Chatboard for The Force Awakens movie

What did you think of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens? This blog post is meant to be a place where my friends and family can talk about Episode VII.

SPOILERS, VERY DEFINITE SPOILERS, LIE AHEAD

To be clear on which characters we are talking about:

[threecol_one]

Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren
The new Darth Vader

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Rey
Rey
The scavenger girl

[/threecol_one]

[threecol_one_last]

Finn
Finn
Stormtrooper formerly known as FN-2187

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Snoke
Snoke
Sith Lord in the giant hologram

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Starkiller Base
Starkiller Base
Death Star III

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Phasma
Phasma
Captain woman stormtropper in reflective armor

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Maz Kanata
Maz Kanata
Short orange woman with glasses

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[threecol_one]

Poe Dameron
Poe Demeron
Best starfighter pilot in the New Republic

[/threecol_one]

[threecol_one_last]
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Feel free to call these characters however you wish. You can call Rey “the scavenger girl” but it might just be quicker to type “Rey”.

After seeing the movie, I wrote down my initial thoughts in my notepad while riding the train home. These are my notes all collected together. I am making each one of these points an individual comment in the comments area, so please feel free to respond to any of these in the comments.

Han Solo – Kylo Ren bridge scene
When Kylo Ren dropped his mask on the bridge, it made a very physical clang. Signifying it’s a real mask. But also signifying  dropping his personal? Turning back to the light? Notice the mask did not quite fall off the bridge. He didn’t quite leave the Dark Side. Instead he killed his own father, Han Solo.

What did you think of Phasma?  
All this pre-release hype over Phasma with her reflective armor and fancy cape. She ended up being all fluff. She lost Finn. Then she took the shields down without any fight. What did you think of Phasma?

Meaning of the name Finn
Does the name “Finn” reference a fin on a fish or boat? Something to steer? To guide?

What did you think of Finn being overly excited at times? 
It seemed was like Luke Skywalker’s over-excitement in A New Hope.

So many parallels to A New Hope. 

  • A message tucked away in a droid.
  • The droid falling to a desert planet.
  • Rey and Luke both from a desert planet.
  • Giant laser weapons that destroy planets.
  • Successfully destroying the enemy’s giant laser weapon.

For kids? 
This was definitely not a movie for kids, like episode I. There were some very scary parts. Like when Rey went down to the dungeon. It ends up that was the beckoning call of Luke’s light saber. But it was rather scary. And then those crazy creatures that were attacking Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon. Sarah asked me if Episode one or two would be too scary for little kids. I wasn’t sure. Is Episode I or II too scary for little kids?

What was your reaction to Han Solo being killed? 
I totally screamed out loud! And then I cried. Poor Chewbacca! When Solo was killed Chewbecca started to blast everything in sight!

Who is Rey’s parents? 
Rey is Han Solo’s daughter, right? Twins with Rylo?

What is the size of Snoke? 
I bet Snoke is actually really small in real life.

What do you think of the immature Kylo? 
Weird to see a Sith throw temper tantrums. This is the first time in all the movies that we have a Sith that is young. They’ve all been old and experienced. Darth Sidious—old. Darth Vader—old. Darth Tryannus (Count Dooko)—old. Although perhaps Darth Maul was not old.

Do you like that Kylo’s face is revealed? 
Nice that Kylo’s face is revealed. Makes him more real to us. Also shows us all the more how he wishes to be Darth Vader, but isn’t. Both physically isn’t, but also metaphorically in his maturity. Although Anakin-turned-young-Darth-Vader probably threw a lot of tantrums at first.

Come join me
Lots of “come join me” in this. “Come, lets go on an adventure.” “Com let us escape.”

  • Han asks Rey to join
  • Finn asks Rey to escape
  • Kylo asks Rey to join
  • Rey asks Finn to join
  • Finn and Rey ask Han to join
  • Leia asks Han to come back
  • Maz Kanata asks Rey to join
  • Finn asks Poe Demeron

Is this a method of getting the audience involved by asking what side to be on?

Starkiller Base
Symbolic that the weapon of the Dark Side, the Starkiller Base would suck the light out of the sun. When the light is gone, darkness comes.

Finn the janitor
Funny puns with Han joking about garbage chute. Finn, the janitor, really liked that too.

Chewbacca & Han buddies
Chewbacca made a comment about how cold it was outside, which was funny at the time. But that comment was to set up to demonstrate his kindness and love for Han when later Chewie suggested that Han wear the found coat before they go back outside. Which makes his death all the more impactful.

All the points in this blog post are also in the comments below, so feel free to respond to any of them.




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Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

That line about being cold outside generated the most definite loudest laugh from the audience during my viewing of the movie.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

Ha! Yeah, that was pretty good too. The woman next to me and I snickered at that garbage chute line. I liked to look of deep satisfaction on Solo’s face when that moment happened. Of course he was recalling his time in the garbage chute of the Death Star.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I loved the movie, but the biggest disappointment was that Starkiller planet. When that was announced I was like, “Are you kidding me?! Another Death Star? They already blew up two of those things. Can’t the bad guys find something else to do?”

