Rogue One vs. The Force Awakens

Discussion in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' started by Erzengel, Dec 27, 2016.

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Which Star Wars movie did you like better?

  1. Rogue One

  2. The Force Awakens

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  1. Grootster

    Grootster Dancing Tree

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    I don't really see how the ending was fanservice. The Vader scene was about 30 seconds long and not nearly as long or drawn out as it could have been, his role seemed in character for him. As for the rest of the battle, a lot of fan-favorite vehicles and whatnot do appear, but it makes sense for the time period, that's like complaining that WW2 vehicles are fanservice in a movie set during WW2.

    I've just never understood why people complain that Rogue One has too much fanservice. Aside from Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan, everything felt appropriate, the film even made attempts at adding new vehicles and tech.

    Bringing X-wings and Tie Fighters back 30 years later for TFA was the pure definition of fanservice.
     
  2. moreorless

    moreorless Registered

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    She does probably crystallise the mind-set grown out of modern abbrams/marvel style blockbusters very well for me. Her opinions seem very simplistic indeed with no real room for subtly of character at all expecting big moments were some massive shift in character happens infront of her eyes to the degree "character development" text could flash up on screen in big letter python style...

    [YT]RicaXxiU1WM&t=4m48s[/YT]

    Youtube reviewers tend to go with the rep of ESB as the best film of the saga but my feeling is if they were actually shown it cold they would tend to be negative about it for the same reasons since it develops its character acts in a similar fashion.

    Like Rogue One it depends on a much subtler more realistic character depiction. Comments along the lines of "Jyn saved a girl therefor Jyn is good already!" completely miss the boat at what the film was aiming for IMHO. Just as it was never really in question that Leia did care about Han it was also never really in question that Jyn did have a potentially selfless side to her. That we see rather is her moving past a more cynical and repressed state.

    The girl in the battle represents a situation that's very hard to be cynical or repressed about, she's likely to die right infront of Jyn and the potential for her to be saved by running over is very clear. The potential on the other hand for Jyn to become involved in the wider conflict is much easier to be cynical about, the Empire is too powerful to appose, the rebels are just as bad and the the people being harmed by it are much more distant anyway.

    In a more everyday context for example its the difference between running into the road to save a child from being knocked down by a car and signing up to work as an aid volunteer in some dangerous war torn country. I'm guessing most people would do the former if in that situation but we find it much easier to supress the desire to do the latter.
     
    #127 moreorless, Aug 22, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  3. LaughterLives

    LaughterLives Registered

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    Rogue One. Cuz it didn't feel like a Star Wars movie and was actually a good movie with characters I could relate to.
     
  4. Grootster

    Grootster Dancing Tree

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    Just rewatched Rogue One again, I just can't get over how amazing this movie is. The attention to detail is great, and it fits in perfectly with the look and feel of the Star Wars universe. I love how they didn't feel the need to modernize it and make it "hip" for the modern youth (cough cough, "cute boyfriend"). Things like cinematography and SFX have obviously improved since the OT was made, but at heart Rogue One feels very retro and very 70s, which is great. (In some ways it feels even older, like a 40s WW2 movie.) More importantly than visual aesthetics; the acting, dialog, and writing also feels very traditional to me. Nothing feels too "in your face" or like the filmmakers or actors were trying to play to general audience. It feels like it was made by smart people who aren't talking down to their viewers (which is pretty rare in modern Hollywood).

    I honestly don't get why some people say the first half or two-thirds is slow and boring. Yes it's slower paced than a lot of other modern explosion-fest blockbusters, but it keeps moving and never drags too long. I'll probably take flack for saying so, but I find the "boring" half of this movie more watchable than some of the Dagobah stuff from ESB or the Endor stuff from ROTJ. Not that those are necessarily poorly done, but I find those segments slow down those movies far more than anything in Rogue One.

    I'll probably rewatch TFA closer to the release of TLJ, I'll post my thoughts on it when I do, and make a more updated comparison between RO and TFA
     
  5. Brother Jack

    Brother Jack The Penitent Man

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    The problem isn't that it's slow, it's the lack of focus. It jumps from location to location without enough of a connective throughline. The way it sets Jyn up is awkward and the team formation is contrived. It would've been better served if the film started out with the team already intact; there were too many characters to introduce properly and bring together.
     
  6. Snow Queen

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    It's so poorly assembled for that first act after the opening, only really coming together once Jedha's attacked. It never really sticks with a character for long enough for them to make much of an impact and what is there is often quite poorly done like just telling us what Jyn's personality is supposed to be, awkward editing choices like the little 20 seconds of Jyn in prison before jumping elsewhere, spending three different scenes to give us the same information that could have just been delivered in one. It's really inefficient with it's space and the weak foundation hurts the whole film.
     
