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Author Topic: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)  (Read 2685 times)

Offline Marid King

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Kylo Ren is literally my salty friend who rages at videogames when he loses, but with an added predilection for fashionable masks and an emo twist. What a villain. Darth Vader has ten times more class. 
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Offline Kiniest

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 12:28:05 AM »
Kylo Ren is literally my salty friend who rages at videogames when he loses, but with an added predilection for fashionable masks and an emo twist. What a villain. Darth Vader has ten times more class.

Man, I wonder what the next "butthurt" synonym's going to be next year.

That said, I love Kylo Ren; the guy's a riot because he's exactly like that friend. His own self-delusions, arrogance, and obsession for power cause him to go above and beyond the normal teenager's dumb, emotional actions. He's like that friend if that friend was
Spoiler for Hiden:
dumb enough to straight up kill his own father as a result of his ridiculous delusions.
He's like a literal Darth Vader tryhard. What's important is that nobody else, not even the other Stormtroopers, are as insanely overbearing as this guy, which in turn makes his antics extreme entertaining. Ironically, this makes him as far from a Darth Vader-type persona as he can get.

Anyways, the counter-argument here is probably: "why would I want that kind of character as my villain for the next three movies, though?" The best answer I can come up with is: because it brings him greater potential to do even eviller, more imposing things when and if he gets out of his current phase. His temper and teenage angst is not the writers trying, right off the bat, to make a menacing villain, but a manipulated villain with the potential to lose any chance of redemption, lest he hasn't already, and become a villain of his own who, while trying to become Vader, is inspired by a different psychological motivation.

The movie itself was popcorn entertainment. I'd have preferred it if it weren't so obsessed with being A New Hope.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 12:37:29 AM by Kiniest »
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Offline Marid King

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 10:22:46 AM »
Make it bad now so we can fix it later? No way dude.

If Kylo does do the irredeemable evil route, then he's reverse Darth Vader, who started menacing and cool (and James Earl Jones), and redeemed himself for his son, thus creating one of the most famous character arcs in fiction. If there's anything to be learned here, it's that you should start strong and aim to go even higher.
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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 11:16:44 PM »
I though Kylo Ren's temper and angst went over the top too...until I saw this scene of Adam Driver performing with Oscar Isaac from Inside Llewyn Davis. Now I don't question anything.

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 11:24:19 PM »
I actually really like the Kylo Ren character.  He is not your typical villain because, as the movie takes great measures to demonstrate, he is definitely NOT Darth Vader.  I think the idea is that this menacing threat that we're perceived to have initially is, through well executed direction and writing, slowly widdled away until we realize he's just a human being with a whole lot of issues.  One thing people like bitching about is how Rey defeats him in a lightsaber duel when she's untrained and he is, at least, an aspiring Sith, but considering all the effort the movie goes through to make him less of a threat, I don't know why this is such an issue to people.  She is, for lack of a better term, the Shounen Protagonist.  She has "the touch", as it were, in talent and power with the force.  He, on the other hand, is a confused mess of frustration and underperformance, with lofty expectations and little accomplishment.  I thought he contrast was excellent, and it also gave back the "magic" to the Force, rather than it being some kind of numerical powerlevel via midiclorians.

I'm not going to say I loved everything about The Force Awakens, but I enjoyed it enough to be excited to see where they go with the story.  Rey is an interesting character, because she is a flawed hero searching for her destiny.  Kylo Ren is an interesting character, because he is a flawed villain searching for an identity.  I don't know how many movies I've seen where the main villain is just as characteristically flawed, in context of the setting, as the main hero.  It is a fascinating dynamic that I want to watch unfold over the next two films.  I imagine Movie 2 will be spent training both characters, allowing them to grow into their chosen paths, setting up the showdown in the third film.  What else comes along with that will be icing on the cake.
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Offline Reckoner

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 11:34:20 PM »
Sorry, Rey is a mary sue. Between that and the extreme amount of JJ abrams style rehashing, I just didn't like it as much as other people.

Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 11:49:04 PM »
Couldn't disagree more about Rey. I honestly thought she was the best part of the whole film. Unless JJ Abrams secretly fantasizes about being a 20 year old girl galavanting across the galaxy with Han Solo, Rey fits the hero archetype of the monomyth to a tee, which has always been at the heart of Star Wars. She's no more overpowered than Luke Skywalker was. At least we see the life that shaped her into being as improbably skilled and resourceful as she is, and it may actually be the best part of the film.

And as far as Abrams films go, I was surprised how much restraint he had compared to his other works. Or perhaps he managed to sneak the Beastie Boys in there without any of us noticing.