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

Yes. That’s a very important factor in the popularity of Star Wars. The whole, “let’s do this thing” aspect. Teamwork. There’s also the simpler notion of “Just Do It.”

Abrams has gone on record saying that what perhaps makes Star Wars so enduring is how it speaks to the potentiality of people.

It involves the underdog factor: how people of unassuming stance can push themselves to greatness. (Or more importantly how others push them to greatness.) And also there’s the demise of the great: how those with stature can end up failing. There’s also those who can do great things, but chose another path.

Of course wrapped up deeper in all this is the question of what defines greatness. I prefer the doctrine of vocation shaped by the Bible and who championed the cause in Martin Luther.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I understand Abrams had Ren show his face to tell a story and to compare and contrast with Vader. But firstly, what are people going to call him anyways? “Darth Vader” is Vader. Are we we supposed to call him Kylo or Ren? Most importantly by taking off his helmet in the first movie without much fanfare shows there’s no import of what his helmet is specifically hiding. The value of the helmet is not in covering something, but the helmet itself shows, “I’m a bad guy. THIS helmet is my identity now. Under the helmet, on the surface level, is just some young adult kid. Vader’s helmet was removed showing a beat down vulnerable human. For Vader it was a helmet of medical necessity. He was sliced up by Ben Kenobi. There was a practical motivation in having Ren reveal his face. It’s hard to have a heart-felt father son scene when the son has a helmet covering his head and his voice. And the scene was to show the struggle Ren had between Dark and Light. His human face represents the Light. I think Abrams had Ren specifically reveal his face to Rey mostly because he didn’t want the father-son scene to be all about the reveal of Ren’s face. It was about the emotive interaction between father and son. It’s interesting of all the new characters in the movie we know the most about Ren who is figured as the next Vader who was the most mysterious character in the original films. I was still pretty upset when he took his helmet off for the first time. I was thinking, “are you kidding me?! I don’t want to know his face yet. It took us 6 years (1977-1983) for us to finally see Vader’s face. And here we see Ren’s face after what? 60 minutes?” I felt it revealed way too much about the character. Part of Vader’s appeal was his mysterious nature. They learned that Ren is a brat of superstar parents who was lured by Snoke and turned on his superstar jedi teacher causing his teacher to go into exile. Throughout the movie he’s clearly dedicated to the Dark Side, but ends up being wishy washy about it and is afraid of the Light Side. TMI. At the time I wanted him to be a BA merciless monster like his grandpa (before the release of the prequels). But… all this info helps the momentum in building his character. It’s clear we’re going to see this character evolve through the series and that’s exciting. And Abrams is purposely avoiding having to do prequels. History has proven that prequels don’t work too well. So Abrams basically packed all the prequels into one movie and we should thank Abrams for not needing to do prequels again 20 years from now and presenting the potentiality of ruining the series. Keep the whole story moving! And that was brilliantly done in this movie. So many superhero movies get bogged down… Read more »

Marco Buscaglia
Marco Buscaglia
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I thought the helmet thing was interesting. As far as I could tell, no real reason for him to wear it. Almost like he’s playing dress-up as the bad guy. I’m wondering if in the next film(s), he decides to abandon the helmet altogether as he evolves into something more sinister. Kind of like play time is over – the face of evil could be the face you know. By not wearing the helmet, he’ll be able to manipulate others who want him to go back to the light. No way to fake emotion with the mask on.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

It ends up being necessary in the development of the character. Where Episodes 1-6 centered around Vader, there’s the strong likelihood that Episodes 7-9 will center around his grandson.

While it was kinda annoying seeing the heir of the baddest villain in movie history starts off as a spoiled brat, it’s going to bear fruition as we see him develop in the future episodes.

My hope is that he turns into the heartless menace that we saw in Vader. Cold and clinical. I’m really hoping all this emotional internal gooey nonsense fades away. If if want emotional battle between emotions goo, then I’ll watch Disney’s Inside Out.

So many villains in today’s movie culture are very clearly explained. You notice that? Why can’t we just let our bad guys be cold, clinical bad guys with a mysterious background? That’s where the prequels almost ruined Darth Vader. He was the master of mystery until the prequels had to explain everything away.

The Force Awakens is just Act I with more acts to follow. This movie did a great job of building towards the next movies while still having its own solid ground as a singular movie experience.

Marco Buscaglia
Marco Buscaglia
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I really liked that he was such a hothead. And I liked how others were aware of it, as well. I think some of those reactions were foreshadowing for what’s to come. I’m guessing he’ll learn to control it but I wonder if either side will find a way to prompt those tantrums to force something – either good or catastrophic.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

Snoke as Darth Plagueis would be great for all the reasons you mentioned, Matt. That’d be awesome. It’s then interesting to think of Plagueis’ role not only in the conception of Anakin, but the rest of the Episodes I-VI.

