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ScreenRant: 15 Reasons Why TPM Is Better Than TFA

ScreenRant.com attempts to make a case as to why The Phantom Menace is better than The Force Awakens in 15 reasons. Let us know what you think. Bonus: Read the comments (in ScreenRant’s article).

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  • Moseisleynative

    Young Obi Wan grew up to become Darth Vader; how did I miss that?

    • RumSleg

      That’s how I read it the first time, too. But they didn’t mean that. They were listing three things that TPM showed us: 1) young Obi-Wan, 2) the boy who grew up to become Vader, and 3) the galaxy on the verge of being taken over by one man. The writing is a little rough.

  • mic windu

    What’s up Paul? Kids playing on the grass again?

    • Yes! You win! I was waiting for someone to blame another site’s analysis on me!

      • mic windu

        Wahoo what’s my prize?

        • Banning!

          • mic windu

            Oh, I didn’t realise that was what I was playing for, can I get a gift coupon instead?

      • JohnMorog

        Because your guys’ profile pictures are the same I get you confused if I scroll too fast. I’ll just pretend that one of you is the other’s anti-self. The Spiderman to your Venom or visa versa.

  • Randy

    They’re right about all of it, and they could have added more.

  • ObiWanKenobiJibberish

    I somehow feel that if Lucas wrote and produced both and JJ ONLY directed, they both would have been awesome.

  • flipfriddle

    Well TPM had a Drew Struzan poster and TFA had a Photoshop collage, so there’s that.

    • deecee4

      Struzan did a poster for TFA too.

  • Funtomaz

    In my opinion, Screen Rant’s article is technically true. But overall, TFA is the more entertaining movie, at least on the surface when you just sit back, relax and don’t think about it 🙂
    TPM has some very annoying elements in it which can make it very hard to watch and enjoy. TFA doesn’t have that. Also, it has better acting, which is no surprise given that Lucas is not the world’s best director.
    The problems only arise once you start thinking about things, then TPM actually improves and TFA only gets worse. And with years of exposure all the annoying elements become somewhat tolerable. And you always had a all the great elements anyway.

    One of the biggest flaws in TFA was mentioned in the article… the character of Finn makes zero sense. What exactly is his motivation?
    He was indoctrinated since early childhood. So how come he suddenly grows a conscience and defects? This is never explained. Why does he feel the need to help Rey on Jakku? I expect soldiers of the FO to be cold, efficient and ruthless killers who carry out orders without a second thought and who don’t actually feel compassion or sympathy for anyone else but their comrades maybe (and all the other FO troopers display these characteristics). Phasma even comments on it and says that Finn never showed any signs of trouble and that everything was normal. So why the change?

    Also: you should never have to read novels, comics or play games to understand a movie. A movie should stand on its own and give you all the explanations you need.

    Anyway… TFA is a typical 21st century blockbuster movie, meant to entertain the masses, and that it does. It also has all the shortcomings of a typical 21st century blockbuster movie. Plot holes, logic flaws and female characters that are overpowered beyond any credibility, who never need the help of any one man.

    • Fercho

      I have to agree. TPM, although having many similarities to A New Hope, is very unique overall. Yes, there are some parts that are just boring AF (Sorry for that). TFA is very entertaining even if it is a bad copy of A New Hope or some mix-up of several previous Star Wars movies.

      In the end, I prefer TPM, though.

    • Wedge Antilles

      Finn, pretty simple really – like the Empire before the FO, people wanted employment – he was a JANITOR – he was still a human, he could easily be “brainwashed” – keeping in mind he wanted a pay packet, and stable life – but he had time I bet as a Janitor to “think a little” – then he became a Stormtrooper – yeah -he did not like the slaying of innocents – he snapped – gees – that is SO believable and a good story how could anyone knock it! – not only that – they had (as Phasma mentioned) a place to “fix” and Troops that started to stray, so it must have been reasonably common – I mean come on – it is all in the movie – did anyone even watch TFA! – I saw all this on the first viewing at the premier, gees….

      • Darth Mire

        The First Order had him since he was a small child (they even show an image at one point)…this wasn’t about employment.

        • Wedge Antilles

          I’d read (Edit: Phasma) if I was you (my opinion) part of the brainwashing was that life would be better, better food, better accommodation, and they are paid so to speak. I saw on Finn when they were checking up on him, so what, this is the problem -people need to read the novels – Star Wars has such a complex and mass universe, and complex story lines, it needs the supporting novels, not because the film is bad, but because Star Wars is complex.

          So yeah LOLOLOLOL – it WAS about EMPLOYMENT OK!

          • Funtomaz

            I disagree, it’s bad script writing if essential (!) plot paints need ancillary sources for explanation. No movie in the world should need supporting novels for it to make sense. Novels can enhance things, can go a bit deeper here and there, but they should not be required reading for a movie. Movies are watched by millions, books are read by a few ten or a few hundred thousand people.

            And as others have said… Finn wasn’t a “Janitor”, he was a FO Stormtrooper who happened to have had janitorial duties on Starkiller Base. Most probably during training, so he did all the menial work no combat ready Stormtrooper would do. Finn is still quite young and hasn’t seen much combat action, I suppose, and I would guess that the mission on Jakku was one of his first.

            That still doesn’t explain how someone who was conditioned and indoctrinated since childhood defects just like that. They should have given some kind of explanation in the script.

          • Wedge Antilles

            I’ve already covered all of this, and I assume you have read all the current canon Novels ?

            If not, in my opinion do yourself a massive favor- as a SW Fan, I recommend you read them ASAP, I’ve already said why.

          • Funtomaz

            I don’t read Star Wars novels… :-O 😀 I have tried several times, and I never found them that engaging. I read (among other things) SF and Fantasy novels, but only original works, not tie-in novels. For the latter I can do with the summary on Wookiepedia or so 😉

          • shane

            Agreed absolutely. There is really great literature out there and unfortunately SW isn’t great literature. In fact I consider it pulp fiction. If people like it, great !
            For me, the old EU, further adventures of Luke Skywalker stories starting with the Thrawn trilogy were just magic at one time.
            But now I can’t really take anything outside of the movies seriously.
            Once in awhile there is a decent comic I’ll engage in or some of TCWs, but SW for me gets watered down and diluted fast.

          • Long Snoot

            I totally agree with you. Personally, I enjoyed TFA a lot more after reading the Visual Dictionary and the Aftermath trilogy, which is not such a great thing.

          • Darth Mire

            “LOLOLOLOL”? Seriously? How about not resorting to whatever that was supposed to mean and have an actual conversation…OK! So…if I follow what you’re trying to say, Finn’s whole reason for being in the FO is for employment, and I’d only understand this if I read the ancillary novels, and the fact that they took him as a small child is irrelevant, yeah? Doesn’t it stand to reason that if they took him as a child and subjected him to brainwashing, any ‘choice’ on his part would have been a moot point anyway? This sounds a lot less like employment and more like slavery.

          • Wedge Antilles

            The “LOL etc” part was just my reaction – I am ALLOWED to get a giggle (which I did OK) – I am here to have good discussions, and draw opinions from observations. But yeah, if I laughed (and I’d say not in a bad way, just I laughed) – This is all about fun, I take the story line stuff as seriously as one would, but not to the point of ever being offended, not around here, nor should anyone get too offended by LOL’s – they hurt no one.

            Now onto Finn – I think EVERYONE knows he was taken as a child, as firstly there was a computer file seen in the movie showing him, as a child if I remember rightly, and in the novel Phasma, (***WARNING SPOILER ALERT FOR THE NOVEL PHASMA DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DON”T WANT SPOILERS FOR THE NOVEL, I HAVE GIVEN FAIR WARNING TO ANYONE READING THIS***) they go into GREAT detail regarding the FO troopers – and I mean GREAT detail – even Phasma’s next rank down (about a year after Phasma was integrated in to the FO) who wore red FO armor if I remember from the novel, while interrogating a resistance spy, ACTUALLY BROKE HIS PROGRAMMING VERY EASILY, AND HE WAS A TROOP TRAINER!!!!

            Phasma was a trainer as well, in charge shall we say of FO troopers (as we saw in TFA) – but she was not taken as a child, she was basically offered a position by Hux’s father (pretty sure it was his father, or some relation, but yeah pretty sure it was Hux’s Father who took in Phasma (the Novel gives detail why).

            The FO takes advantage of who it mostly chooses – so a position in the FO is a pretty good career opportunity (I’ve only read Phasma twice, but I think it was even referred to that in a round about way, which really – you do need to read it), because it is a “Job” – just a very indoctrinated employee system, happens here on our own world with jobs and loyalty – we all know it – just to differing extremes.

            We could debate if it was slavery or not – but I would again use observation of my opinion – on Maz’s planet when the FO turned up (then the Resistance) Finn had a battle with a very fierce FO riot trooper, and he called FINN a TRAITOR – now I know a lot of history, and I am going to go with the “a slave who decides to leave, is not going to be called a “TRAITOR” by another what you would call a slave, it is far from that simple.

            This is why TFA (Star Wars in general)is so complex, people miss little things like this – the fact that that FO Riot Trooper called Finn a TRAITOR is actually very telling – and that is without reading the novel Phasma.

            So for me, my observed opinion – absolutely not slavery – but a career path with a very intense corporate propaganda program. Which works well even here on earth. But it never really stops free thinking – it tries deride free thought against said company (The FO in this case) – but it would never be perfect (as we saw, and that brings us full circle back to Finn, amazing how deep and complex the character actually is, once someone points out the little nuances in the film regarding his character.

            I respect all SW fans, but I also know Star Wars movies are incredibly fast, I have many fan friends ask me to clear up what they know they would have missed, they have no egos, they love to hear from those who pick up the details. And I am the same – but I don’t miss much obviously, and I have no ego, I don’t care – I only want to share observations.

            I made one error when I watched it at the premier, when I saw Kylo dump his helmet into that earn (or whatever it was called) with the ashes in it – the exact second I saw it I knew they were ashes, but was not totally sure who’s, but I guessed Vader’s – seemed I was wrong on the night – it was of Kylo’s enemies I am told.

            But after the premier that night, I was with about 50 people afterwards chatting etc. and NOT ONE noticed the ashes, as I brought it up (yet I saw them the second they were on screen at the premier) – so I know even SW fans miss the little, but important things.

            And being in the First Order is for sure a job, because Phasma actually assassinated one of their own – Hux’s Father – Why you ask? To climb the corporate ladder in the FO.

            So, even the lower ranks of the FO, like Finn – I am sure feel they can leave the FO career – not quiet as easy as just saying you quit – because there employment comes with a kind of extreme “non-disclosure” agreement – which is why they use propaganda and all the enticement they can to keep their soldiers/employees/recruits – because the FO has some pretty heavy duty secrets and stuff they don’t want leaving with an employee.

            I am sure (out of movie shot) a few FO soldiers “fled” – but I know of two already (Finn and the Second Trainer in the Novel Phasma, he saw there was something wrong, the novel covers it in a very long manner) – not to mention Phasma (who I am sure went through training (The novel seems to point to it, but she was also fast tracked to a degree) – but yeah, the FO propaganda can’t be that good, because like I say, Phasma assassinated secretly one of their own.

        • RumSleg

          It’s another unexplained element to TFA that gets frustrating if you think about it too much. How quickly did the First Order militarize? In Bloodlines, it seems to be regarded as a political movement more than a military one. Poe’s reaction in TFA when he’s brought on board Hux’s Star Destroyer seems to be “where did all this military equipment come from?”. It’s not made clear in TFA, but I believe the First Order’s military might was a surprise to the galaxy. So it’s plausible to me that Finn was working sanitation and only got pressed into Stormtrooper/military duty shortly before the attack on the Jakku village.

          • JohnMorog

            TFA is 34 years after ROTJ. Finn appears to be about 20-25. So that puts the militarization of the FO about 10 years after ROTJ. Plenty enough time for an already large military regime to simply regroup and rename.

          • RumSleg

            I haven’t gotten all the way through Bloodlines or read Phasma or other supplemental materials. But my hypothesis is that perhaps, even if Finn was taken into the First Order as a child, 10 or 15 years after ROTJ, he wasn’t immediately trained as a stormtrooper. He could have worked for the First Order for many years doing sanitation work before the military buildup started. The First Order could have existed as other things besides a military group for many years while Finn was a part of it.