Offline Marid King

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2016, 12:22:19 AM »
I actually really like the Kylo Ren character.  He is not your typical villain because, as the movie takes great measures to demonstrate, he is definitely NOT Darth Vader.  I think the idea is that this menacing threat that we're perceived to have initially is, through well executed direction and writing, slowly widdled away until we realize he's just a human being with a whole lot of issues.  One thing people like bitching about is how Rey defeats him in a lightsaber duel when she's untrained and he is, at least, an aspiring Sith, but considering all the effort the movie goes through to make him less of a threat, I don't know why this is such an issue to people.  She is, for lack of a better term, the Shounen Protagonist.  She has "the touch", as it were, in talent and power with the force.  He, on the other hand, is a confused mess of frustration and underperformance, with lofty expectations and little accomplishment.  I thought he contrast was excellent, and it also gave back the "magic" to the Force, rather than it being some kind of numerical powerlevel via midiclorians.

I'm not going to say I loved everything about The Force Awakens, but I enjoyed it enough to be excited to see where they go with the story.  Rey is an interesting character, because she is a flawed hero searching for her destiny.  Kylo Ren is an interesting character, because he is a flawed villain searching for an identity.  I don't know how many movies I've seen where the main villain is just as characteristically flawed, in context of the setting, as the main hero. It is a fascinating dynamic that I want to watch unfold over the next two films.  I imagine Movie 2 will be spent training both characters, allowing them to grow into their chosen paths, setting up the showdown in the third film.  What else comes along with that will be icing on the cake.

All of that is great, but it can also be accomplished without the ridiculous teenaged angsty stuff. Kylo Ren's struggles feel fake, because we have no clue what his motivations are. As terrible as the prequels were, at least Anakin had the flimsy excuse of being scared of losing his wife. Kylo is from a royal family with famous and loving parents, a great mentor, special powers, and a great career ahead of him as one of the new Jedi. Why has he thrown all that away to follow Supreme Leader Snoke's (are you f*cking kidding me) beck and call? I'm not saying there can't be a good reason, but as long as we're in the dark, Kylo Ren comes off as the most spoiled brat in the galaxy, and is impossible for me to take seriously. 

Couldn't disagree more about Rey. I honestly thought she was the best part of the whole film...She's no more overpowered than Luke Skywalker was. At least we see the life that shaped her into being as improbably skilled and resourceful as she is, and it may actually be the best part of the film.

This statement is simply incorrect. The first time we saw the Jedi mind trick being used, it was by Obiwan, a master. IIRC, Luke's first use of the force was to block some bolts he couldn't see, and over the course of the films slowly becomes able to jump higher, and move small/medium-sized objects. Not until the third film did he finally use the mind trick. Luke saw someone do the trick first, then became capable of it years later. We also see Luke get outclassed by Vader in Empire Strikes back, and by Palpatine in Return of the Jedi.

With zero instruction: Rey beats Kylo Ren, a trained force user, in a mental battle on her first attempt, extrapolates that she can do something similar to control others, and then actually succeeds at doing it, all within 15 minutes. Holy shit. If I take this feat seriously, Rey has the potential to be stronger than Yoda and Palpatine combined. She's also a brilliant mechanic, a good pilot, a good fighter, no real personality flaws...come on. This is a mary sue.   
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 12:59:22 AM by Marid King »
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Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2016, 01:25:16 AM »
Do remember that Luke fired the most implausible shot in the universe down to the nanosecond on instinct alone. The film establishes quite early on that Rey is already skilled in mele combat and is going up against an injured Kylo Ren, who is himself only a student -and don't forget that Finn who is neither Force sensitive nor a skilled fighter managed to last a couple of minutes.

 That she could tap into the force so easily, I don't think is so unusual. It's not as if the Force only flows through those who are aware or believe in it. For all the things wrong with the prequels, that Anikan was so adept without any training does not make the list. Rey's skills were forged through life experience (and that is likely the grandchild of Darth Vader). When she pulls the lightsaber or uses the mind trick, she already had the talent within her. It was just a matter of her being in a desperate enough situation that she forced herself to focus her power.

And just to clarify, the moniker Mary Sue doesn't begin or end at being implausibly skilled or powerful. If that were the case, Paul Atreites, Aragorn, Neo, Superman, every Gundam protagonist, and Jesus of Nazareth would all fit the definition quite well. The Mary Sue is an insert power fantasy on the part of the writer that results in a poorly realized chatacter, and at no point did I think Rey was poorly realized.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 01:39:45 AM by Kavik Ryx »

Offline Marid King

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2016, 03:58:33 AM »
I don't mind the lightsaber battle, which is why I didn't mention it. Kylo Ren had been shot in the leg, etc. It's not relevant to Rey's character problems.

