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Out of the Blue

I mentioned my eye doctor appointment last week, and am now awaiting my new pair of glasses specifically for computer work. These will be tuned for the distance I sit from the monitor, and I expect that to be an improvement over my current pair. As some of you mentioned in the comments, the yellow tint you sometimes see on computer glasses is outdated, but these will have some sort of blue light filter in spite of the lenses being clear, which is also a theoretical advantage. I have to admit to a little disappointment at that, though, as I did think the yellow tint would be kind of cool (which is probably why some of them still come that way).

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75. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 11, 2016, 17:38 Sepharo
 
You're still missing the point of my comment there. I understand how the Jawas work, that's not the issue. The issue is that they happen to bring the droids to Anakin's son.

--

Have you only seen TFA once? There are so many things that you've missed and it really shows when you lay out small context clues and details from ANH that explain the story but can't do the same for TFA even though they're there. You needn't explain to me how the story works in ANH, my earlier bullet points on ANH were not to criticize it specifically but to criticize the manner in which you criticized TFA.
 
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74. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 11, 2016, 16:16 BobBob
 
So Star Trek has ladies in mini-skirts, while Star Wars has lightsabers and furry animals. Hmm ...  
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73. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 11, 2016, 15:11 descender
 
-Rey hacks the doors on Han's freighter
There was no "hacking" going on, she was tripping fuses. She also states that she didn't know which fuses she was tripping which is why she accidentally let out the big beasts.

-Finn's change of heart
Why is witnessing the murder of innocents not enough of a motivator for you? That's a you problem. Obviously there are some issues with their indoctrination process (which seems to be a form of mind control that they vaguely refer to in the movie). Maybe due to Kylo's weakness inability to truly control the dark side.

- Rey's Mary Sue-ism
This is really a pointless observation unless you can explain to me how Luke is NOT a Mary Sue. They both have powers and abilities in both intro movies that don't make any sense. This really isn't debatable, or worth debating. If anything, Rey seems to be both aware of and truly shocked at her ability to do certain things throughout the movie, showing that she is a completely different type of character than Luke who was still at a much earlier phase of his discovery during ANH (and when you learn who Rey actually is, it will make sense that she had some prior/subconscious force ability). luke just purely stumbles upon his with no training what-so-ever, at least there may be some backstory to Rey's situation, we know there already isn't with Luke.

- Han finding the Falcon immediately after Finn and Rey escape Jakku.
They clearly state that they picked the ship up on scanners when it was turned on. The Starwars universe is littered with ships that instantly jump to light speed and travel over indeterminate distances and travel times... and this is the one that bothers you?

- Maz having Luke's lightsaber
No one knows what the purpose of this was... yet. Why does she have it or why Rey/Luke even need it. Jedi make construct their own lightsabers, so obviously Rey/Luke don't need it even if she was to be trained in the future. The lightsaber found isn't even Luke's, it's Anakin's old saber from the Empire Strikes Back that Luke lost (the one given to him by Obi-Wan that he was also holding on to for literally no reason what-so-ever because Luke would just construct his own if the plan was to eventually train him). So that plot hole actually falls all the way back through ANH until we find out what's going on with Maz and why Anakin's saber matters.

- R2 waking up
There is really no great explanation for this, but it could be as simple as Luke telling R2 "wake up and find me if you ever come in contact with Rey or another Jedi". This might be the one truly "JJ Abrams" thing in the movie, a scene constructed for emotional depth that doesn't relate directly to the story.

There are plenty of plot holes in every StarWars movie that could (should?) be complained about, you've just picked some very poor (and seemingly 'internet popular') ones.
 
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72. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 11, 2016, 05:50 jdreyer
 
Sepharo wrote on Apr 9, 2016, 02:20:
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 17:25:
- The Jawas capture R2 because they're established as extremely effective scavengers of the Jundland wastes. It's also established there are droid scanners.

