, spoiling nothing, but telling me that he believed it will hold up. It was nice returning afterward and he was free to discuss the film with me. It's fun belonging to an elite club of people who have seen Episode 7, watching the rest of the world carry on when I went out shopping later.
And I love Maz. More of her please!
Was that Admiral Ackbar? Nein Numb? A dug flying an X-Wing? My wife contends the last one. Someo f this is nostalgic to the Death Star II battle of Episode 6, not the one from Episode 4.
I absolutely loved this movie and as soon as it was over, wanted to see it again to take in the things I overlooked. Also, hurry up and release episodes 8 and 9 and beyond! Why stop at 9?
The movie ran with a "Gods of Egypt" trailer, and it looked monumentally cheesy. I don't know if they were trying to be Ray Harryhausen or not.
"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."