Seems like you read some click bait sites telling you all the supposed "flaws" in the film, most of which weren't flaws at all if you paid attention, or were even remotely imaginative (and perhaps didn't demand that the writers hold your hand and explain every detail to you, in crayon).
Poe was thrown out of the crash in such a way as to both survive and be a great distance away from Finn (as he would be easily seen in a barren desert)... while also somehow being thrown out of his jacket that becomes a crucial plot device. Rey becomes an expert at using the force after watching someone else use it for about 15 minutes. Maz is very good at reading people, except that she has secret agents lurking in her tavern.
Two people ejected separately from a damaged ship and didn't land conveniently right next to each other? And that's a plot hole to you? Yes, the jacket was a convenient contrivance. Maybe Poe took it off and stowed it in the fighter at some point? Dunno. Seems like a minor nit to pick. Rey hardly became an "expert". She had to try several times to manipulate the trooper guarding her, and was only somewhat capable with the lightsaber later (and was shown to already have significant hand to hand fighting abilities anyway, so that's not a stretch). Um... Maz runs a seedy joint where smugglers and whatnot meet up and presumably make semi-illegal deals all the time. Why be surprised that there are "spies" there? If she didn't allow such people, she'd have gone out of business. Your mistake is assuming that she wasn't aware that her place was a hive of scum and villainy.
And again, none of these are plot holes. Just things that happened in ways you didn't like or didn't understand.
There's plenty more that may not be holes, but that's catchier than saying plot ditches. Finn's abrupt defection is significantly out of place, even as fans try to mitigate with "it was his first battle," yet somehow that overrides decades of indoctrination since childbirth in a way not experienced by any other Stormtrooper. The millenium falcon suddenly starts working once Rey needs to escape. The Star Destroyer is ready to begin firing just now. The First Order discovers the location of the rebel alliance just as it's finished. The Rebel alliance instantly figures out how to defeat the weapon. Phasma single-handedly cripples the First Order. R2D2 was somehow powered down and conveniently wakes up at the end to finish the map. General Fox is able to find Kilo Ren and leave the planet before it explodes.
The very fact that there exists a re-indoctrination process for the non-clone troopers (and a named character overseeing it and who's sole job seems to be to keep the troopers loyal and obedient) suggests that this is hardly out of place, or even unexpected. Just because the film only focused on one guy who defected doesn't mean that this isn't a problem the First Order has encountered before. Again though, you have to actually imagine that there's more to this universe than just the details spelled out for you.
The fact that Rey assumes the falcon is just a pile of junk sitting there doesn't mean it should not operate (and it didn't operate very well anyway). Also, this is one of those things that probably isn't actually the coincidence you think it is. Again, the writers are deliberately keeping us in the dark about Rey's past, and part of that may absolutely include the "coincidence" that she happens to be in the same location where the falcon was hidden, and Han and Chewie just happened to find them shortly after she fired up the falcon and started flying it into space.
I'm not sure why you're making a big deal about the timing of the Starkiller. Um... The events in the story progress as they do because they finally finished this thing and decide to use it to take out the leaders of the New Republic. This is actually clearly explained in dialogue in the film. There's no indication that the First Order just now conveniently figured out where either the Senate or the Rebels are. They just now have the capability to destroy them because... wait for it... they just finished this big superweapon they built specifically to destroy those two targets. I'm not sure why you think this is some kind of plot problem.
Phasma actually disabling the shields was a stretch. I figured she assumed that even with the shields down, the rebels didn't have the power to actually damage the weapon. And she was actually correct. The rebel's attack wasn't successful. It was only because of additional action by the infiltration squad that the building was damaged enough to be attacked. And that was something she likely assumed they didn't have sufficient people to pull off (which, at the time, they didn't). So yeah, she was saving her own skin. Chalk it up to maybe not everyone in the First Order being so willing to sacrifice themselves "for the greater good". I saw that more as her having a personality, and flaws even. Shocking! Not everyone makes perfect decisions? That's just crazy talk...