You didn't address my actual point on this one. The cheap part is that they bring the droids to the Lars farm where Luke lives, not that they get captured.

Except, they establish that's what jawas do. So it just feels like the natural state of things, as opposed to some kind of deus ex machina. The story-telling is well done:
- 3PO sees the crawler out in the distance and hails it.
- Jawas stun and capture R2 in the rocky canyon
- Jawas roll up to the Lars homestead to hawk their wares. They scavenge the wastes and sell to the homesteaders. Given that it takes half a day to go to Anchorhead to erase the droid's memory (Lars' comment), the script makes it clear they can't afford the time to go to town very often, so having the jawas stop by doesn't seem odd.

Is it too coincidental that the escape pod happens to land close to where Luke lives? Not at all: R2 is trying to find Obiwan, and intentionally lands near his location. Obiwan has a connection to Luke, thus lives near him.

By the time they all end up at Ben's place, you can feel the environment: a living breathing place with several groups of inhabitants co-existing with each other in symbiosis. None of what has happened really feels forced by the needs of the plot, which is the opposite case from much in TFA where so much does feel forced:
- Finn's change of heart
- Rey's Mary Sue-ism
- Han finding the Falcon immediately after Finn and Rey escape Jakku
- Maz having Luke's lightsaber
- R2 waking up
Etc.

Imagine if ANH had scenes that mimic those from TFA:

- When attacked by Sandpeople after finding R2, Luke uses his rifle like a bo staff to fight and defeat them. The commotion draws Obiwan, and that's their first encounter. (Rey's fight in the marketplace)

- Trapped in the trash compactor, Luke hacks the hermetically sealed door from inside to free them. (Rey hacks the doors on Han's freighter)

- Luke battles Darth Vader to a draw in the hangar to create a distraction that allows the rest of the crew to board the Falcon. Once everyone is on board, he slightly wounds Vader and makes his escape. (Rey battles Kylo Ren in the forest, wounding him)

I could create a couple more, but you get the idea. Scenes like that would have turned Star Wars into Flash Gordon, a shallow sci fi action movie. Ironic, since Lucas took much from the Flash Gordon serials, but Lucas transformed Star Wars into something much more interesting. Luke's arc is broad and deep. When he finally defeats Vader in the final movie, we've seen his work, pain, and growth transform him into a Jedi. The moment is earned, and it's believable. Rey's moments are all unearned. They come Out of the Blue largely with cursory or no justification.
 
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71. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 9, 2016, 02:20 Sepharo
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 17:25:
- The Jawas capture R2 because they're established as extremely effective scavengers of the Jundland wastes. It's also established there are droid scanners.

You didn't address my actual point on this one. The cheap part is that they bring the droids to the Lars farm where Luke lives, not that they get captured.
 
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70. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 9, 2016, 02:06 Sepharo
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 23:57:
Sepharo wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 20:14:
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 17:25:
C'mon Seph, really?

Are you under the impression that I can't answer all of your earlier bullet points and more the same way that you've done here?

Be my guest. I'd like to hear.

Look, if you can't see that TFA has multiple structural issues that ANH does not, more power to you. It does, objectively. And that ruins the film for a large number of people. But if they don't prevent you from enjoying the film, cool.

A large number of people


- Rey can fix anything, because the story needs her to.
--She's a scrapper this is established from the first shots in the movie. She's been doing this her whole life, it's her job to know the function and location of parts. Pay attention. Also Anakin was really good with repair and technical stuff as well, was the force helping him with that? Maybe.

- Rey is a master pilot, because the story needs her to be.
--She's a pilot, she's a fan of pilots, she has a rebel pilot helmet... She really didn't fly all that well. She fucking crashed that thing into the ground repeatedly and then, if you pay attention she does these focus/pray faces and flys through wreckage and does a flip and Finn shoots. But even if she is great, so were Anakin and Luke, it's established that the force helps you fly and react.

