Really? These days I do not remember much of the prequels beyond individual scenes.
Well, isn't that what it means to remember a movie or *anything* really? No one will remember everything about anything unless they've studied that thing or experienced it on a regular basis.
In any case, that's pretty much what I meant with my original claim. I'm wasn't exaggerating or being dishonest in any way when I said that I literally couldn't recall most of TFA. The film was devoid of imagination and inspiration, it threw so many half-baked plot elements at you and left no time for examination, and the action scenes were spastic and LOUD which quickly resulted in a light migraine. Needless to say, I remembered very little upon leaving the theater and I was dazed for the remainder of the day.
I didn't even realize just how many plot holes and narrative problems the movie had until the next day when I read about them.
All I really remembered was: most of the film up to the scuffle on Han and Chewie's freighter (it was at around this point where I stopped really paying attention and started wishing that someone would turn down the volume), some of Finn's comedic dialog, palette swapped X-wings, bigger Death Star's super-laser, Han's death, the duel between Ren and Rey, and that Leia strangely ignored Chewbacca upon the strike team's return. A couple other trivial things.
With the exception of the beginning and the final duel, none of those scenes -- 'moments', really, because they're just fragments of larger scenarios -- remained with me because of any kind of positive quality, be it narrative importance or visual significance.
I'll admit that I don't remember much about TPM. Jinn and Kenobi vs. Maul, Gungans and Gungan City, a cameo appearance by Greedo, Naboo starfighters, and that there was podracing. Pretty weak, yeah, though in one respect it's still a stronger collection than what I have of TFA.
AotC, however, was spectacular. Depressing, isolated Kamino, hyper-futursitic Coruscant, chasing Slave I through an asteroid field, that epic gladiator arena clash between the jedi and the droid army (which quickly blew up into the start of the Clone Wars), Yoda vs. Dooku, and the christening of the Clone Wars as we're shown the enormousness of the clone army, displaying the magnitude of the coming conflict.
Likewise, I remember a lot of the visual splendor or RotS.
I know the grounds for comparison aren't entirely fair. I've watched AotC and RotS a couple of times, individual scenes several dozen times, exposed myself to any EU material I could get my hands on, etching SW imagery into my psyche. But the point is that after nearly a decade of not having watched these films and half-a-decade of not giving a damn about the franchise, that I can recall these visuals better than nearly everything in a movie I saw less than 3 weeks ago speaks to the power of Lucas and co.'s craftsmanship as well as the hollowness of TFA.
The second act at least gave us that bit with the Storm Trooper who beat up on Finn for a bit before Han Raiders of the Lost Arks him.
I felt like that was Abrams trying a bit too hard to come up with a meme, a scene that will be continually remixed until SW is erased from the universe, and a character people will, at first, ironically glorify, but eventually worship as the second coming of Christ. I haven't seen any yet, but I would be genuinely surprised if there aren't already people lobbying to get him into Sm4sh.
Maybe I'm just being too stony-faced about the whole thing, but my issues with that scene are:
1. It should have been Phasma. Dedicating an entire scene to a faceless stormtrooper who gets one-shotted felt like a waste of time. A joke for the sake of having a joke. The movie has so many other problems that a scene that might have otherwise been fine and maybe even funny ends up being a sin.
2. The weapon looked dumb and impractical. They should have given him a modified electrostaff (the weapon most commonly, but not exclusively, used by magnaguards -- Greivous's bodyguards). With all the recycling in TFA, it's kind of amazing that they chose not to recycle when it made the most sense to do so.
Although the idea of a non-lightsaber weapon that can deflect lightsabers kind of messes with my mind.
In addition to the electrostaffs I just mentioned, there are also vibroweapons. I've seen characters in a few comics use them to fight lightsaber users.
Why do the badguys not just make their minions' armor out of the same materials they make those twirly electro-batons out of?
There's probably some half-assed explanation (read: excuse) about the technology being inefficient or impractical as apparel because reasons. I never understood why clones were necessary and why the Republic didn't commission their own droid army equipped, or why neither the droid army, nor the clone army were equipped with lightsabers and electrostaffs.
I just have trouble determining whether I think that recycling old plots in the most mediocre and vanilla fashion possibly is better or worse than doing something new but really dumb.
The way I see it is: my kid-self loved the prequels (II and III anyway) and my adult-self (i.e. my rational, educated self) still finds them praiseworthy in certain respects, while my adult-self finds very little admirable about TFA. Therefore, prequels > TFA.
I guess I should point out that I don't think TFA is all bad. I do think it sucks, but it's not offensively bad like JW. I'm being pretty harsh and the comparisons to JW and the prequels are probably inadvertently amplifying the tone of my posts, so I should clarify certain points:
1. Whereas JW is completely and utterly devoid of any kind of merit, TFA does have some commendable qualities. BB-8 is, indeed, adorable, the climactic saber duel was mostly great, some of the jokes were seriously funny, the Falcon escape/dogfight scene was entertaining, and there were some beautiful shots throughout the film.
2. Mentioning JW was a more general comparison and an indirect response to the reception of both films. Long-awaited sequels to beloved franchises that left a rotten taste in most peoples' mouths with their last few entries, and all these people really want to like these new sequels, and the studios/producers really want them to like them as well, so they churn out these super-safe, checklist-following, assembly line products that, in spite of some obvious flaws, don't have anything particularly egregious about them, resulting in an excessively warm response. But take a hammer to the polished surface and you get bowled over by a suffocating stench.
3. I have a much more positive view of Lucas's work on the prequels. Or maybe more than 'positive', I think 'neutral' might be a more appropriate adjective. So when I say that I prefer the prequels over TFA, as unkind as that might sound, it's actually not that mean coming from me, or at least not 'mean' in the way one would normally assume.
(how the hell do you die of a broken heart? bitch, you're a doctor. and a robot)
I don't remember any specific details of this scene, but in spite of its corniness, there's something poetic about a machine transcending its programmed, emotionless nature so that it might communicate the power of the emotions between Padmé and Anakin. Yeah, it's actually just corny and really stupid because of the delivery and all the other problems with the movie, but it's the thought that counts, right?
To illustrate: he knows from observation how to mimic certain emotions on a surface level, but since he does not actually feel them himself, he has to approximate and therefore does not really understand how they actually work.
The only other Abrams film I've seen is Super 8, which was basically an edgelord's re-imagining of E.T., and the above succinctly describes some of my problems with the film.
Also, this might just be me, but Ren's headgear
I've only seen one other person mention this, so it might just be me and him, but I thought Ren's outfit was supposed to be reminiscent of ninjas, similar to Vader's likeness to samurai. Though, the duckbill and hubcap trim kind of made it look overdone more than anything.
One of the reasons I used to be interested in the old EU was that they were not afraid of taking Star Wars into different places (even if a great many of those places were absolutely ridiculous, lol
My biggest icecube.gif moment was reading about Obi-Wan and Asajj Ventress's romance. I mean, to begin with, he was already involved with another jedi, which is understandable, I guess, but Ventress too? Ventress?