xparrot: Chopper reading (books)
[personal profile] xparrot
Star Wars 7 - the first Star Wars movie with a numbering that will make sense to everyone!

Star Wars is one of my first and core fandoms, it's got a bunch of tropes that I honestly don't know if I loved them all along and Star Wars was the first place I saw them, or I love them because I imprinted on Star Wars. (I'm talking about the original trilogy here of course, the movies I still have mostly memorized - if not to the extent I had as a kid, in which my sibs and I once recited the entirety of Empire Strikes Back during a long car ride.)

As for the latest outing - I've been wary about it, but I still had to go opening night. And...

I was not disappointed! I really was not! Which, after the letdown of the prequels, after all the ridiculous hype now, after what JJ Abrams wreaked upon my equally beloved Star Trek - my expectations were set as low as I could make them, and the movie sailed right over them joyfully!

The best thing I can say about it is that my eight-year-old self would've loved this movie. I'd love to go back in time and tell her that yes, those sequels you're dreaming about will happen in the 2010s, just like you've been imagining.

As for the present me? I definitely liked it. I'm not sure I loved it, and I'm not sure I can quite accept it as new Star Wars; it felt more like filmed fanfic. Said filming itself is beautiful, preserving the feeling of the original films while not feeling that old-fashioned. And the callbacks were hilariously constant, but apt and often pretty clever - the movie is pretty much a highlights reel of the original trilogy. Which makes the most interesting thing about it what comes next - where does the story go from here, now that it's indulged our nostalgia?

The greatest improvement over the prequel trilogy - all the characters are as likable as in the original. They're not unique characters, but they're fun and cool and I want to see more with all of them. They're great archetypes and that's great. Rey is totally a Mary Sue (and totally Luke's daughter, she has to be, putting aside the lightsaber, the only way that amount of Force powers makes sense is if she's a Skywalker who might have been trained at a very young age) which I did not mind in the slightest because she is the Jedi smuggler pilot my eight-year-old self wanted to be. Finn is sweet and heroic and funny and awesome, cute with Rey and with Poe (who totally is crushing on this adorable young renegade Stormtrooper, awww)(and there are already 22 fics for Finn/Poe on AO3. Thank you fandom, I <3 you.) And the new droid is the cutest little ball of droid.

The most daring thing about the movie is maybe the villain. As the brother said, the creators took a risk there: knowing that no matter what, their villain was going to be seen as a Vader-wannabe, they...went ahead and made him a Vader-wannabe, an emo try-hard with a cute little rip-off helmet and massively overcompensating light-claymore, who's actively fighting his Light side because he wants so bad to be so bad. I'm dying to know what the fandom reaction to Kylo Ren is going to be. He's practically a Loki parody, except not as hot as the usual fangirl bait villain? Which I can't decide if that's a weird choice or brilliant. Hands-down the most unexpected scene in the movie is when Rey dares him to take off the mask - and he actually does, and the villain is that.

(Okay, fine, I actually really liked Kylo Ren, he's my sort of completely pathetic-not-sympathetic villain. And the actor has a great physical presence with the costume and mask, totally different from Vader. So curious if woobieness will win out over the homeliness - which isn't a knock on the actor, they could've made him up to be much hotter and they didn't, I wonder why. I also so want his Tumblr where he complains about not being able to find black enough hair dye and collecting the full set of Imperial trading cards and how his parents don't understand him.)

And he killed Han Solo! Which I'd be more upset about if I actually felt it. Oh, Han's actual death is nicely dramatic (and so hilariously perfectly paralleled both to Vader vs Kenobi in A New Hope and Luke vs Vader in Empire, while doing its own thing - so Abrams can actually do homages right, if he cares about the source enough; it was as successful here as the Wrath of Khan retread in ST Into Darkness was a failure). But it's so telegraphed, and there's so little aftermath that it lacks emotional weight. There's no send-off, no sense that we've said farewell to one of our ultimate childhood heroes. Maybe that was intentional, either to soften it, or draw it out into the later movies. But it's one of the reasons the movie felt so like fanfic to me, like a fun story but not 'what really happened'.

Otherwise the past characters were handled beautifully, they felt like themselves. The one thing I was most worried about was Han/Leia, as one of my formative OTPs - I didn't want to see them broken up, but having both of them retreating like this after what happened to their son but still clearly loving each other - that works for me. And gah, Luke at the end was such a tease. Would like that next movie now, please!