    #131 Snow Queen, Oct 29, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  7. DarthSkywalker

    DarthSkywalker May the Force Be With You

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    I definitely agree with this. The first act plays out in such a sloppy way, it is clear this movie was "put together". The Jyn in prison bit always sticks out to me, and how they jump around in general before the attack on Jedha.

    I enjoy Rogue One. Not as much as I originally did, but still quite a bit and a lot more then the other prequels. But there is very much a slapped together nature to it, that gets emphasis in moments like when Baz calls Jyn little sister. Like they have some sort of relationship.

    Also I think it is telling that the most compelling part of the finale is the space battle. This would be like if Luke/Vader/the Emperor was somehow eclipsed by the other scenes. Or Rey vs. Kylo. The emotional core of Rogue One is weak and that is down to the problems with the narrative.
     
  8. AVEITWITHJAMON

    AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    I like Rogue One a lot but I have to agree with those criticisms, it only really find its feet in the 2nd half of the movie and that’s because it’s too busy introducing so many elements in the first half.

    The 2nd half is amazing though I will give it that. Overall though TFA is a much more satisfying experience for me. I re-watched it again recently and still got goosebumps in all the same places.
     
  9. Iceman

    Iceman Daffy Duck Vs The Joker

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    It definitely gets better in the 2nd half.
     
  10. Micromind

    Micromind New World New Rules

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  11. Grootster

    Grootster Dancing Tree

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    I just rewatched TFA, and as promised here are my updated thoughts on it.

    Positives

    I like the first third (or maybe half) a quite a bit. It's far from flawless, but it captures an interesting and engaging atmosphere. The movie starts small and builds into something bigger, which is great. I like the focus on the characters and the introduction to them. There are a lot of moments on Jakku and soon after that just let the audience breathe and absorb the settings and characters. I feel like the Prequels were too focused on jumping into grand situations and conflicts, and they forgot to sit down and establish likable characters that the audience could relate to. for the most part, the characters in TFA feel like real people who have nuanced personalities, at least more nuanced than some of the people in the prequels. The characters are pretty fun and enjoyable, none of them are annoying. I feel like Kylo Ren especially deserves to be recognized as a great character. He's not just a faceless bad guy with a scary voice, he's a conflicted guy trying to live up to a legacy.

    I like the visuals a lot. I'll give credit where credit's due, JJ Abrams knows how to move a camera. One thing that especially stands out to me is the use of color and lighting. spaceship engines feel bright and warm, so do lightsabers. The composition of shots is also good. I actually really like the visual style of this movie. It combines the classic look of the OT with newer tech that holds up for modern audiences. Rogue One's retro style works great as a period piece, but I'll admit that TFA's updated look probably works better for the main series.

    Most of the comedy works well, and I actually appreciate that they used some form of restraint. This may seem weird to say since a lot of people claim there's too much humor in TFA; I do understand the complaint (especially in comparison to the other SW films), but compare this to other sci-fi like Thor: Ragnarok and you'll see that this is more restrained than they could have gone [Edit: After watching Ragnarok for a second time, I realize that movie knows what it is in terms of humor far more than TFA does). I could just picture a version of this movie that has Luke saying something comedic before they cut to credits or something, but the fact that they kept that a serious moment was great (and necessary). There may be a couple too many jokes, but I feel like the humor is pretty well balanced overall. The funny moments are funny, the serious moments are serious.

    I like the lightsaber fight at the end, there's a real weight to it and I love the way the lightsabers illuminate the environment and impact the trees. I like the return to practical effects (both in this franchise and in the larger scope of Hollywood), it really shows. Overall, TFA is a lot of fun to watch, and moves along pretty well. Small things like Poe's "whoo hoo" during several scenes really make this movie stand out from the dullness and lifelessness of something like Attack of the Clones. It has much more humanity and energy to it.

    Negatives

    I don't like the story direction. I know this is probably a weird complaint since fixing it would require scrapping this entire movie and pretty much everything in it, but it's honestly one of the main things I take issue with. This movie should have started with Luke having a fully functioning Jedi academy, Han and Leia being happily married, and the New Republic firmly established (and not just mentioned offhand here and there); then bringing in a new villain that threatens to tear it all down. Now we've lost the chance to ever see the original cast together again, and it doesn't really feel like a continuation of ROTJ's story. I'm fully in favor of telling a new story, but I feel like the plot could have benefited from taking some notes from the old EU novels (especially since it already seemed to take inspiration in some places). The filmmakers should have sat down and said "where would these characters and the galaxy be 30 years after Return of the Jedi?" Instead they focused on resetting everything to basically the way it was during ANH, which I don't like. I actually feel like the backstory to TFA was more interesting than what happens in the movie itself. Even if I ignore what could have been and just analyze the story as it is, the current story doesn't thrill me. It doesn't seem like a cohesive narrative as much as it just seems like "this happens and then this happens." It feels like someone in the studio came up with a "checklist of things that needs to happen in the movie" (most of which are callbacks to the OT), and the storytellers just strung together a sequence of events to make those beats happen.

