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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams 2015)


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It definitely looks nothing like the cartoony aesthetic of the prequels and that alone is a huge boon! Those movies are second only to the Hobbit monstrosities in the pug ugly stakes.

No arguments there mate!

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Anyone else agree that Cumberbatch's lines are absolutely fine?

Yes. And I would also add that of course it's going to sound like it's from some lame fan film since it's just three lines of generic Force phraseology taken out of context. They're just...nothing. It's totally standard Star Wars dialogue.

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I'm not too positive on this one. What the trailer seems to promise looks and feels nothing like both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. The trailer somehow seems to evoke a sort of epic blockbuster atmosphere, e.g. the shaking camera, the predominantly dark colour palette, the smoke, etc. It fails to evoke any kind of nostalgia, really, and this absence of connection with the original trilogy is clear in the music as well. If it weren't for the orchestration (the Tintin-esque doubling of the string section with a vibraphone), I'd have believed the first half of the trailer wasn't scored by Williams at all.

I'm not impressed by most of the design - it's a bit of a hybrid of the design of the OT and the PT, meaning nothing new, really. The light saber is plain ridiculous, I can't believe anyone opted for it. By the way, I think the less than average quality of the CGI in some places is a shame, really. Tatooine's dune seas look awfully odd. Way to go, Disney.

What probably bothers me the most, is the inconsequential nature of the cinematography. There are some really great shots in this trailer (0:32 - 0:37, 0:45 - 0:47 and 1:00 - 1:08), but the rest is rather mediocre. Take the first shot, for example. The way it's shot has absolutely no aesthetic quality at all. The Falcon sequence, on the other hand, is phenomenally dazzling, but again, the mediocre quality of the CGI is really bothering me.

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On the crossguard saber:

It actually makes a TON of sense. Having practiced European fencing in college and Japanese kendo for the last eight years, I can tell you from practical experience that having a hand guard at the base of your blade is absolutely imperative to prevent your enemy from just sliding his sword down your blade and cutting your hand off. (It's one of the biggest complaints I have about traditional lightsabers but they're so cool I was always willing to give it a pass / that and there ARE techniques I've learned in Japanese sword fighting where you can survive without a hand guard, you just have to be extremely good and very cautious and very very very aggressive).

THE PROBLEM with the specific design we see here is that there is an individual emitter head for each laser beam that could easily be cut off thus rendering the hand guard a mood point. A better design would have been to have one emitter just like a classic Lightsaber but then have a prism or something that splits the blade in three ways but doesn't leave a gap of any kind between the main blade laser and the little crossing lasers.


THE FORCE AWAKENS (Episode VII) Discussion *SPOILER THREAD* (Page 58) - RicOlie_2 - May 18, 2014 at 10:45 PM - originaltrilogy.com forum
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The only part that concerns me slightly is the cloaked character in the forest with the "cool" lightsaber. It's rather cliche. Why does he/she need to pose to turn it on... I'm sure there's a joke somewhere in there...

I'm willing to bet that shot was just a money shot for the trailer.

I find the design to be anachronistic. Now it looks more like a futuristic broadsword or claymore.

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Can't believe people are suggesting this looks more serious and less cartoony than the prequels. If Lucas was directing, people would be hating way more. Oh yeah, that soccer droid is sooo Original Trilogy. The physics of that droid is completely Prequel in its design. The orange and teal color palette is groan inducing too.

Don't get me Wong, I'll be there opening day, and I'm still cautiously optimistic, but i have to laugh that people are judging the 30 seconds of content wedged between 60 seconds of black screen as more mature and serious than the Lucasian Prequels.

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Is it just me or does the Soccer-Ball Droid look like an aborted R2-D2 fetus? I like it.

Yes.

I think the ball is part of it.

Which is funny, R2 units have evolved so much in late years (think that the design predates the phantom menace) and the TIE fighters (and x-wings, though we have seen they are a little reworked) practically remain the same

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Had to get in on this one. Some thoughts:

- Initial impression: I liked it! It stirred the ol' SW feelings in me again. And I think it'll do that for most people, too—which is the whole point of the exercise in the first place.

- The reason it stirred those feelings was mostly the design elements. It felt more like the OT than the PT, which will forever be a good thing. I liked the speeder, loved the shot of the X-wings (and the pilot), and thought it was cool seeing stormtroopers again. Again, I think that was a big part of the point of this: to plant the seed of the idea that this will be a lot more like the OT than the PT.

- Speaking of design elements: did anyone notice they replaced the original round scanning dish Lando knocked off the Falcon during his Death Star run with a rectangular one?

