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2015年12月23日星期三

STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS (SOME SPOILERS)

This is the 3D glasses I picked up from watching the Force Awakens - a memorabilia.

I used another pair to watch the movie since this one's frame is too obstructive for viewing the movie.




So we went to see this continuation of the story from far far away and from the last Star Wars movie 10 years ago. It is probably the biggest movie of the year and I expect it to  break all records, even surpassing Jurassic World (that was a surprise hit to me). However, after all the hype and excitement , I feel a bit disappointed (I know I am going to hit by enormous rocks from other Star Wars fans saying that).

  There is a few repeats of old ideas (reminescent of EP 4 , 5 and 6), may be it is intentional, bring back some nostalgia to older Star Wars fans. I also feel that they try too hard inserting well known Star Wars phrases into the dialogue, it seems so artificial (this is the same as for some of the humours in the movie); they are as unneccessary as C3PO's red arm which seems like it is for toy sale. Technology wise, they all get upgraded after 30 years , but the concept of Death Star is nothing new but just in larger scale and with much more firing power (destruction of star systems instead of just a planet), that is the firing power I expect from earlier Star Wars movie (I always thought the destructive power in Star Wars or Star Trek is weak compared with Japanese Sci-Fi such as Space Battleship Yamato's Wave Motion Gun). How come the Millennium can start immediatey after parking there for a long time? also, the name Death Star is much more intimidating than StarKiller. Incidentally, I find the names for various characters in this new episode too regular: Star Killer , Supreme Leader Snoke?? Or is it Smoke?? BB-8 or is it BBQ??  General Hux is the commander of StarKiller , portrayed by Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, I feel that they are trying to reincarnate the commander of the first Death Star , Grand Moff Tarkin , portrayed by the late Peter Cushing. Was Finn really a sanitary storm trooper? He knows the blue print of the Starkiller? Well, I guess you do need to know the sewage layout of the StarKiller which is huge

 As mentioned previously , I thought there were a few similarities in the story from EP 4 ,5 and 6, with some elements from the Expanded Universe. Some fans speculate and hope that Snoke is Palpatine's supposedly murdered master - Darth Plagueis (first mentoned in novel Labyrith of Evil , then a few months later in movie Revenge of the Sith). Obviously , this character is evil but I think he also has a bigger ego than Palpatine , judging from his unnecessary larger-than-life , god-like hologram. Some fans also speculate that Snoke is the reincarnation of Son (a.k.a Fanged God who is the reincarnation of the Dark Side of the Force) of the Ones (a family of exceptionally powerful Force wielders in Star Wars , the Clone Wars animation). This is what I would like to know in Ep VIII and IX.

 Fight scenes are the usual laser guns , Tie, X-Wing fighters and light saber combat. The highlight would be the duel between Rey and Kylo Ren , that is the show of girl's power (you go girl!). Kylo lost of his arm is just a reminescent of Luke losing his years ago. So now we know why there is that rediculous sword guard design in Kylo's light saber - so that he could cut people at close range even if his sword is blocked.  I am impressed with Storm Trooper's new baton-like weapon, it is able to block lightsaber and it is also a powerful striking weapon. I am glad to see the Storm Troopers are a lot more capable. I found the final destruction of the StarKiller too familiar and easy! This is also true for how fast Rey learns to use the Force (Maybe Rey is more tuned to the Force than even Anakin and Luke Skywalker who requires at least two episodes to master some of the Jedi's skills?) .


SPOILER ALERT ! DON'T READ THE FOLLOWINGS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE AND DON'T WANT TO KNOW!


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 So now we know that Kylo is Han's turned-to-the-Dark-Side son (isn't this from the Expanded Universe too , I can't remember whose offspring - Luke's or Han's turned to the Dark Side) . Actor Adam Driver didn't look too convincing as the next ultimate villain in the Star Wars universe, or is that acting intentional , showing the character Kylo still has some "light " in him despite the fact that ....  

A MINOR SPOILER ALERT SINCE THE INFO. IS ALREADY ALL OVER THE INTERNET.

.....he committed patricide (yes, we won't see Han Solo again, Harrison Ford's wish is fullfilled) . Why does he need to wear a mask , so that he can sound like his maternal grandfather - Darth Vader, sound more menacing ? Ok, he needs to wear a mask at the end of the movie.

Captain Phasma is totally useless despite the heavy silver-plate armor appearance. She is justing walking around holding the gun throughout the movie and exhibits no fighting skills.

The reunion of Han and Leia is not emotional, it seems like just two friends that haven't seen each other for two weeks.


Despite the negatives of this film I wrote so far, I have to praise the acting performance of various new actors in this movie namely Daisy Ridley (as Rey) and John Boyega (as Finn). Why is it necessary for John to fake an American accent and why Daisy didn't fake any American accent? British actors faking American accent is a norm these days, just look at The Walking Dead (Rick and the governor).

 Another positive would be the music from John Willaims, it is reminescent of EP 4 - 6 . There are some familiar tunes such as the main Star Wars theme, a briefly heard Imperial March (when the melted Darth Vader mask is shown) and Han-and-Leia theme. However, the new music didn't create too much "climax" for me.

  I am looking forward for the next two installments of this new trilogy to find out who these people are :


1) Snoke (Palpatine's master - Plagueis. Where does his scars come from?)
2) Rey (related to Luke ??)
3) Maz Kanata (the one who wears a pair of goggle and knows the Force but doesn't use it to fight like a Jedi. Is she the new Yoda ? Incidentally , she is older than Yoda even if he was still alive.)


and ....

SPOILER ALERT !


Is Han really dead , even with a hole in his chest and fell to the oblivion?? Doesn't look like he can return but just my wishfull thinking, I want Han to return and Leia would be "lonely" in terms of dialogue. I always enjoy the chemistry between the two, seeminlgy incompatible characters.

All-in-all , I would give 3.7 out 5 (not as good as I was hyped up to but still worth watching , especially if you are a Star Wars fan.)

For the next two installments of the new trilogy, I really hope that some of the old Jedi Ghosts such as Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda and Obi-Wan will make some appearances , the actors for the former two and Ewan McGregor are still alive (Ewan did have a voice appearance in the Force Awakens); however, I prefer the older Obi-Wan and Anakin for the Force ghosts, even though it might be difficult since both actors : Alec Guinness and Sebastian Shaw have both passed. They might be able to overcome this by employing some CGI technologies or look-alike actors; either way is better than Hayden Christensen as the Force ghost with his perverted looks. I have no objection with Ean McGregor as Obi-Wan but they have to age him to make him more appropriate for the role.



TOY NEWS 23 RD DECEMBER , 2015 玩具新聞 2015年12月23日

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2015年12月26日

妖怪ウォッチ  USA ピョン エンペラー , BANDAI 864 円

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