- Finn helps Poe escape, because the story needs him to (justified, but weakly so).
--This is one of the clearest examples of a character driving the story, as you desire, not sure why it's on your list. Finn is the stormtrooper with a heart, he wants out, Poe is his way out, and he also simultaneously sticks it to the order.

- Maz has Luke's lightsaber, because the story needs her to.
--It's an obvious analog to Obi having Anakin's lightsaber, I'm sure you're mad about that. But Maz is established as a sympathetic character who knows everything going on in the galaxy, especially as it relates to force users and rebels. She might have collected the saber, got it from a member of the church of the force for safe keeping or something. But yes you're right, this one is pretty serendipitous. They'll probably explain it in a later movie or some book or something. But you can always chalk it up the force, the force is certainly what called out from that basement.

- Finn battles Ren, because the story needs him to.
--He battles Ren because Ren chases them after they bomb the base. Having them not fight, having it only be Rey or something would be the writing cop out. Rey and Finn were together and they were ambushed by Kylo, there was a fight. Didn't feel shoehorned to me.

- R2D2 wakes up, because the story needs it to.
--Another one that I'll partially agree with you on. We'll likely find out in the next movie. But I suspect given the literal missing puzzle piece aspect to it, that Luke just told him to hang out until the right time. He wasn't off, he was in hibernation, knew shit was ready to go, and was like, k here's the rest. What's the character-driving-the-story aspect that you want here for R2. Should've had some beep and boops where he explains his motivations? C3PO basically implied he was depressed, just like Luke I suppose.

edit: I have a different R2D2 theory now
Luke actually told him, "Don't let anyone find me, I want to be alone." But R2 disobeyed and took it upon himself to reveal Luke's location to Rey, in that stubborn droid way that he's known so well for. There's true believable character driven story.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2016, 02:13.
 
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69. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 23:57 jdreyer
 
Sepharo wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 20:14:
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 17:25:
C'mon Seph, really?

Are you under the impression that I can't answer all of your earlier bullet points and more the same way that you've done here?

Be my guest. I'd like to hear.

Look, if you can't see that TFA has multiple structural issues that ANH does not, more power to you. It does, objectively. And that ruins the film for a large number of people. But if they don't prevent you from enjoying the film, cool.
 
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68. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 20:25 BobBob
 
Beat this Star Wars!
 
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67. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 20:14 Sepharo
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 17:25:
C'mon Seph, really?

Are you under the impression that I can't answer all of your earlier bullet points and more the same way that you've done here?
 
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66. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 18:04 descender
 
JD... You are awfully cavalier on defining what "the story requires" and what qualifies as character motivation driving story. There is a huge difference between there being "no justification" for plot elements and you not liking what that justification happens to be (or misunderstanding it entirely).  
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65. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 17:25 jdreyer
 
Sepharo wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 05:45:
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 03:10:
Sepharo wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 01:56:

It's almost like story drives a movie.

Yes, but story shouldn't also drive the characters. Characters should drive the story.

-R2D2 runs into Jawas and gets taken to the farm that Darth Vader's son lives on, because the story needs him to.
-Obi-wan is on Tatooine, because the story needs him to be
-Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen are burned to a crisp, because the story needs them to be

and on and on

C'mon Seph, really?

- R2D2 gets captured because it's trying to fulfill it's mission to find Obiwan.
- The Jawas capture R2 because they're established as extremely effective scavengers of the Jundland wastes. It's also established there are droid scanners.
- Obiwan lives on Tatooine because of Luke: "You knew my father?"
- The jawas and Beru/Owen are killed during the Empire's desperate search for the droids. It's over the top and should have been handled differently, but the motivation to find the droids is clear.
- It's established in several scenes that Luke's desire is to leave Tatooine, so it's not strange when he agrees to go with Ben.
- Obiwan decides to help Leia because he was a Jedi and a general.
- Obiwan recruits Luke because he's too old.
- Han and Chewie agree to fly Obiwan and Luke because they're desperate for money.
- Luke decides to try and rescue the princess because her hologram gave him wood earlier in the movie.
- Han helps because money
- Moff Tarkin destroys Alderaan to demonstrate the power of the empire and destroy Leia's will.