          • JohnMorog

            A possibility to be sure.

          • Wedge Antilles

            Yeah that twas a typo, I meant Phasma the Novel, not Bloodlines – sorry about that – I read both a couple of times recently – just a typo/wrong memory of sorts – the Novel Phasma gives an excellent run down of how the FO system works.

            Separate to that – even the Clones had “free thought” as well known (except for the order 66 implant) – so imagine an infant brainwashed even by the best, some are going to fake it fore a job, and when possible, RUN LIKE THE WIND – when the chance comes.

          • Wedge Antilles

            Bloodlines outlines well enough where the FO military came from.

            But I was talking about Phasma regarding the detail on “Brainwashing and propaganda the troops go though.

          • Long Snoot

            About that, I think it will get explained in TLJ seeing as the Supremacy (Snoke’s “mother ship”) also acts as a giant factory, and it can also be seen mass-producing upgraded AT-STs, AT-ATs and TIE/fo fighters in the latest trailer. My guess is that the “mobile factory” had actually been built by the Empire, but not completed as of the Battle of Endor and then hidden on the unkown regions along with the First Order. The same solution has been applied for the Starkiller base, which production has been hinted to have been begun by the empire in some novels.

      • Malnurtured Snay

        There’s no real evidence he was primarily a janitor; in the military, you understand that combat troops often do (well, or did before outsourcing) routine things like peeling potatoes and latrine maintenance.

        • Wedge Antilles

          Except that when Han was really angry when they arrived on StarKiller base, I am sure Finn would have added – well I did have other complex duties as well to help confidence, but he did not.

          Again, I have to ask – and I know this happens – but did you watch TFA.

          I think every comment, or at least maybe in my opinion – should have “I watched TFA and thought this…”

          Because (and again just my opinion) I’d seriously think a lot of people I hear post about TFA did not actually see it.

          I also think maybe anyone who watched it only on a smartphone screen should say so, because, and again just my opinion, that hardly counts as seeing TFA.

          • Long Snoot

            That’s actually incorrect. In canon, we know that he, like all the FO stormtroopers, received a trooper training since he was taken by the First Order and well before he served on Starkiller base he was said to be “seen by his comrades and superiors as an ideal First Order stormtrooper, and consistently scored top marks as a cadet”. Also, if you watched the movie as carefully as you said you’d know that recruiting is nothing like the Empire: people didn’t “want employement”, they were taken away from their families and brainwashed since childhood. Also, Phasma never mentioned “fixing the troops”, she asked him have his blaster checked, thinking a malfunction was the reason he did not fire on the civilians.

          • Wedge Antilles

            I’d in my opinion go back and check that if I was you…..

        • OfWolfandMan

          If you got time to lean you got time to clean.

      • OfWolfandMan

        Didn’t Phasma and superiors have an image of a young Finn on the screen, while they were discussing his behavior? So he was in the FO from the get go. So his military assignment code may have been RCS-G13. Refuse Collection Specialist. Garbage (13).

    • Brett Brocato

      We’ve only seen 1/3 of the story. I am hopeful we will learn more about Finn and his backstory or intentions or convictions in VIII and IX.

  • TimmytheTusken

    TPM is Citizen Kane next to TFA. Hell even ATC is better than that bantha poo from 2015

    • Jimmy Kemp

      All of the prequels are Citizen Kane compared to the Disney crap we get now.

  • DarthCanabis

    i just watched TFA again the other day and it’s still as disappointing as it was 2 years ago. There are certainly some things about TPM that are indeed annoying but I’ll take the prequel trilogy any day over these new movies (except for Rogue One which I thought was brilliant).

  • kingsnead412

    TFA is a great movie. Anyone that disagrees is an idiot.

    • Yes! You’re just like one of those commenters on Screen Rant who can’t handle the criticism of anything YOU like. LOL. Hilarious.

      • kingsnead412

        When I visit this SW fan site and find an article to read I can usually rely on you and other OT stans to be on here bashing anything and everything SW. Been watching SW since I was little so I would say 22-25 years and it was the OT that made me such a huge fan. I was 11 when TPM came out and even then the only thing I liked about those movies were some of the characters: Qui Gon/ Obi Wan/ Maul and of course Padme was hot. The action in the PT was fun and there are things of merit in those movies but the PT needs to be scrapped and redone. TFA is the first of the NT so whining about plot holes is pointless and saying its to much like ANH is just plain dumb. Yea I see the similarities but they felt necessary. Until the trilogy is complete it makes no sense to presume you know everything about what is going on and the characters.

        • That is such a gross over-generalization that I have to laugh. We (I) love Star Wars. This isn’t my article. It’s Screen Rant’s. I am asking for everyone’s opinion on their 15 points. There is no reason why we can’t have a discussion about the criticisms of any films we like. It doesn’t make you morally superior that you like TFA just like it doesn’t make me morally inferior that I don’t.

          • Wedge Antilles

            Well that is a good way to put it, Your view is just an “opinion” as a fan who is not a fan of TFA, and my “opinion” is I am a Star Wars fan that saw the good in TFA (just an opinion).

            So I agree there, neither or any of us is “superior” – just all each of us have in an “opinion” nothing more, nothing less.

            Just an “opinion:” – each are worthwhile, regardless to which train of though your are on.

            Now if this was a science experiment, with conclusive results, well those debates are different.

          • kingsnead412

            I only come to this site for news but cant help myself and check the comments section which always disappoints me. You amongst others are usually bashing everything. Never said I was morally above anyone. Calling people idiots or their negative opinions dumb doesnt suggest that I think I am better than them only that I strongly disagree and that their opinion irritates me. I dont expect everyone to like what I like or agree with me. And I will def try to not name call unless I feel insulted but I wont initiate. Its ok not to like everything but the focus of any fan site should be to show appreciation and have a positive community.

          • Disagree. That’s what people like to label me as but it isn’t true.

          • OfWolfandMan

            “…..only that I strongly disagree and that their opinion irritates me.” People’s opinions and comments here at JTA and everywhere in the world irritate me, but I don’t resort to name calling etc. People here always remind us these are toys and movies. See, I just disagreed, but don’t hate you.

        • ExarKun777

          “bashing anything and everything SW”. Please do not generalize in that way. All of us have different opinions about many subjects in Star Wars, but I have not seen a single person in this site “bashing everything SW”. Please be serious.

          • kingsnead412

            Do not over analyze what I say or tell me I can or cannot generalize. To clarify though what I meant is out of every article I have viewed on here and took the time to read the comment section I have seen a handful of the same names leaving negative opinions. Was it an over generalization? Sure but I am allowed to express my opinions how I feel.

          • ExarKun777

            Ok, now you expressed your idea with other words. It’s more understandable in this way.

          • OfWolfandMan

            “But I am allowed to express my opinions how I feel.”
            I guess the same could be said of all the “same names leaving negative opinions.”
            Man, freedom is weird.

    • Richard Pryor

      Paul doesn’t like TFA. So this is true.

      • Aww, did you get your feelings hurt again? Poor baby! Life is about learning how to cope with hearing things you don’t like to hear or agree with. You should take some life classes on that.

        Also, don’t call me an idiot, albeit indirectly. You know nothing about me. To resort to name-calling over and opinion of a film is PATHETIC. You’re really turning into a troll here, and I won’t stand for it much longer. You never contribute unless it’s to criticize me. Get over your hard on for me.

        • Richard Pryor

          [You’re right Paul. I am sorry.]

          • LOL, you’re NOT going to win here. Concede defeat now.

        • kingsnead412

          Hard to contribute when you disagree wholeheartedly to the point it makes your head hurt. And like the Sith I only deal in absolutes!

        • kingsnead412

          I would like to apologize for name calling as it is unnecessary and something I am trying to work on.

          • Long Snoot

            Didn’t you just call the millions of people who disagree with your opinion idiots? It sounds a bit hypocritical from you to request an apologise for getting unnecessarily insulted.

          • kingsnead412

            You mean the 100’s you IDIOT!

          • Long Snoot

            I think we can all agree that listing the reasons why you disagree with the article and consider it to be a great movie would be a much more rational and efficient way to give your opinion more importance than insulting.

          • MicroCapo

            Millions is a bit of an exaggeration.

          • Long Snoot

            I beg to disagree. According to estimates, TFA has been watched by 45.5 people in theaters as of January 2016. Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a great movie and a good movie, and, according to my experience, the majority of the people (including me) consider the movie to be a good one but with some flaws. It is undeniable that between these 45.5 at least 2 millions of people (altough I believe it’s a much higher amount) either consider it to be a good, an ok or a bad movie instead of a great one.

          • MicroCapo

            Everything we’re saying is 100% subjective so nobody could be right or wrong. Appreciate your estimates though.

      • @Geoff Brown – I can take care of you too.

    • hammyhamster
      • kingsnead412
        • hammyhamster

          Correct. By calling millions of people an “idiot” drove me to send that GIF.

          love TFA all you want or hate it, but there’s no real need to label everyone else who doesn’t agree with you.

          • kingsnead412

            You are second person to say I called millions of people an idiot. Why are you so certain that millions of people hate that movie. I would venture a guess in the hundreds. Its a more realistic guess.

          • The difference is those that disliked TFA don’t call people names who did like it. The converse is almost never true when it comes to TFA. They unhinge, become angry and offended because you don’t like something they do. That’s a pitiful way to live. You could say you hate ROTJ (my favorite movie) or call it a rehash of ANH and I would laugh and be like “more power to you man.” But I get labeled a hater and that I am the worst person on Earth, and that I don’t belong in society (yes, that was a recent attack) because I dislike TFA. The generation of people that like TFA can’t seem to cope with any criticism of the film. it’s very, very troubling and sad to me.

          • The Gungan Menace

            With all due respect Paul, what is the point of all this? Everyone who comes to this site knows you don’t like TFA. Most people, and most Star Wars fans, do however like the movie. I get that it’s your site and you can post whatever you want, but I don’t understand why you feel the need to let others know at every opportunity that you don’t like TFA. It seems like beating a dead horse to me. Can we just move on please?

          • 1. This is Screen Rant’s article, not JTA’s.
            2. It’s a provocative claim to suggest TPM (hailed as the worst Star Wars film) might be better than TFA.
            3. I asked EVERYONE to provide their thoughts on Screen Rant’s (NOT JTA’s) analysis.
            4. I never said ONCE in the article how TFA is the worst film. Trouble-making commenters brought that into the discussions because they can’t handle that someone doesn’t like something they like. Develop some coping skills I say.
            5. If we can’t discuss Star Wars like adults then why have a site like this to gather and disqus?

          • OfWolfandMan

            Well, it comes across as “I have the right to speak my opinion and it should be respected.” But, ”don’t you speak a different opinion.” Just let JTA do what they do.

          • ILoveSand

            So no one can respond anymore to anything if they have already voiced an opinion? No more discussion? C’mon. It prompts discussion and even if you have voiced your opinion once, why do you suddenly have to stop? If you don’t like it, either don’t come here or move to discuss with someone else on the thread. I personally enjoyed the article that Paul posted form Screen Rant.

          • MicroCapo

            ROTJ is actually my least favorite SW movie, only behind AOTC. Doesn’t mean you’re an (expletive) or any other name. We all just like SW figures, hence why we’re here. Not sure why everybody takes each other so seriously 🙂 – adults playing with plastic is what we are. Not politicians, not credible movie critics, or anything else.

          • hammyhamster

            Let’s break it down this way; there’s about 1 Billion people in the Western “civilized” world. I’m not even bringing up China / Japan / S. Korea / the Philippines for this math, even though there’s millions of legit Star Wars fans there, BUT, just for the West, we’re looking at close to 1 Billion people.

            Of that, I’d say half have watched more than one Star Wars movie prior to TFA. That means 500 million people have an awareness of the Star Wars brand. Of that, I’d say 20% would be considered “serious” fans. We’re now down to 100 million. Of that, I’d say 25% would be “hardcore fans”. Now we are at 25 million people in the west.

            Of that final number, I think it’s pretty safe to say that AT LEAST 25% of hardcore Star Wars fans in the Western world were unhappy with TFA to varying degrees (disappointed with a recycled story to absolutely hating it / not thinking that it was great).

            Ipso facto, I feel that you labelled at least 6.25 MILLION people “idiots”. And that’s being conservative.