R2D2 powering up right when Rey was the one in the room (for the first time ever) and looking for Luke? Gee. I can't imagine why that was when he finally chose to wake up and hand over the missing map pieces. It's almost like he was told to do so under specific conditions and not until then. But that might require that we speculate that maybe her past is significant somehow and she's not really just some random kid who happens to have force powers. Nah. I'm sure it was just random coincidence. Seriously? You honestly didn't get this?
I've heard the whole "How did Hux find Ren?" bit over and over, and each time I have to wonder if those people's brains just dripped out of their heads of something. You really can't think of any way two military commanders might be able to locate each other when needed? I mean, on this big massive base (or on a star destroyer, or wherever they may be), how do you supposed they schedule meetings, or manage to coordinate their activities, or otherwise locate each other when they want to have evilguy dialogue with each other perhaps? You can't noodle out how this could be done? Maybe they have, oh I don't know... radios or something? Maybe they have the Star Wars equivalent of a glimpse app on some handy device they carry? Or maybe you imagine that in this futuristic universe, people just wander around randomly trying to locate each other hopelessly. Do you really need to be shown every single detail? How did Tarkin find Vader to tell him there was a meeting in 5 minutes, and to make sure to be ready to force choke anyone with a disturbing lack of faith? So instead of assuming that they kinda must have some means of communicating and locating each other in order to just do their normal day to day work, even if the writers don't spell out the specifics for you, you instead assume that this is somehow impossible and it's some form of plot hole that one person could ever locate another? That's... strange.
In bad movies, events occur because the plot demands it. This went a step worse where events occurred because the fans demand it.
And in really bad movies, the writers spell out every detail to the audience on the off chance that some people wont get what should be either really obvious things, or things that honestly don't need to be spelled out because they really aren't necessary for the plot. I mean, why did the drifter who just happens to be a great gunslinger just happen to wander into that one horse town right when the evil bad guy was in the midst of hatching is plan to seize control of the land from the innocent farmers? Um... Because that's the plot of the **** movie. It's a story about the conflict precisely because events happened to occur at such a time so that both "sides" were in proximity of each other. If they weren't then it would just be the story of a drifter wandering around just drifting, or the boring history lesson about how great grand dad took all the land from the farmers who used to own it and no one stopped him.
Get it? You're basically complaining that it's a story.
There was too much too similar to the original trilogy. I have a difficult time thinking of a scene or plot line that wasn't ripped from it.
Yeah. That's intentional. You may not like the storytelling style, but it's not an accident, and it's actually not even lazy. Done properly it's a very effective way to show similar patterns, with different details. Go look up the whole ring theory about Star Wars if you want some info about why these films are so intentionally similar.
Main character is an orphaned knave on a desert planet.
Use Millenium Falcon to escape.
Hang out with Han and Chewy.
Head to a watering hole populated by seedy characters.
The thing they are trying not to call a death star? No seriously I don't remember it's name because it's just the death star.
Death star has a singular weakness that you must fly through a long passage way to target.
BB8 is R2D2.
Kilo Ren's rampage is Darth Vader's force choke (felt this was one of the more tasteful and subtle references).
Secret reveal that big bad guy is a familial relation to the good side? Check.
Yup. You're supposed to see those similarities. But there are also differences, which is where the story lies. Similarly, the tales of Luke and Anakin were deliberately parallel, with Luke making just slightly different choices which affected the outcome. Intentionally. I actually found the character of Ren (Ben) to be very interesting. He's not a Jedi, and he's not a Sith. And while he's quite powerful, he's also not very well trained, and not remotely in control of his powers (or his emotions). I liked that his saber mirrored his mental state. And the fact that he was struggling with his "good" side was a nice twist, including his desire to have Luke's lightsaber (which is basically a symbol of stability and sanity and perhaps even "goodness", which he desires, even while consciously rejecting it). If all you got from his character was that he was a snotty brat with force powers and seemed too emo for the genre, you completely missed the point. He's supposed to represent the struggle itself. He's not evil because he's actually evil. He's evil because he's not sure what he is, and he's torn by what he thinks he should be, and isn't sure which direction to go. Killing his father was his attempt to prove himself to be evil, but I suspect that he'll also start to feel guilt at the sacrifice Han was willing to give for him, which will create yet more conflict in him.