Quote
Do remember that Luke fired the most implausible shot in the universe down to the nanosecond on instinct alone.

The random rebel pilot who made the trench run before Luke nearly made the shot. You greatly exaggerate the difficulty here.

Quote
That she could tap into the force so easily, I don't think is so unusual. It's not as if the Force only flows through those who are aware or believe in it. For all the things wrong with the prequels, that Anikan was so adept without any training does not make the list. Rey's skills were forged through life experience (and that is likely the grandchild of Darth Vader). When she pulls the lightsaber or uses the mind trick, she already had the talent within her. It was just a matter of her being in a desperate enough situation that she forced herself to focus her power.

I don't see anything here that explains why Rey should be able to learn in 15 minutes, without instruction, what it took Luke years to learn after training with Obiwan and Yoda. If I wasn't clear, I'm not saying Rey's exploits are impossible, I'm saying they indicate that her talent dwarfs Luke's (and everyone else's) to a ridiculous extent.

Quote
The Mary Sue is an insert power fantasy on the part of the writer that results in a poorly realized chatacter, and at no point did I think Rey was poorly realized.

Whatever you want to call it, there is an example of a scene in which she was poorly realized staring you in the face.
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Offline thanosmat

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2016, 10:25:45 AM »
Rey is a Mary Sue definitely. It's not about power, it's about being perfect in everything.

I hope this is changed in the next movie.

Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2016, 12:10:22 PM »
There's an article, I think on io9, that makes my point better than I can. But I'd like to mention a few things.

1. More so than being improbably skilled and overpowered, what makes a Mary Sue a Mary Sue is the wish fulfillment element. It's the fun of having adventures with your favorite heroes. Yes Rey is fighting evil alongside Han Solo, but so are Finn and BB8, and of all of them, it's Rey who wants to do this the least. The whole movie is her rejecting the call to action, only for the call to be too great for her to resist. When she goes searching for Luke at the end, there is a real sense that she is doing so reulctanty.

2. More than being an action film, Star Wars is an epic in a very literal sense, that being the recounting of a hero's deeds. Generally there is an implausibility to each deed as to match the scale of the obstacle in their way. Odysseus had the guile to invade Troy. Coupled with his swordmanship, he kills Polythemus. He's not simply a good archer; he can shoot through 12 battle axes. His wife Penelope waits 14 years for his return. The fact of the matter is that epics are larger than life stories about larger than life characters overcoming larger than life enemies. In that Star Wars is of the same genre, Rey, by design, needs to be able to overcome the obstacles before her, otherwise she is not fulfilling her role as the epic hero.

3. It's 2015, not 1977. Had Lucas the budget and technology to make a bigger film, all signs point to him doing so. Star Wars was epic in scale for its time and budget. But TFA has been made in a world that has already seen The Dark Knignt, Avatar, and The Avengers. Our expectations have increased and thus what Rey needs to pull off needs to be more impressive to make the film exciting. And it's not as if she scales alone. Han Solo never lets her overshadow him and it's pretty much implied that Luke is going to be unimaginably powerful when we see him in action.

4. I'd rather not make this point. But I do feel like there would be less upset had Rey been male. The point I tried to make in my earlier post is that we tolerate similar characters for having similar traits. Take Indiana Jones, Batman, or James Bond. Indy is a respected university who is also a master tomb raider and marksman. Batman is a charming billionaire who also happens to be the world's greatest detective as well as an expert in hand to hand conflict. Not only is 007 a perfect shot and legendary lovemaker, he is also endowed with a liver of steel and immunity to all STIs. These traits seem to be less tolorated in female characters, which makes people quicker to throw out the Mary Sue moniker.

Edit: 5: Rey may be the most talented new character. But that doesn't detract from the others, be it Finn's heroism or Poe's piloting. For a Mary Sue, the world revolves around her. And while Rey is the protagonist, she never makes the movie all about her. Compare this to Jar Jar Binks, who, while not a Mary Sue, commits that very sin by suddenly making the movie about him and his antics every time he's on screen. It's one thing to steal the show, which I think Daisy Riddley managed to do as Rey. But it's an entirely different matter to take it at gun point.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 12:20:47 PM by Kavik Ryx »

Offline Reckoner

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2016, 12:14:46 PM »
Let's avoid the mary sue label then, it always leads down to discussions like this where we might not even agree on what the term means. I do think she is pretty much the end result of crazy feminists ruining female characters in entertainment (The fact that whatever you quoted even brings up the idea that the backlash is just because she's female only speaks to the point), but that's neither here nor there.