          • shane

            These little feuds are just awesome, I love it !!!

          • hammyhamster

            lol! I’d pay to see that. I may like chaos, but I’m not a fan of insanity. To say that anyone who doesn’t think that TFA is great is an idiot is pretty much the definition of insanity (forgetting what Einstein may think about the subject), but the cherry on top was the comment about only hundreds of people feeling that way. You could find hundreds of people disappointed with TFA on this site alone during breakfast.

  • RumSleg

    I was preparing to rip on this article as clickbait, but the statements about lack of context in TFA and the loose ends/sequel bait (nos. 11, 10, 4 and 2) really drive home why I left the theater very conflicted the first time I saw TFA. I can overlook the fan service and too powerful Rey and some of the illogical character arcs, but I really wanted and expected a self-contained movie that stood well on its own.

    I think the reason I’ve slowly warmed to TFA is because I’ve gotten the context filled in from other sources. I think as the story continues to be more filled in by movies and books and comics, I will enjoy TFA more and more, because I’ll know all the essential information that the movie doesn’t provide. So, perhaps it’s terribly frustrating as a stand-alone movie, but will ultimately be a fun highlight of a much longer story.

    • deecee4

      I didn’t read the article cause I don’t like lists being passed off as journalism but, anyway, that is a legit critique. A lot of TFA felt like just a set up movie rather than its own thing to be enjoyed. I would make the argument that all of the SW movies except ANH and Jedi are guilty of that to some extent.

    • CT-7567

      The ancillary material has definitely helped, but we shouldn’t have to depend on books and comics to fill in basic plot holes.

      • RumSleg

        Exactly.

      • ExarKun777

        This is one of my principal issues with TFA!

    • JohnMorog

      I agree the movie should have been self-contained, like the other movies. While the article makes some good points, I don’t agree with others. Particularly that I don’t think Snoke is a bad character (we didn’t know anything about the Emporer until the prequels), the set pieces are incredible (for Pete’s sakes they’re not even all CGI like TPM), uninspired ship designs? You mean ships inspired after the original designs…

      In the end I guess I just agree with you. Context and supplemental materials were my biggest issues.

      • RumSleg

        Re: Snoke, I’m fine with him being the unknown bad guy who is evil for evil’s sake, just like Palpatine was in the OT. *EXCEPT* if Snoke is so ancient and so powerful, I do want some explanation for where he was and what he was up to during the PT and OT eras. And to a lesser extent, the same applies for Maz.

        • JohnMorog

          That’s fair. Again, we didn’t get barely any explanation for Palpatine until ROTS when he vaguely mentions the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise. If we get even that much of an explanation, I’ll honestly be happy. He could have been chilling on his planet in his riches in a mansion practicing the force in an underground sith temple for all I care.

          • RumSleg

            Something like that would be enough for me as well. Just enough for it to make sense that he wasn’t interfering in galactic affairs during the PT and OT, and to explain “why now?”.

          • JohnMorog

            Yes, absolutely.

      • Andy Serkiss’s performance to Ian McDiarmid is like comparing JEJ to Hayden Christensen’s as Vader.

        As LOTR/POTA proves he can act when he wants to but clearly he’s doing SW just for the paycheck ala SLJ.

        • JohnMorog

          I wasn’t comparing the performance, but the character.

    • K Andrews

      As I kept watching and thinking about TFA, my enjoyment of this movie kept going down, while my enjoyment of Rogue One kept going up and I couldn’t put my finger as of to why was that until I read your opinion. Thanks.

      My dissatisfaction with TFA is that the movie was made to be part one of three from the beginning, while ANH (and TPM for that matter) were made to be stand alone. I have been reading some of the complementary material for TFA, so I’m aware of some of the nuance’s in TFA, but in the end that have not added to my enjoyment of the movie. I guess I won’t be able to enjoy TFA until I watch the remaining two in the trilogy.

  • David Howell

    I will try to persevere through article but the presumptions in the first few paragraphs are not building confidence in author’s judgment. Luke wasn’t “such a bad pilot himself.” Fatal blow to deathstar, (see Rogue One.) Who said Rey can’t fly? She knows the MF hasn’t flown in years. She is staying on planet waiting for her family. Han definitely understands Wookiee. Who said Rey isn’t the chosen one?
    Who says Rey isn’t a child of the force?

    • There is NO WAY Rey is the chosen one.

      • CT-7567

        I wouldn’t put anything past Disney. Honest question though: aren’t you tired of ripping TFA apart? I mean, I was extremely disappointed in it, but it is what it is. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect anything close to the quality of the OT from Disney. RO is the best they’ve done so far and it might end up being the best SW film Disney ever does. I’m optimistic about TLJ, but because Luke is my favorite character I have a feeling I might end up hating the way he’s portrayed. Now JJ is back, so even if TLJ is good he’ll destroy that in his reboot if ROTJ that is Episode IX. But, tbh, this constant ragging on TFA is getting old. It’s bad enough we had to get a disappointing sequel to ROTJ, but do we really have to keep hearing about it all the time? Not trying to piss you off, just wondering what the point is…

        • Randy

          The point is that we don’t want more merchandise from TFA.

      • JohnMorog

        I agree with you here, I don’t think Rey is the chosen one at all. I don’t mind her ability to use a lightsaber and fly, though. I mean, Anakin could sense the Force to help him pod race without force-using training, so while lightsaber wielding and pod racing might be different, the capability of using the force without much training is possible.

        More than being a chosen one, I see Rey vs Kylo like the children of Mortis. Which, if they were force reincarnates of them, that would actually be a cool tie-in that would give those strange episodes of TCW a lot more meaning.

        • RumSleg

          All I know is, Anakin’s bloodline can’t go out with a whimper. Anakin was the Chosen One, Luke was powerful enough to redeem Anakin and appears to have grown more powerful. Leia appears to have done little to develop any powers she might have. Kylo can’t just be a tantrum-y, not exceptional Force user.

          • This is another one of TFA’s biggest flaws. Luke prophesied that in time Leia would learn about the Force and become powerful like Luke. Yeah, what happened with that plot point in the ST?

          • JohnMorog

            Carrie Fisher died… :/

          • The had Episode VII and Episode VIII to develop that. The ST isn’t about the main trio of heroes. They’re merely background characters for the new trio.

          • JohnMorog

            I could imagine that after Luke went into hiding her chances of becoming a proficient force-user kinda fizzled out. Not to mention… “she is too. old.”

            But, that’s just speculation, and yes, it should be explained in the movie.

          • Wedge Antilles

            She led the Resistance, Force Power works in many ways – it fits – Luke was right, she did use her Force Powers to become powerful.

            See, how do people, especially SW fans miss these plot themes, HOW?

          • RumSleg

            I suspect that before Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing, one big plot twist in Episode IX was going to be a revelation that Leia did have some Force powers that she had been secretly honing. She reveals them just in time to take out Snoke.

          • JohnMorog

            From the trailer, I think Kylo will be much different this time around.

      • RumSleg

        Playing devil’s advocate – if the Force begat Anakin, why can’t it beget Rey?

        • Because George Lucas said that Anakin is the Chosen One and it’s his story no matter how hard Disney tries to trample it.

          • Gabriel Mican

            It stopped being his story when he decided to sell it for billions. The ugly truth 🙁

          • RumSleg

            I’m not saying whether or not I would like it, but I think from a plausibility standpoint, if the Force could beget one Chosen One, I wouldn’t find it impossible/implausible that the Chosen One would be reincarnated.

          • ILoveSand

            I truly hope that isn’t the case, especially since I have heard that rumor fly around on a couple other sites.

          • ExarKun777

            Agree, Lucas wrote a familiar history for them (Leia and Han together with their children) and Disney ditched it in favor to a have a new super hero.

      • she might not be THE chosen one, but might be A chosen one.

      • Wedge Antilles

        I mentioned that the other day – You never know…

        Mace did say what if the prophecy was misread in the Prequels, or was it Yoda – anyway does not matter who said it, there was doubt about Anikan.

        We need a midichlorian reading on Rey fast! (think I might go hide for a bit) 🙂

  • Barricade24

    Can I just take a step back here and talk about the under appreciation of the Phantom Menace? Honestly, I’ve really developed a love for that movie, it really did give us a lot of cool new stuff. It gave us the cool Battle Droid army, awesome new music, the podracer scene, the Duel of the Fates scene, even the Gungan technology is pretty neat if you think about it. It covered different elements of the Star Wars galaxy and I don’t think it is near as bad as it has made out to have been.

    • Chad

      the prequels in general aren’t as bad as they are made out to be, are they the greastest movies? no, but they are definitely not as bad as people make them out to be. Its just the “cool” thing to hate on them. The prequels turned star wars into a universe. And as much as people complain that they were “too different” form the originals, we got TFA and people are saying that was too similar. Just showing that people don’t know what they want.

    • RumSleg

      Two simple (but big) changes would have made TPM work a million times better: 1) Replace the goofy Gungans with a species that is cool and dangerous (I’m thinking the Noghri); and 2) make Anakin an older teenager, and make his destruction of the droid control ship intentional – part of Padme’s plan. Keep everything else the same. I think this would make the whole movie feel much different.

      • Thom Andr

        Yes. Those two changes would have completely altered the way the TPM was received. I find it eternally frustrating how close they were to making something awesome.

      • The Gungans are visually appealing creatures. They didn’t need to be goofballs for sure. If Jar Jar doesn’t open his mouth, he would have been relatively flawless as a character.

        • RumSleg

          It was a mis-step to make the Gungans so pivotal to the plot and also rely on Jar Jar for comic relief.

        • ExarKun777

          I saw an edition of TPM made by fans where they used almost the same dialogues for Jar Jar, but with a serious voice, and it’s great! this adds the seriousness needed.

        • Boba Fred

          I’m a prequels kid and I hated Jar Jar back then, I never understood the point of that character. I heard that the goofy character was aimed for kids but I guess it didn’t work on me, I must have been an odd kid lol. But I do like the Gungans as a race, Jar Jar didn’t ruin it for me luckily. I’m a sucker for Star Wars aliens and TFA was the first Star Wars movie to fail at quenching my thirst for aliens. I don’t hate the movie but it’s definitely at the bottom of my Star Wars films rank list.

      • Darth Mire

        Anakin should have definitely been older…at least the same age as Padme. And as much as I love Liam Neeson, there should have been no Qui-Gon. Little Obi-wan says in the OT about the past makes any sense unless he…on his own…is the one who finds and ultimately decides to train Anakin. The inclusion of Qui-gon seems to be Lucas’s attempt to spare Obi-wan any real culpability when it came to Anakin’s fall.

        • Plus even though Vader was F’ed up looking in the OT, He seemed way too old to be in his 40’s. Obi-Wan should have been in his 60’s by then too making him in his 30’s by TPM or so.

        • MicroCapo

          Qui-Gon was the best part of TPM. His role in SW is just as important as anyone else’s. The fact he wasn’t apart of the council but so respected says a lot.

          • RumSleg

            Qui-Gon seemed to be more in tune with the Force. If he had survived TPM, he might’ve prevented the extermination of the Jedi.

          • Darth Your Mom

            Funny how he basically knew more about the Force than anyone on the council INCLUDING Yoda.

      • Kalzeth

        You nailed it. I don’t even think they need to replace the gun fans. Just stop the bathroom humor and make jar jar less of a caricature. Teenage anakin saves it. Better directing non world class actors would be the icing.

      • coreworld

        Agreed on those points, I always imagined when I heard there were battledroids in the film, they would be larger than humans and present a challenge for the Jedi to defeat, what we got was, well, less so.

      • Anakin was originally 12 in the script and I agree, We would have gotten a much better child actor as a result. One who probably wouldn’t have grown up to be a felon.

        Though it’s called Pedowood for a reason and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone there touched Jake as a child which is why he is so filled with anger as an adult today.

        I think a twelve year old having a crush on a 14 year old would have been slightly less creepy as well.

      • Robin Bland

        Hindsight is a beautiful thing, but I entirely agree. Those tweaks would’ve probably resulted in a better-remembered movie. Young “Annie” did TPM and the legend of Darth Vader absolutely no favors.

    • Long Snoot

      Do you happen to be a Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy modder? Your name sounds familiar.

      • Barricade24

        Indeed I am. Among other things as well.