But it runs counter to the notion that there’s only two Sith Lords at a time. So Sidious was actually reporting to Plagueis the whole time? Or maybe Plageuis went into a dormant stage when Sidious came along. I never really liked the idea of there being only two Siths at a time cuz you’d have the problem of both of them being in the same location getting killed together. It’s the whole, “we-can’t-fly-the-President-and-Vice-President-on-the-same-airplane” idea. Kinda lame.

The idea of a trinitarian Sith presence has better roots.

Peter
Peter
4 years ago
Reply to  Erik Maldre

I agree with you Erik. I believe that there is a connection between Snoke and Plagueis. It would be a cool way for them to tie in the prequels, and not complete throw them away.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I think Snoke is Maz Kanata. That idea came to me when watching the movie. Kinda stupid idea, yeah. But certainly a twister. But get this… Maz Kanata was lingering on about reading people from their eyes. Hello, Maz Kanata and Snoke have uncannily similar eyes and eye socket areas. Maz Kanata is Snoke! At the very least Maz Kanata and Snoke are brother and sister. Maz Kanata is 1,000 years old. So her bro could have given her that immortal life biz he learned about. Socka!

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

What if Snoke is something more than a Sith? A level higher than a Sith. Is that possible?

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

Has ever been a case in Star Wars history where there are zero Siths? Where both die off? Until this Snoke thing is resolved, isn’t that the case? Vader died (certainly). Sidious died (apparently).

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I was thinking the same thing. Awesome big appearance in introduction to character, but he ends up being Yoda-like in size. I’ve read that people are freaking out that the master villain will need to be CGI because of his size, but I’m betting he’ll be human-sized and they’ll get an actor to portray him.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

Imagine if Sidious was actually that big. I guess it would have thrown a wrench in the prequels.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

This Rey parent question seems to be the most discussed topic on the net. One thing I haven’t read anywhere is the role of her accent in the determining her lineage. She speaks with a British accent! That is a major clue!

Now she could just be orphaned and fostered by those with British accents. But it’s certainly a favorable clue towards being a Kenobi.

Peter
Peter
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I think she is Luke’s daughter. There’s also another theory I saw that says she is Obi-Wan’s daughter. Here’s one of the links with that theory.
http://hellogiggles.com/theory-rey-star-wars/2/

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Peter

Peter, you realize you just shared a link to a website called hellogiggles? Rey is a Kenobi! That’s it. I’m making t-shirts.

Marco Buscaglia
Marco Buscaglia
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

Luke’s daughter seems right – but maybe too obvious. I don’t think she is Rylo’s twin – Leia was warm with her in the way an aunt is with a niece, not like a mother with a daughter, but who knows? The fact that R2 woke up when she came to the Resistance HQ makes me think she’s Luke’s daughter, but it would be interesting if she had completely different lineage, although I don’t know if Abrams has the backstory he would need to support it.

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

To me it seemed incredibly predictable. Harrison Ford is pretty old and running around as Han Solo has a limited shelf life. Stretching it out to another movie would be a horrible idea.

Also, Ford wanted Lucas to kill Solo in Return of the Jedi, but Lucas refused because he felt kids wouldn’t want to buy toys of a hero that gets killed off.

Plus, they have to clear the deck to let the new characters develop. It was nice having The Force Awakens work as a bridge between Epi VI and VII. But the story has to move along and some of the people we’re attached to have to go away for the sake of the story.

I did really like how Chewie went nutso and started blasting away. I would have liked to seen more of Chewie tearing things up. That said, it was perfect amount. It’s always better to leave the crowd wanting more than wanting less.

Marco Buscaglia
Marco Buscaglia
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I agree that it was kind of predictable. When Rylo was giving his big emotional tug-of-war speech, it seemed like the obvious and obligatory speech before the “shocking twist.” I knd of wish he would have just killed him right away. Still, we never did see the body … Maybe Luke showed up to break his fall. My wife was upset at his death. I like Han Solo but some of the interaction between Han and Chewbacca were a little too cop/buddy-movie for me. I half expected to see the angry African-American police sergeant show up to reprimand him — “SOLO!” But I agreee it was cool to see Chewbacca go on his shooting spree after Han Solo’s death (again, just like a cop movie) but I would like to have seen him kill a few of those punks with his bare hands.
And I do think Chewbacca has some sort of important role in the next two films. Maybe as Rey’s protector – something like that.

Marco Buscaglia
Marco Buscaglia
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Maldre

I think it’s OK for kids. Nothing scarier than the Harry Potter movies. Besides, Disney loves putting in those scary moments in all their kid movies, even the ones that don’t need them.

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