    The character motivations don't make a whole lot of sense to me. This movie is filled with people making bizarre decisions, and it's hard to judge exactly where the characters stand. One scene that always jumps out to me is the scene where Finn switches sides. Finn's Stormtrooper buddy is shot, and this seems to be the moment that freaks him out and causes him to rethink his allegiance. But it was Poe who shot his buddy! Shouldn't this cause him to hate Poe, not his own team? Even if he didn't know it was Poe specifically, this still gives him no reason to turn against his own people. What's even more bizarre is that later in the movie Finn guns down his own squad-mates (and defenseless people in the control tower) without remorse as him and Poe escape in the Tie Fighter. Sadly the movie is filled with this kind of logic.

    I talked a lot about Rey's character a few pages back. I do think she makes more sense then I may have initially given her credit for, but I still stand by a lot of those complaints. She gets a lot of development during the part on Jakku and directly after (even if some of it is questionable) and during that part she feels like a solid main character, but I feel like she's just reduced to a tagalong after Han Solo is introduced. If I only watched the second half of the movie, I'm not even sure I'd recognize her as the protagonist (until maybe the lightsaber fight). She didn't really do anything significant on Starkiller base except free herself and have a lightsaber fight, both of which were in self-defense. Contrast this to the Death Star scene in ANH, where Luke is the driving force behind rescuing Leia, helping the gang escape the trash compacter, and blowing it up later on (he's also eager to help the whole time). Rey doesn't have the same camaraderie with her teammates that made the original cast so fun, and she doesn't seem extremely eager or charismatic (aside from a couple choice moments). She's not the worst protagonist ever, but I feel like they needed to work with her character a bit more.

    A lot of small things and details in this movie annoy me. It's sad to say because I do feel like there's also a lot of good stuff in the details, but there's also a lot of silly stuff. Han's never tried Chewie's gun during all the years they've been friends? (Not to mention that running joke never has a payoff.) BB-8's thumbs up was a really cute idea, but why did he pull out a lighter in the middle of a gas leak? What was the point of that gas leak scene in the first place, it never had a payoff? These could be brushed off as jokes, but this is also true of major events in the movie. Why do Finn and Poe take out the easy-to-dodge lasers on the Star Destroyer, but don't bother to take out the guided missiles? Well, because the story wouldn't have been able to progress if they did. I understand all movies take liberties with internal logic to make what's happening on-screen more interesting, but there's so much of this kind of thing in TFA that it gets distracting. I feel I can't go five minutes in this movie without asking "why the heck did that happen?" I dare say that I don't think JJ Abrams really understands logic or the way things work, either that of he intentionally ignores it for the sake of making an overall fun, visual-driven experience (some people may prefer this, I myself feel like it cheapens the world of the movie when things just happen for plot necessity, or for the sake of a joke.)

    Overall Thoughts

    I don't hate The Force Awakens, I actually think it's better on a technical level than the prequels (although I might prefer TPM and maybe ROTS, if nothing else for nostalgia), it's certainly an easier and more enjoyable watch. I still prefer Rogue One about a hundred times. I'm not saying Rogue One is flawless, but the story makes sense to me, and I can discern character motivation and get a feeling for who people are. Bodhi Rook is an underdeveloped character, but I at least know his motivation and his personality.

    I've seen people call TFA a "remix" of ANH. I understan this comparison, but remixes are often put out by the original artists to provide a different take on the same song (Lucas's special editions are more equivalent to a remix). To me TFA feels like a modern "hip" band trying to do a cover of a classic rock song...while completely missing the point of what made the original version meaningful and unique. Sort of like those "creepy" versions of classic songs that started appearing in trailers after Ultron. Sadly the cover will be popular because that modern band is popular and because that song was popular, not because the cover of the song is actually strong enough on it's own to be a hit. Sorry if this is a harsh comparison, but it's the perfect analogy in my mind. For what it's worth, TFA is more listenable than some covers...
     
    #136 Grootster, Nov 19, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  12. TheJL

    TheJL Registered

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    Rogue One holds up better after multiple viewings, you can't say the same thing about The Force Awakens (A New Hope & Return of the Jedi retread).
     
  13. AVEITWITHJAMON

    AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    I think TFA still holds up really well. I watched it a couple of months ago and still enjoyed it a lot.