      • ShortForAH03

        I didn’t know there were mods for JK, I loved that game years ago

    • I think we can all agree that Drew’s poster is WAY better than that photoshopped piece of poop next to it.

    • bobcat

      its not perfect but after i got use to the story (its a bit hard to follow i found, till you see it a few times) i didnt mind it as much as it got slammed. i really think the Gungans home world still looks amazing after all these years. they really nailed the look of that for earlier CGI. thats a highlight for me. as is the opening scenes with the nmodians. however u spell that. except when the jedi go super fast..seeing that now seems cheese to me for some reason. haha

    • Aric

      I think theres a big difference with people who were old enough to go to the theatres with the old trilogy, and the people who experienced Episode I as their first new in theatre star wars movie. There are so many under the radar star wars references all over Phantom Menace. My history teacher created a 20 page Easter Egg guide for Episode 1 on his own.

    • shane

      31 upvotes says something. I look at it this way. It’s actually ageing very well over time. It sort of has it’s own cult following. I enjoy it for what it is. It’s part of the Lucas story and I love it. I’ll take the bad with the good in what it offers.

  • The answer to most of these is quite possibly “Wait for the sequels.” Eight Star Wars films in and constant speculation on the Internet with other people has helped to create this constant need for instant gratification. Sure, more exposition could have helped TFA. I left the theater with quite a few questions. And some of the plot elements were a little silly. But I largely enjoyed it and found that any issues I did have weren’t enough to affect my overall thoughts on the film. I’m sure the answer to some of these will come in TLJ and the next film. But we must do as Qui-Gon says: “We shall be patient!”

    • RumSleg

      I’m growing more confident that we’ll get satisfying answers, and so TFA’s flaws will feel less glaring as the story gets filled in. That being said, ANH (and TPM) stand well on their own. They leave the story open for sequels, but they don’t leave the audience feeling like they haven’t gotten a complete story. (And I know ESB ends on a big cliffhanger, but I’d also say that was different, because it at least feels like the first half of a complete story. TFA feels like part 3 or 4 of a post-ROTJ story.)

      • They do, but in particular, TPM wasn’t exactly the most concise story with the taxation of trade routes making sense and the blockade of Naboo being fully explained. And I knew several people at the time who weren’t well-versed with Star Wars and didn’t realize that Palpatine and Sidious were the same person (some of them all the way up thru Revenge of the Sith). As you may know, there were even many fans who theorized that they were clones or twin brothers. ANH stands on its own far better, but you still never see the Emperor and it isn’t explained how the Republic became the Empire. You just kind of accept them because that’s what they flesh out.

        I do think the sequel trilogy filmmakers should take into account, at least to some extent, that some of these things need better exposition, and that some things that worked in the OT won’t necessarily work in the ST. But as hard as it can be, I’ll wait until the trilogy is finished before getting too upset or praising the ST as being the greatest thing ever. As long as they tell a good, complete story that ultimately makes sense within the context of the entire saga and is entertaining and satisfying, I’ll be happy.

        • RumSleg

          I always wondered about the identity twists in TPM – Padme/Amidala and Palpatine/Sidious. Were audience members fooled? Did Lucas intend to fool the audience? When Padme reveals herself as the real Queen to the Gungans, and Anakin and everyone is all surprised, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be surprised, too. I knew going into it that Natalie Portman played the Queen, and so I knew that Padme wasn’t just a handmaid through the whole Tatooine sequence. Right?

          • I don’t know. I know some people personally who didn’t figure out the Palpatine/Sidious thing until ROTS. I’m not sure about the Padme thing though. I was in middle school at the time and it didn’t really occur to me that Padme wasn’t the Queen. They had promoted that Natalie Portman was the Queen before the movie, but it was also obvious from the merchandise and watching the film that she was Padme. I guess I just assumed she was playing both and that it would be explained at some point.

    • David Harrison

      Agreed – personally, I like the questions TFA posed, and enjoyed mulling things over after watching it.

    • rebelsfangirl

      Yep. People forget when ANH came out we didn’t have all the context for it either, and there as a huge amount of fan and official literature to fill in the gaps, much of which was completely contradicted by ESB. But back then people didn’t have the internet to form little echo chambers with which to build mountains out of molehills.

      • JohnMorog

        Exactly! People keep saying how Snoke is a horrible character… We didn’t even know the first thing about who the Emperor’s backstory until ROTS, like 25 years after ANH!

        • Mr_Crankypants

          BECAUSE WE DIDN’T NEED TO KNOW THAT STUFF. His story function was to in ESB be a shadowy puppet master and in RotJ be a cackling demon. In the context of the story of the OT, we don’t NEED to know where he came from or what he wants. Telling the PT story, THAT’S when we need to find out more about what makes him tick. CONTEXT.

      • RumSleg

        Disagree. This isn’t all making mountains out of molehills, and “wait for the sequel” doesn’t justify some of TFA’s shortcomings. Compare our heroes, Luke and Rey, for an example.

        Luke’s story in ANH is complete. He was a farmboy his whole life, and he becomes a hero. We find out his father was more than what Luke thought, but we have a basic, simple answer about who he was.

        Rey’s story in TFA is deliberately not complete, and even what she knows about herself is concealed from the audience. We don’t know what she knows or remembers about her family or childhood. We don’t know where she was or what she was before Jakku. We don’t know how she has Force powers. We have it thrown in our faces multiple times throughout the movie that she’s a mystery. “Classified? Really? Me too. Big secret.” Kylo: “What girl?” – cut before the officer answers. Maz: “Who’s the girl?” – cut before Han answers.

        • rebelsfangirl

          You say that like Rey being mysterious is a shortcoming. Not knowing everything is not a shortcoming.

          • RumSleg

            I think it is absolutely a shortcoming when the mysterious person is supposed to be the hero and the person the audience relates to. But that’s beside the point. Luke Skywalker having a complete story in ANH didn’t prevent Darth Vader from being revealed as his father in ESB and Leia revealed as his sister in ROTJ, and lots of other things expanding his story.

            Luke Skywalker in ANH had BOTH a complete story and the potential for lots of expansion. Lucas nailed that balance. By contrast, Rey is all mystery and no complete story, so far.

          • rebelsfangirl

            I don’t, it’s not like it has stopped innumerable other characters. You’re not actually making any argument here other than ANH and TFA don’t tell the same story lol. Which is true.

            Needing a complete story after the first act is part of the problem here.

          • RumSleg

            Name some protagonists who are as shrouded in mystery as Rey.

          • Like polar bears on an island?

          • RumSleg

            If you’re referencing LOST, I think that’s a great example that supports my point. Jack, Kate, Locke, Sawyer and the rest all had backstories that were revealed over time that enhanced the story and made you look at the whole story differently. But each successive episode stood on its own based on what the audience knew at the time.

          • rebelsfangirl

            Jason Bourne, James Bond, Indiana Jones in his first appearance. Han Solo

          • RumSleg

            None of those are comparable. Solo and Jones don’t have mysterious pasts. One’s a smuggler, the other’s a professor and archaeologist. No Star Wars or Indiana Jones movie drops hints that there’s some important piece of information about them that the audience lacks. I believe the same is true for Bond, although I’m not well-versed in Bond films. He’s a spy. You’re not waiting for the other shoe to drop about his past, or for a big twist in his future. And as for Bourne, if I recall correctly, the point of his story is that he himself doesn’t remember who he is, and the audience discovers his past at the same time he re-discovers it.

          • rebelsfangirl

            Yes they they are. We literally know as much about Han Solos back story and how he learned how to do what he can do at the end of ANH as we do about Rey at the end of TFA.
            Bourne exemplifies the point exactly, he is allowed to be mysterious, it’s accepted as part of his backstory. Rey apparently is not allowed to be mysterious

          • coreworld

            There is also the small fact that Lucas was working on the assumption that the film was going to be a one off, with the potential there for other stories, everyone working on it (barring Mark Hamil) thought it was going to flop hard, so it stands to reason Lucas would make his film more self contained. TFA is under no such illusions, it’s a trilogy and not everything is going to be wrapped up with a big red bow.

          • RumSleg

            There’s a big difference between not wrapping everything up with a big red bow and constantly taunting your audience with the fact that all the characters have more information than the audience.

          • This I do fully agree with.

          • Littlegreenwiseguy

            That in and of itself is the most obvious disservice The Force Awakens puts an audience through. You really nailed a primary problem with that film. Well said.

          • rebelsfangirl

            Good point.

          • Mr_Crankypants

            And yet TPM doesn’t suffer the same way TFA does – we’re not left going ‘wait, why did that character do that? How is that supposed to work exactly?’. It’s almost like “BUT YOU HAVE TO SEE THE OOOOOOTHER ONESSSS!!!!” isn’t really a defense of a film that is more interested in leaving dangling mysteries than telling a satisfying story.

          • RumSleg

            Not knowing everything is not necessarily a shortcoming, but the audience needs to feel that it knows enough to relate to the hero. We don’t get that with Rey, and the movie actively prevents us from getting that by constantly reminding us that we don’t know her.

          • rebelsfangirl

            You mean you feel you need more to relate to her. I don’t, and neither do the vast majority of fans given the overwhelming popularity of both Rey and TFA.

          • RumSleg

            In one breath you say I can’t speak for the audience, and then you purport speak for the audience yourself.

          • rebelsfangirl

            Well I’m referencing a poll that came out after TFA which found Rey was overwhelmingly the audiences favourite character, plus also inferring from the fact that the movie was hugely popular and only a handful of fanboys like to complain about Rey.

          • RumSleg

            Please stop trying to imply that I’m a “fanboy” with a grudge against Rey because she’s a girl or something. I really like Rey and I’m really interested in her story. I’m allowed to like her and still be annoyed by the filmmaker’s excessive efforts to make her more mysterious.

          • rebelsfangirl

            I’m not implying that. You are allowed both of those things, but at the same time being annoyed by it doesn’t make it a flaw with the film, I think it adds to it. That’s my whole point. You can dislike how a film approaches something without that being a problem with the film.

          • Caius

            Sometimes a problem with a film is just that – a problem and nothing more. You may feel that the problem did not effect you as deeply but it is stil a problem.

          • RumSleg

            And I’d also say you only *think* you relate to her, or you relate only superficially. How can you relate to someone you don’t know? TFA never stops telling the audience “you don’t know who Rey is”. You might as well claim to relate to Verbal Kint from the Usual Suspects.

          • DC555

            Usual Suspects, good reference

          • rebelsfangirl

            On the contrary, I find it extremely easy to relate to a competent, hard working female character who is subjected to ridiculous amounts of criticism and hatred that are largely baseless or blowing small things way out of proportion. I don’t need to know every beat of Reys backstory to know her, anymore than I need to know every beat of Han Solo’s backstory to know him.

          • RumSleg

            Again, please stop implying that my annoyance at the film’s constant references to Rey’s mysterious past has anything to do with her being a female. I. don’t. dislike. her.

            You don’t need to know Han’s back story because his real character development happens in ANH (subject to whatever is changed in the Untitled Solo movie). He’s a selfish smuggler who becomes a reluctant hero. He doesn’t have mysterious powers that sudden develop. He doesn’t have strange flashback dreams of being abandoned. He doesn’t talk about his parents or classified big secrets.

            I come back to my comparison to Verbal Kint. Is Rey Verbal, or is she Keyser Soze? YOU DO NOT KNOW BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW HER YET. Nobody in the audience does. And the movie repeatedly pounded us over the head with this fact. At some point we’ll get more of her story, and then we’ll be able to discuss whether she’s as likable as Keyser Soze as she was when she seemed to be Verbal Kint.

            Back to my original point – if you removed all of the excessive dialogue referencing Rey’s past (“Classified. Really. Me too, big secret.” “Who’s the girl?”, “I’m waiting for my family”) etc. etc.), removed the flashback of her being abandoned with Unkar, you would have the *exact* same movie. The story of TFA wouldn’t suffer one bit. And you’d still have the same opportunity to expand on Rey’s story in future installments. In the meantime, the audience might wonder how Rey is alone on Jakku without a family, just like we wondered about Luke’s father after seeing ANH.

          • rebelsfangirl

            I didn’t imply that, I’m just saying I find it easy to relate to her, for the reasons I mentioned.