- I wasn't expecting more than a few flash shots, what with the film more than a year away. People who were thinking they'd get any inkling of the actual story from this trailer were destined for disappointment. Not just because of the timing, but because of the director. J.J. likes to tease us, and a teaser's the best place to do that, yes? These guys nailed it:

This is JJ, he prefers to keep things closer to the vest then PJ.

Also, The Hobbit was based an a very well known book. Ep 7 is a completely new story.

Considering J.J. Abrams' penchant for stringent security (like the Super 8 and Star Trek teasers), I'm surprised we got more footage than I expected.

I think they're going to keep the reveals for Hamill, Fisher, and Ford for the first official photos or the next trailer.

- Some story elements, however, can be deducted from what we got here. First off, it's clear the Empire—or some leftover elements of it—is back. So it's not going to be about some kind of new threat to the galaxy, but the threat of returning to the dark times. And I'm cool with that. Second, there's going to be more conflict between the two sides of the Force. And I'm cool with that. Third, we're back on Tatooine. Again. And I'm . . . ambivalent about that. While it does help with establishing a "classic SW" vibe, why is this boonies desert planet where everything in the universe takes place. . . ?

- On the subject of the new droid:

Soccer-ball Droid like very Prequel like though

I thought exactly the same thing on first viewing. It actually brought a moment of fear. Are we really going back to that?

- On the dialogue in the teaser:

Anyone else agree that Cumberbatch's lines are absolutely fine?

Even though we've since established they're really Serkis's lines, I agree. I wasn't really paying attention to them. It's in the same vein all SW melodrama always has been. Why change gears now?

- I didn't have that much of a problem with the design of the lightsaber. Ever since Maul got both ends going, both the movies and the Clone Wars series have been looking for new, creative ways to design sith sabers. I had a much harder time with the element other people have mentioned: the blowtorch thing. Why, when you're trying to establish this is the SW universe we know and love, would you go and change such a central prop in the franchise? (Or is it possible this is something this guy built on his own, and it wound up being a bad copy or something? The fact that you can hear a real lightsaber sound effect at the very end of the trailer does suggest this might be something different.)

- I'll cop to it: I really liked what J.J. did with the Trek movies. Richard echoed my thoughts precisely:

As someone who has formerly had no interest whatsoever in Star Wars, it looks to me like JJ has done exactly what he did with Trek: take the geeky and cult nature out of it, and made it mainstream.

It looks so much more serious and real than the prequels.

I don't see why this is a problem. To believe they have to stick to late 70s/early 80s cinematography and shooting styles to keep the feel of the series intact is just silly. I'm looking forward to seeing a SW movie done in modern style. With that in mind, I thought the shot of the Falcon diving in and skimming the desert sands was pure awesome.

- I do think one thing was missing, though. As much as J.J. likes to keep his secrets (and he's entitled to them) I can't help but think that just one shot—one shot—of Luke, or Han, or maybe the three of them together, would've elevated this teaser exponentially. It would've been a much better reminder than any simple design element that we're going back there. But don't take my word for it. Replay the trailer, then pause it just after the sith dude lights his Harley. Insert (in your mind's eye) a shot of Luke turning a worried face toward the camera, or a close-up of Han pursing his lips with concern. Then start the trailer up again. Tell me that wouldn't have added a whole new level of anticipation to this thing.

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The trailer is fine. I enjoyed it. Everything, including the voice over, is out of context with the film so try not to get so bent out of shape.

The most interesting thing about it to me is that not a single shot of it takes place in space. Even the flying shots are all low to the planet's surfaces.

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Don't get me Wong, I'll be there opening day, and I'm still cautiously optimistic, but i have to laugh that people are judging the 30 seconds of content wedged between 60 seconds of black screen as more mature and serious than the Lucasian Prequels.

Please. The shots of the stormtroopers by themselves made this look more mature and serious than the prequels. Of course, it's not a very high bar to have to reach. . . .

Which is funny, R2 units have evolved so much in late years (think that the design predates the phantom menace) and the TIE fighters (and x-wings, though we have seen they are a little reworked) practically remain the same

Who says this is an R2 unit? Plenty of different droid models out there.

The most interesting thing about it to me is that not a single shot of it takes place in space. Even the flying shots are all low to the planet's surfaces.

Wow. Excellent point. Kinda takes the "stars" out of Star Wars, doesn't it?

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Did anyone else notice that the shot of the Millennium Falcon was exactly what you did when you were a kid with a Kenner Millennium Falcon.

Perhaps the wisest observation of the day. . . . ;-)

Although you actually made me think of something I hadn't considered before. These new reboots/sequels are being made by people who played this stuff when they were young. Now they're getting to play it as adults—for "real." I wonder how much of that dynamic works its way into these projects. . . .

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