Etc, etc. Everything flows from character motivations: Leia's desire to destroy the Empire, Vader's desire to destroy the Rebellion, R2's desire to complete his mission, Luke's desire to leave his homeworld and find adventure, Han's desire for money. And all the story pieces fit together with character motivations for the most part.

There are problems: Owen/Beru's death seems out of place when Stormtroopers aren't just randomly killing other people on Tatooine. Luke, while established as a pilot, piloting an XWing in the death star attack. Perhaps Han rescuing Luke in the end.

But these are minor. It's one thing to have a misstep here or there. It's another to have misstep after misstep the way TFA does. TFA is as frustrating as Prometheus. ANH is like Alien, structurally sound and logical for the most part.
 
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64. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 11:29 AngelicPenguin
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 03:10:
Sepharo wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 01:56:

It's almost like story drives a movie.

Yes, but story shouldn't also drive the characters. Characters should drive the story.

Funny because that was how I saw Force Awakens - the characters and their motivations drove the story and the fact that there were some familiar backdrops was just that - backdrops.
 
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63. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 10:49 descender
 
-R2D2 runs into Jawas and gets taken to the farm that Darth Vader's son lives on, because the story needs him to.
-Obi-wan is on Tatooine, because the story needs him to be
-Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen are burned to a crisp, because the story needs them to be

and on and on

Yup, pretty much. You can break down any story into ridiculously small plot points that don't make any sense if you don't like it and want to make that point.

Luke follows Han/ObiWan around by their coattails and contributes exactly once in the entire plotline of the first movie (and he knows how to fly a starfighter in space and aim without the reticle because? the story needs him to) and people are seemingly fine with ignoring that. OK... maybe twice if you count the completely unnecessary Tarzan swing scene with Leia?

StarWars movies have never been particularly well written, but people have invested a lot of time pretending that they were.

I like to see heroes struggle and earn their achievements instead of being handed them because the runtime is at X and we need to get to Y. A character should be transformed over the course of a story instead of simply moving between set pieces. I thought that they didn't strike a good balance with Rey there.
I certainly agree with that Verno, I just don't agree with the premise that it actually happened in the original trilogy. Luke shows that transformation over the entire series of movies, not so much the first one. He starts and ends the first movie basically having been handed or stumbling upon every plot point with no prior experience, training or effort... exactly like Rey.

Maybe the first movie in each series just isn't entirely about them. Empire is where you really see Luke's "arc" take place and the character starts to stand on it's own anyway.

This comment was edited on Apr 8, 2016, 11:04.
 
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62. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 09:20 Verno
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 00:54:
As far as any movie goes, I just want a good believable story. In A New Hope, the story flows from character actions and motivations. It both makes sense to us and adheres to its own internal rules.

The Force Awakens largely flips that on its head: the story is pulling the character strings.
- Rey can fix anything, because the story needs her to.
- Rey is a master pilot, because the story needs her to be.
- Finn helps Poe escape, because the story needs him to (justified, but weakly so).
- Maz has Luke's lightsaber, because the story needs her to.
- Finn battles Ren, because the story needs him to.
- R2D2 wakes up, because the story needs it to.
And on and on. Rey's one-movie arc is basically Luke's three movie arc.

Agreed. I like to see heroes struggle and earn their achievements instead of being handed them because the runtime is at X and we need to get to Y. A character should be transformed over the course of a story instead of simply moving between set pieces. I thought that they didn't strike a good balance with Rey there.

It was still a good movie and I definitely enjoyed it but I expect a lot more out of the sequel now that they've demonstrated their respect for the original material and can experiment more.
 