            Why do we need to know Rey’s? The relevant point is she has these powers, and what she does with them. We’re obviously intended to find ou more about her in the future, hence the breadcrumbs being dropped. I get that you don’t like this approach to character development, and that’s fine, but it doesn’t make the approach wrong and given how much speculation about Rey there is it’s obviously having the desired effect.

            I don’t need to know, and backstory isn’t all there is to know about the character. I know Rey is caring, brave, powerful, skilled but also scared and somewhat stubborn. I know she has had a hard life, but that she hasn’t let herself be completely hardened by it. I like her as a character even if I don’t know where she came from.

            You would, but Rey wouldn’t be the same, and I disagree that the movie wouldn’t suffer for that even if it doesn’t relate overmuch to the plot specifics of TFA.

          • RumSleg

            What you call breadcrumbs, I see as… what’s the biggest form of bread? Loaves? Bagels? Giant Bavarian Pretzels that servers hang on their arms at Oktoberfest? 😉

          • Mr_Crankypants


            ………
            Can you elaborate on how you found her relatable when you watched the film because of how people have criticized the way Rey was written over the last two years…since the movie was in theaters. I mean, I’m not DOUBTING your psychic powers per se, but….

          • rebelsfangirl

            Gosh your dumb. See, there is this thing we humans have “thoughts” and those “thoughts” can develop and change over time. I related to Rey when I first saw her as a woman who was hard working, tough and underestimated, and over time as she began to be subjected to more and more stupid and unjust criticism, I began to relate to her even more.

          • Darth Your Mom

            I mean Kylo straight up says who she is, and I quote: “She is strong with the Force! Untrained, but stronger than she knows!”
            Kind of a long name though.

          • RumSleg

            That sounds like a sort of a Native American name! 😉

          • shane

            Except it’s not mysterious, it’s just annoying. Hopefully TLJ will straighten out this mess.

      • ILoveSand

        But there was enough context that you could understand the story. What was the Empire, who was Darth Vader, who was Luke, who was Obi-Wan? There was enough explained that you could understand the story and the characters and there was still plenty to explain in the later films without spoiling. You could watch the movies on their own merit without buying a book to fill in explanations. I get wanting to leave things for sequels and that is all good, but the story you are telling needs to come from somewhere for people to understand what is going on. Even captain America was able to tell a complete story about who Steve Rogers was, how he became Captain America, information on Hydra without spoiling and still leaving lots to tell in future movies.

        I find it difficult to relate to Finn and Rey because there is nothing to the characters except wait for the next movie. Rey I might be able to give a pass to personally because there may be a really good explanation for how she can execute these force powers without any training. Some thing even the Chosen One needed in order to fully execute powers. But Finn is just sloppy writing. No explanation as to why he suddenly rescues Poe and defects. We are just supposed to accept that and move on. That should have been explained in the first movie and then they continue to develop the character in the rest of the films.

        • rebelsfangirl

          Sorry but that’s on you, not TFA.

          • ILoveSand

            I would say making a film that people can walk out and understand what’s going rather than scratching their heads and wondering what the heck did I just watch is on the film makers. If you enjoyed TFA great. But many felt the same as I did. We can just agree to disagree on this.

          • rebelsfangirl

            Given how popular this film was it is safe to say you are a very small minority, which is really my point. YOU had problems with TFA, which is perfectly legitimate. That doesn’t mean TFA has those problems.

          • ILoveSand

            Okay like I said we will agree to disagree. YOU say I’m in a very small minority. That doesn’t mean YOU are correct.

          • rebelsfangirl

            The popularity of the film and Rey, and the relative rarity of complaints like yours suggests otherwise.

          • ILoveSand

            There have been many complaints about the story and the characters. There are many articles detailing the complaints about these things.

          • rebelsfangirl

            And yet the film was critically acclaimed, audience acclaimed and the third highest grossing of all time. A few people whining after the fact doesn’t make their complaints anything other than subjective problems they found, not flaws in the film.

          • ILoveSand

            Of course the film was critically acclaimed. It would never have not made a ton of money. Just because a movie makes a ton of money doesn’t mean everybody was happy when they walked out. I never said the film was horrible. But the complaint about the context of the story and the character development is a valid claim. I would argue you have blinders on when it comes to really looking at the film and not seeing some of the issues others are pointing out.

          • rebelsfangirl

            Sigh. I’m done. You can be cranky that everything wasn’t spelled out on screen for you all you want, that still doesn’t make it the films problem.

          • ILoveSand

            So dramatic.

          • Norman

            Transformers, anyone?

          • ILoveSand

            I’m ashamed I saw that movie.

          • shane

            I’ll agree to agree with you. LOL !

          • ILoveSand

            Haha.

      • Biffard P. Misqueegan

        ANH had one huge element of context that TFA didnt – the Death Star briefing scene. That few minutes of exposition gave a ton of context. TFA desperately needed something like that.

        • Mr_Crankypants

          Something explaining the Republic and its relationship to the Resistance would have been much appreciated.

    • ShortForAH03

      Yeah, I thought TFA was a great reintroduction of Star Wars to the big screen, as did most people, and I can agree with the professional critics (the vast majority of which acclaim TFA).

    • Mr_Crankypants

      That’s not ‘instant gratification’. That’s ‘expecting a movie to be a satisfying work of art that stands on its own merits and doesn’t require the viewer to read the novelization, the comic books series, and buy the breakfast cereal with the tip-top secret decoder ring to make a lick of sense’. In TFA, LFL and Disney have manufactured a product that is almost entirely unsatisfying unless you buy all the crud that comes with it to convince yourself you saw a whole movie.

  • Lando Griffin

    What bugs me most about TFA is that it had a blank canvas. Unlike the prequels or R1 or Solo, it didn’t have to adhere to any other plot point. It could’ve gone in literally any direction. Instead, we got a retelling of ANH. Now I’ve heard a couple people defend TFA by saying they loved ANH, so naturally they loved TFA. That frustrates me to no end. Go watch ANH then.

    • DC555

      What an amazing point this is. Well said

  • Aldo

    #FAKENEWS

    • CNN picked up this story?

      • Aldo

        It’s so funny to see these extreme comments (either in agreement or disagreement). I love Star Wars. Phantom Menace came out on my last day of high school. I liked it then, and I still think it’s ok now. I see TFA’s flaws but if E8 and E9 knock it out of the park then it was worth the re-boot.

  • I can’t see the comments on that article for some reason. I’m sure they’re more vicious than anything here. The article makes some valid points, but I really couldn’t care less. But both of them put together don’t add up to the ugly mess that is Star Trek V.
    Each movie needed more Welshy.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNlKhfPYMEs

  • ARC-77

    I agree with most of the criticisms of TFA, but I still enjoyed the movie. While I don’t hate TPM, it is the one that I find to be the most boring so I’d have to say its my least favorite of the films.

  • Chad

    I thoroughly enjoyed TFA despite its similarities to the original movie. I understand why they did that, remember this was the beginning of a whole new part of the franchise with Disney in control. This is a long term investment, they didn’t want to do anything that could alienate the fanbase right off the bat. They wanted to win the fans back and remind people why they liked Star Wars in the first place so they played it safe. But with that out of the way, they can go in whatever direction they want know. And everything coming out about TLJ seems they are going in a very different direction with that movie.

    • Rey/Luke force training on a wet isolated planet

      Massive land battle on a dry planet

      Surprise reveleation at the end

      A darksider obsessed with finding the last Jedi

      A casino planet neutral from the war

      Yup, NOTHING like Episode V whatsoever. If anything the trailer confirmed it even more.

      • Seb

        When was Cloud City a “casino planet”???

      • Chad

        meh, ill reserve judgment until actually seeing the movie

      • ShortForAH03

        To be fair though, the fact that you labelled Hoth a ‘dry planet’ did make me audably laugh. But yeah, your poins are a massive stretch, though I respect your opinion.

      • hammyhamster

        I just rewatched the trailer and realized that the big fight between the gorilla at-ats and the rebellion happen on a snow planet…sorta like one in ESB? “Smoth” or something? Also, in the trailer it looks like kylo is walking with a great big group of snowtroopers.

        It’s been hard for me to believe, up to this point, that TLJ would pull a TFA and copy away, but the more I see, the more I’m finding strong similarities.

  • Wedge Antilles

    I’m not in the best of moods this week, but I still have the energy to make a post about this….

    The bottom line, and this is the bottom line period – comparing the long awaited TFA that was made for fun, and to be a REBOOT, cannot be compared – like for like to TPM.

    It would simply be like comparing apples and oranges, actually it would be more like comparing an apple to an attack helicopter – the two have different missions.

    And no one, (my opinion on observations, that I actually believe to be fact though) -no one can say TFA had the backlash TPM had), and I don’t think for one minute TPM is a bad movie (it had a major flaw though in my opinion), it is still far ahead of pretty much all other movies outside SW, it just happens to have had the most backlash for a SW movie, but it is still good for a SW movie, not the best, not even close to as good as TFA, with the (in my opinion) flaws that caused the backlash we saw in 1999 (TPM) – of which we are not seeing with TFA in any way..

    Unbelievable (in my opinion of course), comparing TFA to TPM, no point as I say – they had differing missions….

    • Jawa_Fetish

      Hope things improve for you, Wedge.

      • Wedge Antilles

        Thanks, I appreciate it.

    • OfWolfandMan

      Very true, TPM had tremendous backlash.
      I do not like apples. I love attack helicopters though.

  • David Harrison

    TFA is fun, has heart and soul, and a unique villain, that’s why it’s great.
    I like TPM, it’s original, ambitious and creative, but it is also completely soulless, flat and sadly, very un-engaging.

    • Wedge Antilles

      That is well stated.

      But lets also as you say remember TPM was “original, ambitious and creative” – but also in my opinion carried a couple of major flaws, really major.

      TFA on the other hand, was flawless fun, and a great reboot to welcome the “after Millennials” to what was a SW reboot for all of us (well mostly lol),,

  • Henry

    Today I learned that Paul has been moonlighting for Screen Rant and writing reviews under the name of Joseph Walter. There really can’t be that many people who hate TFA that much.

    • WHY IS EVERYONE ASKING ME IF I WROTE THIS?!

      • Gabriel Mican

        You really have to ask? :)))

      • Randy

        Because it takes fans longer to accept that something truly sucks.

    • JohnMorog

      lol hahaha

    • AAA

      Yes…there are!

    • Littlegreenwiseguy

      Oh yes there are that many people, and that number grows with the more fans try to rewatch The Force Awakens. It does not hold up to any of the other films.

  • Hazzbro Jonez

    im a prequel lover so i don’t have much to say. yea TFA was fun but barren. no one can world-build like Lucas. Save for the scenes in Jedha, none of the Disney stuff yet really grabs my eyes and pulls it to all corners of the screen….but we still have some movies to go
    oh i just bought a Chancellor Valorum comm-chip figure for my “robes” shelf (senators, royalty, etc) THIS MORNING hahaah. then i visit JTA and see this lol

  • Jawa_Fetish

    It is widely considered that Philly has some of the worst sports fans in the world. Does that apply to other types of fans as well?

    • I live outside of Philly and I can tell you that accusation is true. They even built a jail at one of the stadiums. Disgusting! People need help.

      • Jawa_Fetish

        How far outside, exactly? Totally kidding. I stopped (seriously) harassing you about this long ago.

        • I don’t know what that means. I never liked sports but I am totally boycotting them now. I called Comcast and told them I need ESPN off my cable lineup or they would lose me as a customer. I got ESPN (and others) yanked out of my lineup. I have a clear conscience again.

          • Jawa_Fetish

            I’m pretty sure that I know that you know we are both in the know.

          • No!

      • Wedge Antilles

        A Jail at the sport stadium, you are joking?

        If not, and for some reason because it is Uncle Sam we are talking about….

        Only in the U.S. of A. hehe….

    • ILoveSand

      Super true. Refs you suck is a common chant at Flyers games. Flyers fans threw wristbands, that were given out to honor Ed Snyder after he died, on the ice in anger. Far worse stories of fans at Eagles games. Fans here seem to embrace the title of worst fans. Although I personally believe us Flyers fans are the more behaved fans of the four major sports in this town.

      • hammyhamster

        I wore a tie domi jersey to a leaf – flyers playoff game in Philly around… 2004. Lemme tell yeah, the fans were brutal, but I was patted on the back many times when I left, after domi beat Brashear in a fight.