ETA the next day, when I'm a bit more awake - Artoo and Threepio were also so cute. And Chewie! And I'm so hoping the guy who plays Finn is a SW fanboy - hope everyone is, really, but him especially, he got to be a Stormtrooper AND wield a lightsaber and Chewbacca carried him to safety, just, he had it all!

Also, Poe Dameron is totally Ace Rimmer.

Date: 2015-12-18 11:33 pm (UTC)
naye: luffy from one piece making yay-arms (\o/ luffy)
From: [personal profile] naye
!!!!!!!!!!!!

YES.

NEECHAN.

Were you in my brain today?!?!?

This is 100% (not 99% - 100%) my reaction to the movie!! Every little bit of it!! Including thoughts on Han's death and Han/Leia and Poe and everything!

Awww, I loved how Han and Chewie were running around like fond but tired teachers herding excited little kids on a school trip?

OH and one of the best CLEARLY SOMEONE'S FANFIC moment was when the writers had Rey best Kylo Ren and they all look at each other and go "But why doesn't she end him...?" And one of them goes "!!! I GOT IT. GENIUS! Because THE GROUND OPENS BETWEEN THEM" and it's just so over the top and beautiful. ♥

Speaking of lack of emotional impact: five planets (I think?) blew up? Basically all of the New Republic?? EVERYONE'S FRIENDS AND FAMILIES ARE DEAD? But they're all really cool with that because uh. Those were just extras...? Oh well?

But yeah. A highlights reel of the original - that's what I was trying to explain to Skuld. (She got totally hung up on the "using the power of the sun" thing and started ranting about fission and science and I'm all HONEY IT'S STAR WARS. Star Wars has never been about the science!)

Date: 2015-12-18 11:43 pm (UTC)
ext_3572: (Default)
From: [identity profile] xparrot.livejournal.com
Awwww and eeee - I was just reading your pre-seeing-it post and was so wondering what you would think! :D So wish we could've seen this one together! I really did enjoy it - omg, the OTT of the ground opening up, haaah yes (actually that fight was one of my more favorite scenes just because "snowy forest" - and Luke on Galapagos or wherever - are the only settings that weren't directly lifted from the previous movies...)

Han and Chewie as field trip chaperons, ahahah yes exactly! They were so cute doing it - I was worried that they were going to be making fools of themselves, being so much older, but they had so much comedy and sweetness and just, aww. It was really good fanfic :)

Hahahah Matt is the opposite of his usual science self with Star Wars, we were talking after about how the heck could you SEE all the planets of the New Republic getting blown up...like, were they in the same solar system??? With Maz's planet? which for some reason wasn't targeted???? And Matt was just, well, in Empire Strikes Back they can get to multiple systems with the Falcon's sublight engines, OBVIOUSLY things are a lot closer together in the Star Wars galaxy! XD

(and then we started this long ridiculous theory about how Kylo Ren is on a DEEEEP COVER mission and the planets were actually evacuated before exploding...)

Also, I just added a quick ETA to my post, since I wrote it at 5 AM and left out some stuff - but the most important bit which you at least will get, is it just me or is Poe Dameron actually Ace Rimmer? Like, 100% Ace Rimmer!
Edited Date: 2015-12-18 11:45 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-12-19 12:05 am (UTC)
naye: the going merry go on blue waters with the words "follow your dreams" (barto <3)
From: [personal profile] naye
Poe Dameron - WHAT A GUY.

XD

I am so tired - it's been a long week and a long Friday and I'm trying to finish a tiny ficbic for my darling wife - but I am also full of ALL CAPS because of all the bits I loved about it.

The islands looked very northern UK to me - I just looked them up because I was curious, and apparently the main one is the Irish Skellig Michael. Gorgeous! I loved it!

I also really, really loved seeing a woman do so much action stuff and having an actual Hero's Journey (while fully clothed!!) and getting herself out of captivity and snapping at the guy who wants to drag her along by the hand? And I equally loved seeing a hero who wasn't white - every time either of them were on screen I felt this glow of yes, this. Oh oh oh and Leia hugging Rey at the end? LEIA. I was so so happy to see Leia. Still a general. Still leading people. And I wish I'd seen her, too, mentor Rey and Finn... But she's around for the next couple of movies, so there's hope!

