The following are my expanded thoughts on something I wrote in a discussion thread on this movie. I've noticed that many fans are going in the same direction so I wanted to get my thinky-thoughts out before reading more of anyone else's. I may update this post once or twice more as things take shape so check back.
Spoiler Alert Ahead! If you haven't seen the movie and don't want to know what happens, stop reading now. If you don't care, read on Garth. For a good summary of The Force Awakens see here, here and here.
I enjoyed the film as much as anyone else. John Scalzi wrote that a good indication of whether it is enjoyable (I'm paraphrasing here) is if you make it through the film without stopping to nitpick. I probably had that in mind while watching and I was kinda annoyed with the whole
Death Star Starkiller Base segment.
Starkiller Base Planet
The first time we see this weapon, General Hux orders it fired, which sends beam of energy into space that fragment and streak toward multiple Republic planets! From the planet that Maz Kantana's temple/bar is on, everyone observes with only their naked eyes several planets being destroyed, presumably in the same solar system.
I'm all for suspending disbelief and taking some liberties with physics to make a scene work, but this was a total abuse of Hollywood Physics. If just one planet in our system were to explode, all the others would fall out of orbit and life as we know it would be O-ver. That green tropical planet everyone is one suddenly becomes New Hoth.
Fans are pointing out that it doesn't make sense that the Resistance and the Republic are two separate entities fighting the New Order, which is essentially the remnants of the Empire. My theory is that they glossed over this because Star Wars is for children, first and foremost. Therefore it probably is not the best use of creative resources to develop a plausible political structure of what the galactic government landscape is post-Empire since its just going to be backdrop anyway. Besides a lot of that has been explained in the Extended Universe, which technically is no longer Star Wars Cannon, Abrams et al are pulling from it liberally when it suits their needs.
Random Thoughts, Observations and Unanswered Questions
Lightsabers: I'm so pleased they figured out a way to hurt wound people without actually severing a hand or arm. In another thread we are debating whether you have to be a jedi to use a lightsabers. The answer is not at all, it just helps. General Grievous used lightsabers quite well and was not a Jedi
The Force: in the prequels it seemed like the Force was so powerful it turned Jedis into god like wizards. I'm glad to see it scaled back a bit.
Who is Rey: Perhaps Luke's daughter. I really hope they don't make her the sister of Kylo. when Han and Leia talk about their son they don't mention other children and as a parent of twins I got to tell you, that isn't natural. I suppose they could be under the impression that she died instead of being left on Jakku. They could have shown her to be more Force-adept, perhaps when she is scavenging she could drop a tool or part and use the force to lift it back.
In the beginning, Poe shoots Kylo Ren from afar and Kylo captures the shot. At the end of the movie, Chewbacca shoots Kylo from afar and nails him. Probably because he's distracted by having killed his father and all the baggage that comes with that. [Holidays will be awkward to say the least.]
I liked what I did see of Poe. He doesn't strike me as a Han reboot but instead as a seasoned warrior who wants to be where the action is. He was on an important mission at the start of the film and he was part of the battle of planet ice at the end.
- Finn: could be a relative of Lando or Windu or just a random newbie.
- In ANH Luke watches Ben sacrifice his life. In TFA Rea sees Han do pretty much the same thing.
- in the OS, you have Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbecca. In this one we have Rey, Poe, Finn and Chewbacca.
- how does a base that big with that many storm troopers have so many empty corridors for Rae to sneak around unnoticed anyway?
- did we really need that gun fight with the smugglers?
- Why does C3Po have a red arm? And who was the old man who was killed in the beginning? Apparently he has a backstory that we didn't get much of from the movie.
Well we just have to wait until May 2017 for Episode VIII.