        • ILoveSand

          The playoff crowds are definitely more intense than the regular season. It might have been even worse if you wore a Penguins jersey.

          Flyers fans do appreciate a good fight that’s for sure.

        • hammyhamster

          Yeah, that’s right, I forgot that you were grom around there! But Philly has a problem in sports right now… good teams, but they may be on the upswing really soon.

          I’m curious if that 6ers rookie is getting some heat for his comments about trump, though.

  • Hazzbro Jonez

    i was a senior in high school, working at Farm Fresh grocery store and driving a white 92 ford tempo. the internet was fun and weird. my band was playing shows. life was great. jar jar everywhere. battle droids everywhere. the beginning of Lego star wars. me and my brother getting into all of this together and the bonding experience… he was 9 i was 17 …my dad even got into it and built a 1:10 model kit of a Battle Droid on his hover-speeder thing…..that big r2 pepsi cooler that came with a Lucasfilm note when we received it at farm fresh “RETURN THIS PRODUCT TO LUCASFILM OR PEPSI SOMEWHERE, CA BY JAN1st 2000 OR BURN/DESTROY/COMPACT….ATTACH PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE TO THIS FORM AND MAIL TO LUCASFILM/PEPSI. it was nuts. fun goofy kid movie pre y2k craziness.
    by contrast TFA was mysterious, sexy, bleak, vapid, emotional, new, bright, stale, quiet, thought-provoking….it made me angry and happy at the same time; an awesome letdown; i guess i was frustrated at JJ Abrams, but I haven’t ever liked that guys work anyway
    …couple that with Disney and hasbro pretty much Turd-a-fying 3.75 star wars figures and star wars becoming “cool” or “en vogue” and overexposed…. those elements kinda took a lot of the magic away…but nothing compares to that TPM roll-out.

    well there goes “not having much to say” hahahaahah

    • OfWolfandMan

      I had a ’91 Ford Tempo.

    • ILoveSand

      I blew the motor on my Ford Tempo. (mine was beige) I have not had much success with Ford cars at all.

  • Hazzbro Jonez

    The Phantom Menace is bath-robe wizards, goofy aliens with slightly racist broken english, naked C3P0…it was star wars for the sake of itself, it wasn’t self-aware and it didn’t care. it knew it’s audience (for the most part) and went with it.

    The Force Awakens is Focus Group Four Corner Film-Making at it’s finest. it’s Apple Store Sleek and Sexy. it’s Charcoal / Black/White/earth tone interwoven with bright hits of Infrared/Almost pink and Neon Green. it tries to think it knows its audience and for the most part it works. they just forgot the guts and meat. Kylo is an interesting character, though.

    • Biffard P. Misqueegan

      TFA certainly did have a sense of self-awareness. At times it almost felt like a Scream movie in that sense. It really hindered my immersion.

  • Hazzbro Jonez

    oh i’m also one of those weirdos who love all the politics in the prequels. at that time i was thinking about going then eventually went to college to be a history teacher. i thought all that stuff was awesome. i realize i’m the minority. just watched TPM with my lil boy the other day hahahaah

  • rebelsfangirl

    15 Reasons Why Pretending Screenrants Doesn’t Exist Is Better Than The Alternative.

    Joking aside, I actually genuinely love TPM despite its flaws, but it is not a better movie than TFA.

    • second that

    • Wedge Antilles

      So true, and obvious in my opinion.

      I was 29 when I went through the over decade long that was the worldwide backlash of TPM – I had to as a well known SW hardcore fan answer to it as if it was partially my fault, just because I was a mega SW fan.

      Thankfully not once has anyone asked me to answer for TFA, general movie goer or SW fan (TFA is well and truly accepted as it was done right given the high bar set that is SW) – and I can tell you, what a relief, because I don’t ever want to live through another 1999 as a hardcore SW fan ever again…

    • hammyhamster

      “it is not a better movie than TFA”

      That’s your opinion, and I’m glad for that, but it’s not a fact for all.

      The production as a whole for TFA was superior, I’ll agree there, BUT TPM had a MUCH greater score, introduced a character who actually became iconic within the Star Wars lore (Maul) and created a trilogy that didn’t use a recycled story. Many people, including myself, dismiss TFA just for that third point alone.

      So in the end, TPM was a better movie FOR ME.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/39ce8647a1dba3fac7e359fd1cf1a95fe80a7f9fa343d85fef6f2cf42444f9e2.jpg

      • ShortForAH03

        I mean, there is actually factual methods of analysing how good films are, and the overwhelming critical acclaim The Force Awakens received is proof of that.
        I agree that everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but saying that the Force Awakens is anything less than a good film is indeed factually incorrect, although it is your opinion & I respect that.

        • Hazzbro Jonez

          lol wut

        • hammyhamster

          That’s cool, but charts, focus groups, studies, analysis, critical acclaim mean NOTHING to me. THAT is a fact. Those things do not guarantee that I will like a movie or would make me consider it a “good film”.

          Do I receive a percentage of the BO returns or a bonus for awards? No, so for all of us who don’t receive anything for a films success, the only thing that should matters is if you enjoyed it, not if the critics did.

          Glad that you seemed to have enjoyed it, but I didn’t… except for tr-8r. He died a very honorable death.

      • I honestly don’t get it when I hear that TPM wasn’t a recycled story. Both TPM and ANH tell the story of a nobody kid who lives in the desert on Tatooine, is “discovered” by a Jedi thru a series of events, gets shipped off into the galaxy and mixed up in adventures he didn’t expect. Both stories end with lightsaber duels between Jedi and Sith, the kid destroying the big war machines, and then a big celebration to honor the heroes. In fact, I would argue that despite there being many similarities between TPM, ANH, and TFA, that TPM and ANH are actually more similar than ANH and TFA are.

        • hammyhamster

          There were elements in TPM that were familiar, but if any movie had a reason to do it, TPM was the one that made sense. It was the father’s story mirroring the son’s (it is still possible that TLJ may be the daughter mirroring the father), but in NO WAY was it the knock-off that TFA was. Not even close. You know that.

          Here’s a few comparison points between TFA and Star Wars I found from EW.

          1. There’s a droid carrying valuable information who finds himself on a desolate desert planet.

          2. There’s a Force-sensitive, masked, and darkly clothed antagonist who arrives on the scene shortly after the information is handed off, looking for the droid.

          3. There’s a desert settlement that is wiped out by stormtroopers.

          4. There’s a hero who’s tortured by the bad guys to retrieve the information.

          5. There’s a lonely, Force-strong desert dweller who dreams of more.

          6. There’s a worldly old warrior who has to explain the Force to the next generation.

          7. There’s a cruel military officer who holds a comparable level of authority to his Force-sensitive, masked, and darkly clothed colleague.

          8. There’s a mostly unseen supreme evil that’s pulling the strings from the shadows.

          9. There’s a criminal element that’s owed a debt by Han Solo and attempts to kill him after he screws up their arrangement.

          10. There’s a cantina filled with various alien creatures.

          11. There’s a moment when one of the heroes abandons the fight as a self-preservation measure, but he eventually returns.

          12. There’s a massive spherical weapon that’s used to destroy a planet.

          13. There’s a base belonging to the rebel forces on a forest-covered world.

          14. There’s a surrogate father figure who is cut down by someone previously close to him, who has turned to the dark side.

          15. The hero watches helplessly from afar as the surrogate father figure is slayed.

          16. There’s a coordinated aerial attack on the massive spherical weapon that’s monitored from a control room by Leia.

          17. There’s a trench that X-wings flew through in order to fire on a vulnerability in the weapon and destroy it.

          18. There’s a massive explosion that gives the rebels a major victory but likely allows the Force-sensitive, masked, and darkly clothed antagonist to survive to fight another day.

          • Point taken. You listed all the similarities, but there are still things in TFA that do not occur in ANH (and vice versa). I get the similar and familiar approach they took, but clearly they were deliberately trying to follow the pattern in order to gain people’s trust. Maybe not your trust or mine, but most people who wanted familiar and comfortable. Honestly, I still enjoy the heck out of the film and can let their approach slide for TFA (mostly), but if it continues to the same extent beyond this film, I would be very disappointed.

          • hammyhamster

            Cool, buddy. I dig. If TLJ takes great liberties with past Star Wars stories again, this site will be an awesome places for at least a week. For that reason alone I hope that happens 😉

    • General Hux

      I loathe Screenrant.

      • rebelsfangirl

        Me too. Simplistic clickbait nonsense mixed with rumours and speculation often contradicted by interviews and articles its own articles link too

        • Mr_Crankypants

          Jeeze, it’s like you just described the core of TFA.

    • Hazzbro Jonez

      oh screen rant definitely sucks, i just love me some phantom menace

      • rebelsfangirl

        Agree on both points. 🙂

  • ExarKun777

    I agree completely with all the statements in the article, specially with these:
    -Rey’s skill set
    -There is no context
    -Tries to outdo the previous trilogies
    -Artistically dead
    -Loose ends and sequel baits
    The Phantom Menace is a innovative film with some idiot things, and the Force Awakens is an idiot film with some innovative things.

  • The Gungan Menace

    The Phantom Menace is, in my opinion, the worst Star Wars movie by far. The case against it has been laid out many times, but in case anyone wants to know exactly why it’s the worst, I suggest watching RedLetterMedia’s TPM reviews on YouTube (be warned, their videos do contain crude language). They lay the case out against the movie better than anyone else i have seen.

  • Jimmy Griffin

    As I have said often I genuinely enjoyed TFA and look forward to the rest of the ST. However, I totally agree with basically everything in this article. The problem is that we no longer have movies that can stand on their own as self-contained stories. Everything is part of a franchise. You can’t tell a self contained, coherent story because you have to leave something for the sequels and the prequels. ANH is a self contained story b/c GL wasn’t even sure if he would be able to make more at the time. TPM is a (basically) self contained story even though he knew without a doubt that he was going to be able to make it’s sequels. He could have infused TPM with the same flaws that exist in TFA, but he didn’t because, despite his shortcomings in writing dialog and directing actors, George Lucas is a more than competent storyteller.

    • RumSleg

      YES.

    • ExarKun777

      Agree 100%

    • I don’t think TPM is a very SW episode but as a kid’s film it works and I prefer a well-made children’s movie over a re-heated reboot anyday.

  • Jason Dreibelbis

    I’m sure I’ll get hate for this, but so be it. I’m sure people will disagree, and ask why. I was 3 when Phantom Menace came out, and it was one of the first movies I remember watching. I grew up with the prequels and didn’t see the OT until much later. Some of the dialogue between anakin and padme in AOTC is terrible I will admit. However they were some of my favorite movies growing up, and I continue to prefer them over the OT. It bugs me that they’re treated so badly, and that since Disneys acquisition of lucasfilm they’ve kind of swept it under the rug and little merchandise has been produced for it since then. However I recognize that I’m in a minority, so it is what it is. *sigh*

    • Jawa_Fetish

      We are all brothers and sisters in the Force. You like what you like, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    • If you don’t tell me what I don’t want to hear I am going to call you a hater!

      Seriously though, great memories, right? That’s all that matters.

    • ILoveSand

      I’m with you. I had already seen the OT movies (I think on TV or VHS) and saw ROTJ in the theater as a little kid. I loved them. They were great. I was 21 when TPM came out,and I remember being enthralled. The next two came out and I left the theater feelign the same way. The prequels got interested in SW again and to this day when I watch SW, I reach for the prequels first. I adore the OT, but the PT is my favorite. It saddens me that the PT does get so much hate. AOTC was a blast in the theater. It was my sister’s first SW film.When Yoda came in to challenge Dooku people were cheering and clapping. I will never forget that. When we came out she could not stop talking about it. To this day she still talks about that scene. Good times.

  • kingsnead412

    Earlier I called a lot (not millions) of people idiots for not liking TFA. I would like to retract that statement. I do not know any of you so it was wrong to presume you are intellectually inferior to me. What I meant was that the opinion of TFA being bad is idiotic but even that is rude and shouldn’t be said. Please forgive my former egregious comment that you all are idiots.

    With that out of the way I am aware of TFAs flaws but I truly believe it is a good movie and SW movie at that. I think as far as the PT goes its flaws outweigh its positive aspects but I still enjoy them for what they are and that is SW.