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61. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 05:58 Redmask
 
The old movies did it wrong too but at least they managed a convincing protagonist. Great points jdreyer.  
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60. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 05:45 Sepharo
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 03:10:
Sepharo wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 01:56:

It's almost like story drives a movie.

Yes, but story shouldn't also drive the characters. Characters should drive the story.

-R2D2 runs into Jawas and gets taken to the farm that Darth Vader's son lives on, because the story needs him to.
-Obi-wan is on Tatooine, because the story needs him to be
-Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen are burned to a crisp, because the story needs them to be

and on and on
 
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59. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 03:10 jdreyer
 
Sepharo wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 01:56:

It's almost like story drives a movie.

Yes, but story shouldn't also drive the characters. Characters should drive the story.
 
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58. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 01:56 Sepharo
 
jdreyer wrote on Apr 8, 2016, 00:54:
BobBob wrote on Apr 7, 2016, 14:19:
I would like to see a Star Wars story revolving around a scientist or engineer responsible for the space flight technology, light sabers, or droid AI. -- Oh, wait, my bad. Star Wars isn't science fiction.

Hmm... Perhaps a philosopher or theologian deeply discusses the dark and light side; interpreting its impact on life's meaning and the purpose of existence. -- Ah, nope, will confuse the target audience.

How about a Star Wars story about normal person building all those infrastructures or simply living out a day in the life. Showing how the society operates and where it's heading. -- Oh my bad, unless it's a space battle, arena setting, or long drone political speech, the universe doesn't exist in that galaxy far far away.

What's my point?

Star Trek > Star Wars


I like them both for different reasons.

As far as any movie goes, I just want a good believable story. In A New Hope, the story flows from character actions and motivations. It both makes sense to us and adheres to its own internal rules.

The Force Awakens largely flips that on its head: the story is pulling the character strings.
- Rey can fix anything, because the story needs her to.
- Rey is a master pilot, because the story needs her to be.
- Finn helps Poe escape, because the story needs him to (justified, but weakly so).
- Maz has Luke's lightsaber, because the story needs her to.
- Finn battles Ren, because the story needs him to.
- R2D2 wakes up, because the story needs it to.
And on and on. Rey's one-movie arc is basically Luke's three movie arc.

It's almost like story drives a movie.
 
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57. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 01:30 BobBob
 
Wow. Cool! I just noticed my lens replacement card. My new lenses have UV and blue light protection built in!

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56. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 8, 2016, 01:22 jdreyer
 
bigspender wrote on Apr 7, 2016, 18:03:
BobBob wrote on Apr 7, 2016, 14:19:
I would like to see a Star Wars story revolving around a scientist or engineer responsible for the space flight technology, light sabers, or droid AI. -- Oh, wait, my bad. Star Wars isn't science fiction.

Hmm... Perhaps a philosopher or theologian deeply discusses the dark and light side; interpreting its impact on life's meaning and the purpose of existence. -- Ah, nope, will confuse the target audience.

How about a Star Wars story about normal person building all those infrastructures or simply living out a day in the life. Showing how the society operates and where it's heading. -- Oh my bad, unless it's a space battle, arena setting, or long drone political speech, the universe doesn't exist in that galaxy far far away.

What's my point?

Star Trek > Star Wars


When it comes to TNG I couldn't agree more It's my favorite show ever. It's like the James Burke of sci-fi.

I would go so far and say that TNG > any series ever to date. It makes all other shows and the subjects that they deal or struggle with look very simplistic.

TNG is like Plato does sci-fi.

TNG, especially seasons 3, 4, 5 are fantastic sci fi, but they aren't the only great sci fi out there which also has depth and deals with social and political issues in a deep and mature way.

- Firefly
- BSG Seasons 1-3
- Babylon 5
- The Expanse

These are all well made and acted. They all deal with the myriad of human issues and experiences in their way while being amazingly entertaining. Yup, Star Trek is great, but it's far from the only great one.
 
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