    I watched it again last night as part of my SAW marathon and enjoyed it a lot again. I think it holds up fine to repeat viewings. I would also say the same for Rogue One, they both hold up very well imo.
     
  14. Mandon Knight

    Mandon Knight NCC-1701

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    Already commented...DOH !
     
  15. samsnee

    samsnee Ok

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    This was so much better than Last Jedi. All the characters are likeable I like TLJ which made me hate the new characters.
     
  16. spiderman2

    spiderman2 Registered

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    Couldn't disagree more the characters in TFA and TLJ are great where in RO they are just there.
     
  17. DarthSkywalker

    DarthSkywalker May the Force Be With You

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  18. spiderman2

    spiderman2 Registered

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    lol so true
     
  19. Grootster

    Grootster Dancing Tree

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    Just because Rey is more expressive doesn't mean that she's a better character (or that the movie is better overall). It makes sense that someone who's jaded and world-weary like Jyn might conceal their emotions more.

    Also, I can't help but think that whoever made that picture is pretty biased. It looks like they found they worst of Jyn and the best of Rey. What's funny is that a lot of people have accused Rey of making the same opened-mouth face the entire movie (I do think she has a wider range of emotions, but I will say she does kind of default to the same few faces.)
     
  20. DarthSkywalker

    DarthSkywalker May the Force Be With You

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    They used the big scenes from both films. :funny:
     
  21. Kahran Ramsus

    Kahran Ramsus Registered

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    Now that enough time has passed to be able to look back on both films without being caught in the excitement of the moment...I still think Rogue One is far superior. I haven't really changed my opinion on either film at all over the past year.

    Now Rogue One vs. The Last Jedi is one I really do think I'm going to need to give some time to reflect on. Right now I'm going to go with Rogue One as I think the flaws of TLJ run deeper, even though the scenes with Luke might be the best of any Star Wars film. I'll come back to that in about a year or so.

    But both are easily better than TFA.
     
  22. DarthSkywalker

    DarthSkywalker May the Force Be With You

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    While I enjoyed Rogue One, I will say it is only the existences of the prequels that keep it from being the worst Star Wars film imo. Though even being that, it has plenty I enjoy.
     
  23. Jenocide

    Jenocide Registered

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    Force Awakens instantly looked dated after I saw Rogue One. The movie certainly wasn't without its flaws, but it seemed to be aimed at fans of the Original Trilogy, while the Force Awakens was going after an entirely different demographic. It just made TFA seem silly and outdated almost immediately.



    Obviously, Rogue One, being a true prequel to A New Hope, is going to connect in terms of story, but there were thematic connections as well as a level of reverence and maturity that was absent from TFA. It was almost like Rogue One's goal was to make those of us who grew up with A New Hope happy, while TFA was trying to cash in on a trend. The mere existence of Rogue One made that trend feel suddenly obsolete, which therefore extremely dates TFA even though it's only a few years old.


    Besides, Chirrut...and that Vader scene. The one at the end I mean. Not the one with the sashaying hips :yay:
     
  24. Last Skywalker

    Last Skywalker Registered

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    I'd watch TFA today. RO is a little TOO grimdark to watch but once in a long while. Having every single person die, including the robot, was a bit too much of a downer. Men(or Women) on a Mission movies have a particular structure, and part of that is having someone find a way to survive the mission. But hey.. it is what it is /shrug.

    And part of TFA was Abrams not going whole hog on 3D environments and what not. He made a commitment at the start that it would be more in the mold of the OT cinematically, rather than pure light and sound show of the PT.

    This was to pull back in those that had gotten turned off by the 'cartoony' PT.
     
  25. Jenocide

    Jenocide Registered

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    That didn't bother me. Its message is one of hope and the importance of accomplishing the mission over the lives of those carrying out the mission itself. Think of all the people you'll never meet, people whose names were forgotten, people history never mention, that died on battlefields throughout history.

    It's like when you hear about WWII and someone casually mentions, "oh, like 60 million people died in that war." 60 million. I can't even begin to comprehend a number that large. I'm sure at least that many people died in the Rebellion. Whole planets were destroyed. Casualties could be in the billions. No way to wrap our heads around that. But you narrow the focus, put us in close with 10 or so characters, and allow us to see their story as a microcosm for the conflict as a whole, and now it's something we can understand. It humanizes something that previously was just large numbers.

    I really thought that was Rogue One's strength. If it had a happy ending, the emotional impact is gone. Besides, if any of those characters survived, their absence from the OT could be problematic. Why weren't they on Hoth or Yavin 4? They go through all this and then abandon the rebellion? That kind of stuff.
     

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