Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It's pretty good!

What was pretty good? Why The Star Wars of course. So I don't really review things on this blog, it's more like I just talk about things I find interesting and I found the new St'Wars (contraction!) movie interesting. If I sound less than enthusiastic, it because I'm not really a gushy person. Sure, it's not a perfect movie, but it's good. Really.
I'd be the guy shouting 'shut up and turn off the goddamn plastic laser sword.'
Oh yeah J. J, right there...that's it...
One of the most valid complaints levied against the Star Wars prequels was they were confusing, sterile computer-rendered messes full of bland, unlikeable characters who lacked even the slightest hint of human emotion. STTFA (acronym?) doesn't have this problem. The story's cool, the CGI is unobtrusive, there's a ton of muppet aliens and practical effects, and J. J. Abrams is really good at reaching into fans, finding whatever organ is responsible for storing fond memories of Star Wars and massaging it to some kind of nostalgiagasm.

Pictured: the same guy. See?
I'm wrecking everything.
Ok, now comes the part where I latch on to some obscure point and rip the movie apart for some perceived violation of its own internal logic. Please don't take this as some kind of suggestion that the movie isn't fun. It was great, but as a fan of, let's say nerd things, you know I'm the kind of person who likes to nit-pick. It's what we do. If that's not your cuppa, then bail out now. Oh and if you haven't already seen it, holy shit stop reading this and go see it. I'm probably going to get spoilery.

Troposphere Wars would have
been a more accurate title.
Look, again, great movie, but we've totally seen it before. From the lonely kid on a desert planet to the trench run, it's basically A New Hope, but whatever, I'm just glad the opening crawler didn't once mention interstellar tariffs. And I'm not going to complain about how four of the five planets visited in the movie were nearly identical or the fact that the movie is called Star Wars but almost all the battle scenes took place on the ground or atmosphere. Nit-picks? Sure, but the kind that make people want to slap you.

Pictured: Snap Wexley. He
comes with a grappling hook and
realistic plot exposition action.
I am however going to complain about Starkiller Base, this movie's stand-in for the Death Star. It's objectively ridiculous. I'm sorry, and I don't know why it bothered me so much but there it is. There's this scene where Greg Grunberg, as the preposterously named Resistance pilot Snap Wexley, technobabbley explains that the Starkiller destroys entire star systems by draining off all the sun's energy and then converting it into a hyperspace explosion-ray. Yeah, ok, but the First Order built the thing into a planet which seems like it would have some drawbacks. For one, it's a planet so it can't fly around like a starship. Which wouldn't be an issue except that the thing runs on stars and it doesn't have a hyperdrive, so it seems like it would only have as many shots as there are stars in its home system. Right?

Before the Resistance even knows about it, some crazy ginger space Nazi uses it to blow up the New Republic's home system, and we then spend the next twenty minutes of the movie watching it suck up another star to power a second volley, but even if, like Tatooine, its home system had multiple stars it's going to run out pretty quick.
J. J. Abrams fun fact: this movie tops the Star Trek reboot's
casual genocide score with six, count'em six exploding planets. 
Above: space wizards are really
the most compelling reason I should
just shut up and eat my popcorn.
Maybe it does have a hyperdrive. You suggest. Ok, sure, maybe, after all, the Death Star must have had one if it made it from Alderaan to Yavin IV in anything under three-thousand years, but I don't think so. Earlier in the movie we watch Han Solo take the MillFal (abbreviation!) to light speed with some hungry tentacle monster clinging to the windshield and the force of it seemed to rip it off. If the base does have hyperdrive, wouldn't its atmosphere get ripped away? I know I'm harping on a seemingly minor science point in a movie about space wizards, but I'm just not sure J. J. Abrams knows or cares how space works.

Wait, you don't suppose this is just
about selling tie-in merchandise, do you?

Anyway, the movie's totally good and I suppose I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if there weren't minor points to get all nerdy about. Oh, and speaking of minor points did you notice that C-3PO had one red arm? Bet you're curious as to why he has one red arm, aren't you? Admit it, it keeps you up at night. Well, luckily you can buy Marvel's C-3PO one-shot comic which comes out in February. Read it to find out the answer to the completely fascinating mystery of Threepio's red arm which you totally give a shit about.

Or you could just wait until someone explains it on Wookiepedia (that's not me making a terrible pun, that's really what the Star Wars wiki is called). I mean, c'mon Disney, don't you have enough of our money already?
"No, of course we goddamn don't."

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