You bring up Anakin who is particularly gifted, but even he didn't beat the main sith of the film single-handedly in episode 1 or 2. In fact, in episode 2 he ended up losing his arm and getting rather embarrassed.

I don't mind too much that Rey is a good pilot. I don't mind that she's already seemingly a decent fighter. I do mind that she exerts such great control of the force at this point of the story. Resisting Kylo Ren's attempts to break into her mind is one thing. Actually using a Jedi mind trick though? Actually besting Kylo Ren in a battle at the end when she has nowhere near his training? This does less harm to Rey than it does to Kylo Ren who now looks like a complete noob. If one of the main villains cannot best the main character 1 on 1 in the beginning of the story, he feels little better than Team Rocket from Pokemon. Maybe Rey gets to be a larger than life character in an epic, but Kylo Ren certainly doesn't feel like one at this point.

It is not like a super adept character cannot be fun or entertaining. However, to me this wasn't a good example of it executed. They really should have avoided that Kylo Ren fight.

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Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion Thread (Beware spoilers)
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2016, 08:24:55 PM »
Yeah, the Mary Sue thing is utter horseshit.  It has become flanderized to death so it no longer holds any meaning, except to be synonymous with "I hate heroes".

I'm okay with Rey doing a Jedi mind trick.  She has heard things; she obviously knows by that point she can use the Force; and she may have gleaned things from Kylo Ren's mind when she forced the mind rape back at him (she read his mind at least a little bit).  It isn't like she just did it.  She actually failed twice before pulling it off.  It was only when she calmed and focused that she could pull it off, which is part of the point of the Force to begin with.

And, again, Kylo Ren is NOT supposed to be a badass.  He WAS, at the beginning, at least from our perspective, because we saw the mask, the red lightsaber, and him doing some cool things, and thought this was the new Sith Lord who's gonna wreck shit.  But he never was that character.  The movie goes in steps, progressively, to show that he's not that big a deal.  He has tantrums, the other First Order commander guy talks down to him (adding contrast to Vader, who would choke anybody who did), and the whole key moment of him finally taking off his mask and showing us his face is the final nail in his badass coffin.  We see not a mangled, disfigured face akin to most Sith, like Vader and Palpetine, but a boy, just a boy.  A human face with about as much intimidation factor behind it as my kittens.  The mask, the voice, the robes, the sword, the Force... he uses these things like tools to strike fear into his opponents, because he, himself, is nothing to be feared.

Sure, Han had his reasons for just walking up to his son without much fear, other than having to deal with his own anxieties over being a bad parent, but that too was supposed to be another sign that "Ben" wasn't a Sith Lord.  Do you think that if Vader had survived and come down to Endor to meet Leia that Han would just be like "okay, he's cool"?  Of course not.  Vader was still a threat who had done horrible things and was someone not to be ****ed with.  Kylo Ren was his son, and the humanistic ties between a known and beloved character in the Star Wars universe was, again, supposed to disarm us to Kylo Ren.  Of course, that ended badly for Han, in a scene that I wish they'd have shown more of Kylo's conflicted emotions about, because that would have really helped set the scenes later.

For you see, one of the things effecting the would be Vader is that he just offed his dad, got shot in chest / stomach area, and was an emotional mess.  Like Luke said to Vader "I feel the good in you; the conflict" to which Vader denied existing.  Vader was clearly not trying to kill Luke in Return of the Jedi, and that conflict turned him against the Emperor later.  Kylo is likewise conflicted, and his control of the Dark Side was probably effected.  He kept beating on his wound to try to focus his anger and his rage, to channel the Dark Side more, but it wasn't helping as much as his anguish was hurting.  Thus, it isn't so much that Rey defeated a full fledged Sith Lord without any training, but a confused mess of a human being who was injured by both Chewbacca's bolt and Finn's lucky slash.  That Finn got a lucky shot on him further demonstrates just how much a mess he was.  Maybe he was feeling arrogant and cocky and screwed up, and that failure was eating at him even more.  His confidence was in the shitter.

So, yeah, she beat him.  A relative newbie to the force, strong with it, heeding the call because she wanted to stop Kylo Ren from killing Finn and as revenge against Han Solo.  You could argue that in those moments, she too touched the Dark Side, and her desires made her strong.  Luke touched the Dark Side once, and it toppled his father.

It's like poetry, y'know, they rhyme.  I'm just saying that the whole thing makes sense with a bit of thought.  There's a lot of calls being made to stuff we saw in A New Hope, Empire, and Return of the Jedi that fit into everything we saw in Force Awakens, at least as far as the Force is concerned.  Nothing prequel was referenced, and I think Abrams wants to write that part of canon out if he can.
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