December 29 2015 Episode 15: Spoler Alert: The Force Awakens!

We managed to squeak another episode in before the end of the year:

Comments

Episode 15: Spoler Alert: The Force Awakens! — Kirkman Fri Jan 01 2016 08:17 pm CST

I just took my kids to see Star Wars as well. Overall I thought it was a fun, engaging movie.

I agree with Deuce that backstory was lacking, but I think his was mistaken about Rey. He said she doesn't talk about her family until late in the film, but that's not right. She explains it to BB-8 early on when they go into town together. Much of her backstory is told visually through hints, like the scratching that DM mentioned, or the rag doll which looked like an X-Wing pilot (a memory of Luke?), or the vision sequence later.

Anyway, the larger point stands. There isn't much exposition in this movie. That helps the film move along at a brisk pace, but does leave a ton of unanswered questions.

In that way, it reminds me a lot of Abrams' two Star Trek movies. Very fast-paced, very fun and emotional, but the stories don't hold up to a ton of scrutiny.

Oh, and I want to quibble with Deuce's point about George Lucas. Love him or hate him, he gets sole credit for writing and directing the original 1977 Star Wars film. It can (and should) be argued that the film was greatly strengthened by his editors (including his wife), but you can't say he didn't write and direct it.

I think Deuce may have had in mind Empire and Jedi. After the exhausting experience of making Star Wars, and having founded several new big companies (particularly ILM), Lucas asked Irvin Kershner (his professor in film school) to direct Empire.

He offered Jedi to David Lynch and David Cronenberg, but both turned him down. He settled on Richard Marquand, and apparently sort of hovered over Marquand during filming.

--Josh


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Episode 15: Spoler Alert: The Force Awakens! — Deuce Sat Jan 02 2016 12:55 pm PST


I agree with Deuce that backstory was lacking, but I think his was mistaken about Rey. He said she doesn't talk about her family until late in the film, but that's not right. She explains it to BB-8 early on when they go into town together. Much of her backstory is told visually through hints, like the scratching that DM mentioned, or the rag doll which looked like an X-Wing pilot (a memory of Luke?), or the vision sequence later.

Hinting at something is not exposition though, it's more waggling your eyebrows and saying "I wonder what's behind the curtain." Just like how TV episode previews will try to give you hints that don't actually reveal what really happens, one needs to assume that most of the things you expect are wrong.

Anyway, the larger point stands. There isn't much exposition in this movie. That helps the film move along at a brisk pace, but does leave a ton of unanswered questions.

It never slows down, the heros are clearly better than the villans the whole time and there's no concern that they might lose.

Oh, and I want to quibble with Deuce's point about George Lucas. Love him or hate him, he gets sole credit for writing and directing the original 1977 Star Wars film. It can (and should) be argued that the film was greatly strengthened by his editors (including his wife), but you can't say he didn't write and direct it.

The only thing I said he didn't write was the book. As for directing, by all accounts, he tried to take over art and cinematograpy to the point where the studio had to back the people that were hired to do that.

Regarding direction to the actors, he was mostly hands off with the occasional "faster" and "more intense".

He did direct it, but he was overridden a lot in his choices, so it wasn't just editors. From all accounts, if his direction had all been followed, it would have been a worse movie.