Oh man and my inner 12-year old was the saddest at Han's death, going "...maybe he's not really dead from stabbing?" and then he falls from the bridge and I'm like "Luke survived worse!" and then THE ENTIRE PLANET EXPLODES and I'm all "I think JJ's trying to tell me something but I don't know what..."

Also: have crush on Poe; Poe has crush on Finn. Loved their hug.

Date: 2015-12-19 12:35 am (UTC)
ext_3572: (omg (donna))
From: [identity profile] xparrot.livejournal.com
Ahhh, UK islands makes sense! The lack of sheep threw me off XD But yes, nice to see different settings.

And so nice to have a heroine like that! Totally the heroine you want to be - a scrappy fighter who's also an amazing pilot who also has super Force powers, and is also an abandoned orphan - that's pretty much all my young fantasy selves rolled into one. And Leia hugs her!

--And yes she stays dressed! I was astonished she didn't in front of a guy once, that must be a first for JJ Abrams (I credit Disney with reining him in...)

We were making all sort of jokes about how Han could've survived, though really it's clear as soon as you see Leia feel it - you can't fool the Force. But it was just so fast, and so like how Ben (Kenobi!) dies in ANH, and it's not like Ben actually stays gone, so...maybe the next movie I'll feel it, but this time around it just doesn't feel like HAN SOLO died. Admittedly Han is such a huge part of my childhood mythos I don't know if it's really possible to kill him; he's basically a god in my internal canon?

I half-expected Poe to tell Finn, "Smoke me a kipper." But yes, SO crushing on him. The whole escape scene, when Poe is all "Yay you're doing great! :D :D :D" and wanting him to keep the jacket. And the hug, yes (so many hugs! loved the hugs! The friendship between the characters is so like original SW.) J-chan actually is wondering at the chances they could actually make Poe gay, given the clear push for inclusivity here (the non-white hero is really awesome. Also so many women on both the good and evil sides! Female X-wing pilots, female Imperial officers and stormtroopers and just, ahhh, thank you!)(also did Phasma actually die on the planet or is she coming back? Because if she was seriously dumped in a trash compactor and killed off-screen, booooo, that's not how you handle a named villain. I'm assuming she's going to return all badass and pissed off. Admittedly they did have a surfeit of villains in this movie, but...)

...Thinking about it, I actually would like to see it again, maybe even in the theater. Which considering I've never once had that feeling about any of the prequels...it feels so good to be excited about something Star Wars :D

Date: 2015-12-20 05:03 am (UTC)
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
From: [personal profile] sholio
EEEEEEEEEEE. We just got back from seeing it! :D And I think what both you and [livejournal.com profile] naye said, about this being the Star Wars sequel that my inner child-self wanted and needed ... YES. (I actually told Orion, walking out of the theater, that this is the Star Wars sequel I've waited 25 years for -- it is actually AMAZING how closely the movie's general tone and feel and even some of the specifics of the plot dovetails with the sequels I used to imagine as a teenager.) It's ridiculously OTT and I don't know how I actually feel about the plot OR about Han's death, but it just made so incredibly happy in so many ways. ♥ ♥ ♥

.... Well, okay, I know that I would be devastated over Han's death if I let myself, especially that the main trio apparently was estranged for years and never even got to be reunited -- but then I remind myself that the way he died really couldn't have been more "Gandalf and the Balrog" if they'd tried, and therefore FANFIC IS FOR FIXITS, someone get on that. IT'S NOT REAL DEATH UNTIL YOU HAVE A BODY AND THE BODY IS COLD, la la la la la noooooope.

But anyway, I literally got tears in my eyes when the music and the scrolling intro started up at the beginning. It feels like the prequel movies were just this ... idk, weird sidetrack thing, and THIS IS THE REAL SEQUEL and I am getting to see a sequel trilogy in the theater with all the original actors and AMAZING new characters and IT'S SO GREAT. :D

I'm also thrilled that I got to experience it almost 100% unspoiled, because the trailers really don't spoil ANYTHING and I was amazed by that -- you know that Finn and Rey are going to be major characters, and Han and Chewie show up at some point, and that's literally ALL YOU KNOW. So I got to be surprised and delighted by characters like Poe (who isn't even in the trailer, I don't think!) and by the reveal on who the main bad guy is, and so on and so forth. Also, I'd assumed a Finn/Rey pairing from the trailer, and I'd be fine if it goes that way, but as it stands this movie was 100% canon-romance-free, aside from the nods to the established Han/Leia pairing from the previous movies, and I was delighted with that too.