  • Sean

    There is only one reason that TPM could be better then TFA…Kitster.

  • CJ

    I never hated TPM. It fails miserably to tell it’s story, but I felt like it has a good story buried in there. AOTC, on the other hand, cannot be redeemed.

  • DarthDoonald

    Yousa love the jar jar?

    • ILoveSand

      Mesa do.

  • Shoretrooper

    Rubbish article. There are way more than 15 reasons why TPM is better than TFA

  • ExarKun777

    For my taste TPM is a innovative film with some idiot things, and TFA is an idiot film with some innovative things.

  • Lance

    JJ made the most annoying character ever. Rey Rey Mary Sue.

  • Lance

    TPM > TFA

  • Golden_Rod

    TPM crushed my spirit for reasons we’ve all heard before. I enjoyed TFA much more than TPM. To each his own. Honorable mention to Duel of the Fates though. Great sequence…

    For anyone too lazy to read the Screenrant article, its a compare and contrast of TFA vs TPM. Author obviously wasn’t a fan of TFA, so I’m not surprised to see Paul sharing it on JTA.

  • Jamie Moser

    TPM and TFA lack the same thing. The both needed more cowbell.

    • Grand Admiral Thrawn

      “I got a fever which is only cured with MORE COWBELL”

  • 11Eleven11

    I felt two of these criticisms were legit, but there’s a major problem with the whole premise. This piece speaks exclusively about what is WRONG with TFA and doesn’t say a word about why TPM is ‘better’. You want 15 things wrong with TPM? I think I can narrow it down to that, and without using repetition.
    Like the 10 Commandments, I can narrow this list of 15 down to two: it plagiarizes ANH and the new characters that aren’t derivative aren’t believable. That’s all this is saying.

  • Binary_Son

    I wouldn’t for a second support the idea that TPM is superior, to me it’s just too horrendous. However, all the points made about TFA are absolutely spot on.

  • Blizzard Force

    I enjoyed TPM on its release. So much of it was it was aimed at kids and for good reason. Lucas was trying to make a new trilogy for a new generation of kids. A lot of dialogue was awful but it was in much of the OT too. The prequels are criticised for the cgi but this was cutting edge technology at the time what were they supposed to do? At the time I thought the effects were awesome.
    However I can’t agree that TPM is better than TFA. I tried watching TPM again recently but there are only really about 25 mins of movie that is worth watching. There is just way too much filler in the prequels, so much you can happily fast forward through. However if I were an 8 year old I’m sure I’d have loved it all.
    It you add those 25 mins to 15ish mins of AOTC and most of ROTS then that would be one really good movie.

  • BlackBeltJohnson .

    Interesting article! It’s especially refreshing to see the perspective that’s been gained about TPM in the post Lucas SW era. Despite it’s flaws, it’s incredibly imaginative and rich in terms of the design and all the activity that is going on in the background, from start to finish. Lucas gave us a Galaxy that felt alive, imo. Darth Maul alone was a gift that just kept on giving too.

  • Tony Diver

    Yeah no.

  • Wedge Antilles

    HaHa, I have to post this….

    My 15 reasons TFA was FAR better than TPM…..

    We did not have to go through 15 years of backlash about Star Wars with TFA.

    There you go, all 15 of them, 15 years!!!

  • Grand Admiral Thrawn

    So… Let’s talk about one thing I’ve seen no one talking about. Filmmaking.
    TFA is in this aspect an objectively better movie, leaving the quality of the CGI out of the equation, since TPM help pioneer the effects we see today. The over-reliance in CGI defiantly makes the movie more dry and dull since the actors don’t have anything to act to. Almost all dialogue feels dead and forced. TFA in this aspect soars above TPM lightyears away with better acting and writing than TPM (not talking about how TFA is a carbon copy of AHN, TPM has as much AHN parallels as TFA). I’ll give that TPM is the prequel with most practical effects, still it doesn’t reach the toes of TFA in this regard. The lack of big realistic sets is apparent in TPM, giving a feeling of “fake”. The cinematography in TPM is boring, most shots in the Pod-Race pan from left to right and show the Pod from the right side. TFA shows more diverse shots and introduces new camera techniques (like the POV from the X-wings in the Battle of Starkiller Base).

    It’ll get now into story (which is more subjective) but saying that Rey is the Mary Sue is a weak statement. In TPM they stated that Anakin is an objectively more powerful character. TPM felt weak in introducing a trilogy. Lucas didn’t new in 77 if he would be able to make a sequel to Star Wars, he new in 99 that he would be able to make 2 more movies, and missed an opportunity to make a more open story.

    I could go on, but this is like debating politics…

  • MicroCapo

    JTA loves their divisive postings – lots of clicks & comments.

    +1 comment from me, +1 click from me.

    With that being said, I love the prequels. TPM is better to TFA to me, but TPM is also better than ROTJ to me. I have a very varied list (1. ANH, 2. TPM, 3. ESB, 4. RoTS, etc).

  • Seb

    I see some people are really pissed that the TLJ trailer was so well received…

  • Jaken Wraith

    I do not think that overall, The Phantom Menace was better than The Force Awakens. And to be honest, according to the Box Office Number’s that is indisputable FACT. The Force Awakens is #3 in the Box Office all-time, only under Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic. That mean’s alot more Fans saw multiple times, it had a much better return Buisness than Phantom. I do however think The Phantom Menace did some thing’s that were better than anything in The Force Awakens though, and in all of Star Wars in general. Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Maul are part of what i think is the best Saber Duel in all the Movies. And especially the entire sequence after Obi gets out of the “Blast Shiled’s” or whatever those were called. The subtle facial expression’s from Ewan showed alot of Story by him falling to the “hate” of the Dark Side, and him paying a little price for it. Then, after getting his composure back, he finished off Maul in a very “classic” Star Wars way by making a Sabre fly to him. So much was told in that Duel, without a single word being spoken. It was all expression, and Fighting coreography, and it was some of the best Storytelling ever done in a Star Wars Movie. There really is no other duel in my view, that has topped that yet.

    • “I do not think that overall, The Phantom Menace was better than The
      Force Awakens. And to be honest, according to the Box Office Number’s
      that is indisputable FACT.”

      Blow out box office success does not mean better. Transformers films are blow out box office successes and those films are terrible.

      The Phantom Menace was made for Star Wars fans.
      The Force Awakens was made to get new Star Wars fans.

      • Jaken Wraith

        The “official” reasoning for TFA and what it was, was that was a Movie “for the Fans” and that came from that Interview with Lucas when asked about his Stories not being used, and then Kennedy herself said it somewhere. I think that TFA was a way to give that original Star wars “feeling” to a new Generation of Fans, but in doing that made it a re-hash somewhat. But the acting, lighting, and action sequences were done better than The Phantom Menace, except for the final Duel as i said. I just think Lucas was stretched too thin on the prequel Trilogy, he should of had different Directors, while he concentrated on the breakthrough Tech him and ILM were coming up with along the way. Something had to suffer, and it was the performances. Internationally TFA is in 4th, TPA is in at 51, that is a telling difference to the repeat Buisness.

    • Funtomaz

      According to Box Office Mojo roughly 108 million tickets for TFA were sold in the USA. TPM had 90 million movie tickets sold. That’s an increase of 18%. That’s nice, but it’s not overwhelming. TFA has almost double the box offce (not adjusted for inflation since 1999). It just shows how expensive movie tickets have become and is not a measure of quality at all.
      Also: Ep IV had 178 million tickets sold and is all time number 2 in that regard. TFA doesn’t even come close to that. None of the other Star Wars movies do.
      TPM had roughly the same number of tickets sold as ESB and ROTJ, they all sold in excess of 90 million tickets, but less than 100 million. So you can say that in the USA a popular Star Wars movie can sell something between 90-100 million tickets. Which is very impressive.
      In comparison: Rogue One sold 60 million tickets, which is similar to how AOTC and ROTJ performed.

  • Grand Admiral Thrawn

    @Paul_Harrison:disqus why are my comments being flagged as spam? I just wrote a 3 paragraph comment and it’s appearing as Spam.

  • Good Man

    When some one asks which is your favorite I used to say it’s all one story. But, if I had to choose an episode, most days I can’t decide between TPM and ANH. These days it’s not much different but I’m excluding Disney adventures.

  • mechabug

    And in some ways gonorrhea is better than syphilis. But you don’t want either.

  • Darth Lumberg

    I have to admit the article makes a lot of valid points about TFA. However, I personally can no longer sit through TPM and it’s vastly boring running time. I don’t like whiny kid Anakin, the podrace sequence, the destruction of the Force mythology being labeled as midichlorian counts, the Jedi Council sitting around doing nothing, battle droids replacing stormtroopers, trade route discussions by Land of the Lost looking sleestaks, Anakin blowing up the trade blockade ship and saving the day on accident-yippie, and especially JAR JAR B and his moronic dialogue! Even though TFA produces many more questions than answers delivered, I enjoy watching it and if the point is to have fun watching a movie it delivers that for me over and over again even if the concepts are recycled. The only fun in TPM is the Duel of the Fates lightsaber battle.

    • OfWolfandMan

      I agree with everything you wrote. Strangely, however, I am not much of a fan of TFA.

      • Super Amigo

        Seconded.

      • Darth Lumberg

        Thanks, I think a lot of people are on the fence about TFA especially when you start to read all the analysis about it’s plot holes. At any rate, TLJ looks much better….here’s hoping.

  • LadiesMan217

    As much as TFA is a ‘rehash’, it is still undoubtedly more entertaining and less dull than TPM. I can’t stand watching TPM without closing my eyes. I think this whole circle of hate is going too far. Anyways, opinions and opinions.

  • BigJim Slade

    If this site wants to be fair and objective, it needs to post an article about why TPM is the worst SW film ever made (your search shouldn’t take very long) and why TFA has helped reignite Star Wars fans faith in the franchise.
    The trailer alone for TFA was better than TPM. It was better than all 3 of those prequel disasters.

    • When SCREEN RANT (i.e. NOT JTA) writes an article on why TFA is better than TPM we will gladly share it.

      • Have Big J Slade write it:
        Single space, six page minimum, and on your desk by tomorrow morning.

  • Drayco90

    TPM has always been in the upper half of the series for me- it’s a great Star Wars movie. TFA, on the other hand, is easily my least favorite- even the half of AotC that sucks was at least trying to do its own thing, and that’s more than can be said for a single minute of TFA.

    The First Order make for some cool toys at least.

  • Maxime Pare

    Attack of the Clones will always be the worst in my book…those dialog between Padme and Anakin, omg, the killed the whole movie. TPM is cool, it has a lot more qualities then it has flaw…But TFA is good as well.

  • ShipGirlLover

    AotC is the worst.

    Was always a fan of Phantom. Yeah, politics was boring, but seeing Palps manipulations going on was wirth it.

    TPM is definitely more creative, and Darth Maul will probably be more iconic than anything in the ST. Part of the issue with TFA was trying to force things. Boba Fett is popular? Let’s make Phasma and make her the new Fett. Hate to tell Disney, but ypu can’t create a Fett. He happens, as TR8R showed.

  • ShipGirlLover

    BTW, I think we can all agree the PT produced some excellent Star Wars toys. Felt more in the spirit of the OT than the nearly straight rehashes of the ST.

  • Hardcore F’n Mudd

    Phantom Menace fails at being a good film, not just a star wars film.
    Bad acting, writing, direction, pacing editing and story. It cannot be defended.

  • 6starwars

    I almost (being serious) cried walking out of the theater in 1999 and 2002 on opening night. TPM and AOTC were just that bad for me. That did not happen in 2015, despite TFA’s shortcomings.

  • Funtomaz

    We need an article with 15 reasons why AOTC is better than people think… 😀

    I sometimes think something is wrong with me, because I liked AOTC back in 2002 and I still like it. I never really got the hate for it (or the hate for the prequels in general) and it once more shows here in the comments. What’s so bad about the movie?
    I think it has lots of entertainment and great action scenes. It also has some wooden performances and clunky dialogue, but isn’t that George Lucas’ trademark?
    What’s not to like about the speeder chase on Coruscant? The battle between Obi-Wan and Jango? The arena fight to the death and Jedi battle? The huge battle on Geonosis? The duel between Dooku and Obi-Wan/Anakin/Yoda?
    The movie’s not perfect, but it’s by no means a bad Star Wars movie. And yes, I did see the OT back in the day, so I didn’t grow up with the prequels.