In short. Great character. And not remotely like Luke or Anakin.
Other difference. The Order isn't anything like the Empire. I mean, they're trying to be, but I think one of the themes of this series is that the new forces that arise will never be more than shadows of those that came before, but are trying hard to fill that gap. It's literally the children trying to step into the shoes of their parents, and generally failing. Snoke is a silly name, I think, but he seems to represent a new (or perhaps very old) force power. The introduction of Maz as a thousand year old force sensitive (but not Jedi or Sith) is another hint towards this. The force has always existed, and it was only defined as light/dark, and Jedi/Sith, because of those two organizations and their joint philosophy towards the force. Maybe I'm totally mistaken, but I suspect that this series is about exploring completely new aspects of the force that don't fit that philosophy at all, and are just now being able to take root because there is no longer organized groups of force powered people seeking out and training all force capable people into one "side" or the other.
That's just speculation on my part, but regardless, it's clear there are many difference in this story. Finn doesn't fit into anything like the original two series (no one ever defected). He also represents an evolution and examination of the whole storm trooper angle. Which I kinda like. We get to see that they aren't just faceless people under those masks, but that they have to be carefully indoctrinated to be that loyal (or stupid, depending on how you look at it). He's the answer to so many fan complaints that a military force made up of storm troopers as portrayed in the films would be utterly unworkable. Yeah, they aren't complete robots. They aren't actually identical (even the clones had different roles and duties, and these guys aren't clones). And yeah, that opens up the possibility that some of them might just choose to do something different than just fight mindlessly for their leaders. Heck. Some of them might even weigh the odds of some traitorous action they're being told at gunpoint to take actually resulting in a loss for their side against their own life, and choose to save themselves. Cause... You know. They're trying to show that these aren't just mindless robots. And they succeeded, not with just one character, but with two. I took away from that whole aspect of the story (and others) the theme that in this new galaxy, things are not pure black vs white. It's shades of gray.
The method of destruction of the base was similar to Jedi, but the overall character arch was more similar to New Hope. Again, these are deliberate choices. I don't have a problem with them. Guess what? The pacing and story of the next film will also be very similar to Empire. And that's also not a mistake. Get used to the fact that these stories are deliberately laid out in a specific pattern.
There were also allusions such as 12 parsecs and the garbage chute that would be fine were they not layered on like 10 ounces of frosting on a 5 ounce child's cupcake.
Yeah. Fan service. Look. You're about to kill off one of the most beloved characters from the original series. You kinda have to coat that pill in a lot of frosting, right? Again, I didn't have a problem with it.
I think most of the criticisms of the film revolve around the fact that it's clearly designed to be part one of a three part story, and some people have a hard time dealing with the story not being complete by itself.
You can make that argument after the other movies have been made. Even if you are arguing it will be a good trilogy, you're still arguing it's a bad movie.
No. I can make that argument right now. Because most of the complaints I've heard are of the "But I don't understand why this thing happened, when it happened, and how it happened", when it's quite obviously because there are additional reveals to be made in the future films. That doesn't make this film "bad". It means that this film isn't going to explain everything to you. And when those things are quite obviously plot points that will be covered in the next films, and don't actually cause any inconsistency issues in the first film, then they are not problems.
The movie was too afraid to take any risks with the original trilogy and as a result offered nothing new. It had no aspirations and no creativity.
I completely disagree. You're looking only at plot elements and failing to see the bigger thematic picture. As I talked about above, there are several aspects of this film so far that are very different and "new". You just have to open your eyes and see them. Edited, Jan 8th 2016 6:08pm by gbaji