... I'm so excited about Star Wars again! And I wish that there wasn't SO MUCH background canon that I'm not up on, because I basically want all the fic about what's been going on in the last decade or so, and reunion/fixit fic for Han's death, and I may have to write it if I can't find it. :P

Date: 2015-12-20 09:25 am (UTC)
ext_3572: (Default)
From: [identity profile] xparrot.livejournal.com
I am still coming to terms with having a new Star Wars movie that I don't hate! It's such a weird feeling!

The opening scroll, that was just so strange, to sit there going Right! I actually have to read this!

Han's death is...I am honestly not sure if it's to the movie's credit or a failing, that I haven't heard anyone say they cried over it, even though it should be incredibly sad. For me, I think the movie is just distant enough from the Star Wars in my fangirl soul that I see it as an AU or fanfic or something...in "my" Star Wars Han and Leia and Luke all live happily ever after, always!

In the movie itself, I think a fixit is pretty hard - despite the no body rule of fiction, Leia felt Han die, and you can't really fool the Force. It's not impossible to get around (she just felt his pain and trauma, or even that her reaction was actually to feeling Ben/Kylo Ren fully fall to the dark side...) but it takes some thought.

...that being said the sibs and I spent a couple hours after the movie plotting a cracktastic theory about how Ben Solo is actually on a deeeeeep cover infiltration mission, and Chewie picked up Han in the Falcon and he was hiding in the smuggler hold on the flight back...

(I'm still hoping that even if Han is dead, we might see him again, considering that canonically Jedi at least have an afterlife. And if Luke did lose a bunch of his students (and maybe the mother of his daughter???) he's probably gotten a lot of practice communing with the other side, so can at least see Han a bit. That they didn't get a goodbye is too sad. Especially because the way Han reacted to Luke's name, he still loved him despite everything...)

The trailers were really good at not spoiling! I actually spent the whole movie thinking Poe was going to die because I'd never heard anything about him myself, so was very pleasantly surprised that not only did he live but he's on track to be the third part of the new triumvirate! (...which better not go into a love triangle, UNLESS they actually make Poe gay, a triangle with Finn in the center would tickle me all kinds of colors! :D)

Like you, I think the best thing I can say about it is that my kid-self would've loved this movie - and the second best thing is that I'm actually really looking forward to the next one!

Also, in terms of canon, you don't have almost any catch-up to do - this movie officially pushed aside the ENTIRE extended universe. The only actual "canon" now is the 7 movies and a few current comic runs. Everything else (in which Leia and Han had 3 kids, none named Ben, though one did go dark side) is all an AU or something. Some fans are understandably miffed but it does open the playground...
Edited Date: 2015-12-20 09:27 am (UTC)

*sneaks in* ...

Date: 2015-12-27 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-am-zan.livejournal.com
uhh.. hi , and uh Merry Christmas and uhmm here ... via naye and I too just saw it . and wanted to say hello and bask in the love of the film that is the sequel I've waited since I was ten to watch for.

My father basically at the time saw a huge queue forming round the block from the cinema decided to join it and buy tickets. He had no idea what it was for. He was lucky, managed to get six tickets for the family (but we had to be split up three and three) back in 1977. (yes I'm that old ^__^)

Ten year old me was completely blown away. I didn't know then how much it would impact my life. I know now and 48+ yr old me was completely blown away ... and the feels are so much more than I can put in any words and I came here to read and just say yessss to everything everyone has said and I couldn't have said it better, any more or less.

I loved it so much. SO VERY MUCH!

- ps Please do pass along my Merry Christmas wishes and Happy New Year greetings to your mom. ^__^ -with much love from Zan (and her family)

*sneaks off*

Re: *sneaks in* ...

Date: 2015-12-28 10:39 pm (UTC)
ext_3572: (Default)
From: [identity profile] xparrot.livejournal.com
Hee, yes, the best part of the movie was how it managed to invoke in us the feel of the previous films - specifically the feel we had when we were kids and this was all new (or old because of how many times we watched it...!) It's genuinely impressive and so much fun. I'm really looking forward to seeing it again, see whether it plays as good the second time.

Holiday greetings to you too, and I'll pass on yours to Mom next time we talk! :D

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