    • Darth_Rizzen

      There’s something wrong with US, apparently! 😄

    • shane

      People forget when AOTCs came out, most people I can think of and critics as well, declared AOTCs a better movie than TPM.

  • General Hux

    I’ve always loved TPM, grew up watching all of the prequels so I have a soft spot for all of them. But, TFA is much better, that isn’t even a question in my opinion.

  • Brett Brocato

    I frequently hear an argument or point about why the prequels are better than TFA; specifically TPM. And that point is always that TPM feels more like a SW movie. But I think this is the absolute furthest thing from how I felt, or feel, about TPM.

    I still remember seeing it opening day at 5am and being completely enthralled at how good it was going to be! This was the moment all SW fans had been waiting for. A new movie! But as the opening crawl started and I began reading it, I thought to myself “Trade Federation? This isn’t Star Trek. This doesn’t feel like Star Wars to me” That feeling of “I hope this is going to get better” kept popping up in my mind throughout the entire movie. It did have some cool moments for sure, don’t get me wrong. But on the whole, TPM left me feeling immensely disappointed, angry, confused, sad and just annoyed. It was 16 years of hype and anticipation and build up in the making – and it failed to deliver in almsot every single way imaginable by leaps and bounds.

    Fast forward to Dec ’15. I went and saw TFA in 70mm IMAX at the Citywalk at 3am. And was weary of how I was going to react. As the crawl began and I proceeded to take it all in with a very apprehensive mind. Low and behold, the end of the movie came and I was smiling ear to ear with satisfaction. THAT, was a SW movie! I really enjoyed TFA.

    Now looking back, TPM isn’t as bad as I recall with that first viewing. But I have watched it in the past 6 months and it definitely has a good 100 or more moments/scenes that are just cringe worthy and make me shake my head and wonder “Why George? Why?” or grimace with painful disgust.

    Don’t get me started on AotC. That is by far the absolute worst SW movie. AotC is bad even for a non-SW movie. God-awful dialogue, over-used CGI, no chemistry between the lovers, bad direction and a plodding story. Though Dooku was fun to watch and Williams’ score was brilliant as always. If AotC had been the first prequel, it would have easily been even more reviled by fans than TPM first was in 1999.

    But yeah, TPM was a stinker for sure. TFA may be a rehash for some people, but I never cringed, shook my head or was embarrassed watching it like I was TPM or AotC.

    The 2 biggest reasons why TPM will always be worse than TFA – Jar Jar Binks and Jake Lloyd as young Annie. Shudders.

  • Brett Brocato

    Sorry to hear that. I lost my first cat Maxx about 6 years ago to pancreatic cancer. He was only 10 years old. He was fine one day and a week later was gone. I brought him home after the vets said they couldn’t do a thing and tried to comfort him as much as I could before he went.

    I miss Maxx to this day. But more often than not, thinking of him makes me smile. Hopefully Vader will be the same for you Wedge.

  • Robin Bland

    Both TPM and ROTS are much maligned. I personally don’t care for AOTC, but it’s nice to see that, as they age, the prequel movies have their own generation of fans and they’re appreciated in their own right. However that ScreenRant article is a resentful, deliberately incendiary piece of clickbait garbage. TFA is far, far from without flaws, but even when the writer of this piece raises fair points, his aggravated tone only succeeds in debunking them. I could take it more seriously if it was more carefully argued, but point-by-point comparisons are, in the end, just more subjective lists.

  • Sith Lord Jacen

    Are you serious ?? The Gungan Menace was the biggest pile in Star Wars history.It took the biggest baddie in the universe and turned him into a puke,””are you a angel””this is podracing. And the sickening Gungans. Darth Maul destroys Master Qui-Gon than gets beat by a Padawan, pure garbage.

  • ILoveSand

    I didn’t need to read the article to know that TPM is a superior movie. But I appreciated that they put into writing many of my problems with TFA. It’s a well acted, directed movie on its own merit. But it is bootleg copy of an already great film that did not need to be retold. An original film would have drawn people to the Star Wars franchise anyway. HW does not give enough credit to fans. Disney just wanted the easy money. I just can’t get behind that film. I truly hope TLJ is better.

  • darthmadonna

    MY biggest nit pick is the Star Wars was dead argument. Dead to you maybe but many Star Wars sites like this one have been going strong post ROTS. Besides who pays billions for a dead franchise?

    • ILoveSand

      Seriously!! The fan base was there. Why the need for a reboot? They could have made an original story and the money would have poured in.

  • DC555

    The Originals Trilogy borrowed from adventure films, westerns, war films, etc and took all of the elements of those films and just set them in space. It worked beautifully because it was believable and had characters that spoke and acted like normal people, they just happened to be in space doing cool things. The biggest problem with The Force Awakens is that instead of doing that, they just borrowed everything from the OT. That’s why I liked Rogue One so much because although it had its flaws it avoided this mistake

    • Hazzbro Jonez

      ive often said this before as well.

    • Mr_Crankypants

      That’s JJ’s whole oeuvre in a nutshell. He loves Speilberg movies, he loves Lucas movies, so he apes them shamelessly. The problem of course is that while Lucas and Speilberg were aping the original generation of stuff they loved, JJ is now aping their aping, doesn’t have any kind of direct lineage to the source material, and it leads to a kind of analog signal loss where the trappings are all there, but not the spirit or heart.

      • DC555

        Very well put. It’s also tough to borrow from directors for a movie that exists in the exact same universe as the movies you’re borrowing from lol

  • Lobot

    That’s possibly the worst article I’ve ever read.

  • Kerr Roeder

    Dang! That article actually makes some really good points!

  • zerobobby77

    This is what was needed to be said. There’s no real justification to say that TFA -or the ST for that matter- is remotely good. You may like it, but just don’t try to tell me it is cinema gold.

  • Tim Mc

    For me the difference between the 2 is simple. I can watch TFA while I can’t sit and watch PM. The PT is VERY hard for me to watch without skipping through the movies.

  • Biffard P. Misqueegan

    TPM.. no contest.

    Unlike every other SW movie (including TCW movie and RO), TFA just didnt capture my imagination… and that’s the key for me. The world building, attention to lore and in-universe “context” seemed like an afterthought (at best). As peripheral as those elements may be, they are what keep my imagination invested once I leave the theater.

    • Norman

      It was so odd, I remember sitting in the theater when they approached Maz’s Castle/cantina and thinking ‘where is everyone?’ It was so very strange to me not to see people hanging out outside, no other spaceships or speeders (cool droid, though)…just this quiet castle and then the doors open…it was just so odd this structure in the middle of nowhere with such a lively crowd inside from all parts of the galaxy. Don’t even get me started about the crowd running outside to see Starkiller shooting it weapon…smh…sloppy.

  • Darth_Rizzen

    15 points that could be wrapped up in one complaint, really:

    TPM (and the whole PT actually) was its own thing, taking us to the “more civilised age” mentioned by Obi-Wan in ANH, then the Clone Wars.
    TFA, on the other end, was just a lazy, uninspired remake of ANH, didn’t stand on its own and still managed to ignore major rules and conventions laid out by the 6 films and TV series before it.

    While I agree with most of the points in the article (yet disagree with quite a few of the details), I’m not ready to write off the entire Sequel Trilogy completely just yet. I sincerely hope TLJ will rise above remake territory (despite the blatant Battle of Crait/Hoth parallel), flesh out the characters (both good and bad) and lay the groundwork for a great finale (despite Abrams).

    And stand on its own, too. No more Chuck Wendig books screenplays, I beg you. Reading a SW novel is supposed to be fun, this is torture 😭

    On a side note, before the Disney Wars fans start yelling that TFA is not a rehash, please check JJ Abrams & Cris Rock’s “Tribeca Talks” Director’s Series from 2016, at 52:46, as well as THR’s “Awards Chatter” podcast from January 08th, 2016. These interviews should prove very enlightening. 😁

    • PeakOB1

      Most Impressive just got done listening to JJ Abrams & Cris Rock’s “Tribeca Talks….so he is claiming TFA is a “Bridge”???
      Interesting

  • Darth Your Mom

    This weird new love for the prequels is unsettling. Just because they’ve been around for a while now doesn’t mean you should overlook their vast flaws simply for nostalgia’s sake.

    • matt

      I always loved the Prequels. TPM was the first Star Wars film I ever saw.

  • Norman

    I’ve always thought if the prequels came out when the OT did, they would
    have been much more accepted. I think the prequels biggest crime is not
    being released in a generation that could appreciate them more, for
    whatever reasons…Lucas is an underappreciated genius who continued to
    open up an incredible world unlike any other and I think the prequels
    are brilliant and I also grew up with the OT. Thankfully there are
    others right now who actually know what Star Wars is like Dave Filoni
    and hopefully Rian Johnson and they will (continue) to put out a good
    product. My problem is with JJ Abrams. I have not liked his sloppy style
    for many years now. He is popular because he caters to the…..stuff
    that people eat up in cinema. He has style but NO substance. He can
    write a character scene that will in all honesty put a tear in my eye
    but his films overall make NO sense. Star Trek 2009 is the biggest
    criminal in that and it is just like TFA in that it’s the most popular
    ST reboot and it is a fun movie but it has a TERRIBLE story and plot
    points. He so blatantly ignores universe size and other obvious things
    it destroys all credibility for me. At least Lucas tells a story
    well…he told a story how a single man took over a galaxy and
    damn!….it’s plausible. Lucas’ writing skills might be several decades
    out of place, but they are not bad, they are just from another time.
    Black and white movies with a romance in them would also be considered
    cringe worthy, most likely, by most who thought TPM was also. I agree
    with this article. I am glad more people are starting to see TFA and JJ
    for what they are and more love is being shown to the prequels over time
    (maybe not with the majority of this crowd, but…) I get why TFA broke
    records, it was a fun movie that gave the current fan and casual movie
    goer a great ride and everyone wins…except for those who were looking
    for something else, something they had gotten six times before and who
    were very happy with those…

  • Lance

    I love love TPM
    I love hate TFA
    Darth Maul battle droids OBI WON!!!!!!

    Mary Sue blow up Death Star super easy and weak villains. Not my Star Wars. I’ll go with the TPM you can have TFA it’s all yours

  • zx_spectrum_30

    Agree with the vast bulk of the article, especially the comments around context and the need for supplement. Probably the only point I would argue with is on fan service, where imo there isn’t enough (see alien designs).

    TPM has issues and doesn’t really stand the test of time. In many ways it was a necessary film to set context for what was to follow, bring in a new audiance and sell a lot of toys. Whilst technically brilliant at the time, the overuse of cgi now dates it and the “comedy” of Jar Jar and the battle droids falls flat. The biggest thing TMP lacks is a Han Solo character – someone with a twinkle in their eye, to cut through the seriousness of it all without being a clown.

    What TPM does beautifully is tie in the OT with familiar droids and creatures, whilst introducing new species and models. A Jawa, Tusken, Rodian or Ree Yees guy sprinkled with the new really connects it to the saga c.f. TFA which almost feels embarrassed to be Star Wars. It also resets the way we see the Jedi, which the EU novels had been getting horribly wrong.

    It’s become fashionable to hate TPM but there is plenty to love.

  • Erik

    Only need one. LUCAS.

  • Kerr Roeder

    This is the difference to me personally: the more I watch the OT, and even the PT, the more I like the movies. The more I watch TFA, the less I like it.

  • snowdroid

    TPM was a huge failure, huge. How great could it have been we never know. It has so many issues, most have been addressed here (Jar Jar, young Anakin… heaven, could it have been worse? ah yes, the script). There are tiny bits out of all Prequel films that are okay, but mostly, no, very disappointing. Cold. Unapproachable. TFA is better than all three prequels together, and yes, even TFA has its flaws but boy did I enjoy watching it. But then, I’m old…

  • PeakOB1

    One of the things that bothers me to no end about TFA is this

    “The Force Awakens, on the other hand, sadly gave us lame designs, or creatures that flatout lacked the cohesive aesthetic of George Lucas’ original vision.”

    In this new era of star wars, I sure hope Disney doesn’t continue to TRY and “out do” George Lucus.

    I don’t care how much they paid for it, the more they try to make up their own star wars the further away they get from what we love about it!

    MTFBWU

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