The Damn Dirty Geeks continue our ongoing discussion about the STAR WARS cinematic universe with our official review episode on THE FORCE AWAKENS.
While we recorded this episode last December just after THE FORCE AWAKENS blasted into theaters for a billion-dollar box office run, we delayed publishing it to give as many STAR WARS fans and DDG listeners to see the film. The wait is over, and the Geeks’ lightsabers are clashing in full-force now!
The Geeks Take On Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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Frank, Jack, Scott, Trish and Frank dive deep into THE FORCE AWAKENS for all its strengths and potential weaknesses in jumpstarting the feature franchise again. We reach a consensus about liking the film, but engage in lively debate about how the contributions of director J.J. Abrams and writers Michael Arndt and Lawrence Kasdan shaped the story of Episode VII and the next two films ahead.
Many of our main plot predictions from our previous STAR WARS podcasts came true in THE FORCE AWAKENS, though the film yielded many surprises as well, for better and occasionally worse. Our discussions/arguments arise over: the Abrams/TREK-like science warping of the First Order’s solar weapon; the clouded mystery surrounding Snoke’s true identity; how and who is training Kylo Ren in the ways of the Force; and how is Rey tapping into the Force without any training — just for starters!
We also have much to say about the performance of Harrison Ford as an older, evolved Han Solo, along with the younger cast including Oscar Issac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. On the other hand, why did Max von Sydow and Gwendoline Christie get so short-changed in their roles?
Was there too much overlap between THE FORCE AWAKENS and the Original Trilogy films, or were the similarities very deliberate to help erase the disappointments of the Prequel films?
Trivia: Per our discussion on the possible identity of Snoke in THE FORCE AWAKENS, listen for yourself to this excerpt from John Williams’ score track 17 from the film entitled Snoke, then compare it to the track Palpatine’s Teachings as heard on Williams’ REVENGE OF THE SITH score as Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) tells Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s former Sith master. The similarities in the two compositions sparked plenty of speculation that Snoke may be the not-so-dead Sith master Plagueis, who may have survived Palpatine’s assassination long ago to attempt training Ben Solo (aka Kylo Ren) in the ways of the Dark Side of the Force. NOTE: due to the sneaky programmers at Apple, you can only preview these tracks if you click iTunes store at the top of the linked URL, unless you are already an Apple Music subscriber. If you preview the albums at the iTunes store, you can listen to the excerpts for free.
Trivia: Since its theatrical release on December 18, 2015, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS has become the top-grossing film of all-time domestically, earning over $932 Million at U.S. box offices, and currently ranks third all-time internationally with just over $2 Billion behind AVATAR and TITANIC. Also, THE FORCE AWAKENS has broken 41 box office records, including breaking the $100 Million threshold on its first day of release.
Trivia: in this podcast, the DDG reference the door on the Millennium Falcon closing on actor Harrison Ford‘s leg and breaking his ankle. The injury put him in the hospital, required surgery, and kept Ford out of filming for approximately one month. Later, director J.J. Abrams revealed that he broke a vertebra in his back attempting to lift the door off of Ford’s leg.
Trivia: in a 1983 interview, actor Mark Hamill revealed that George Lucas asked if Hamill would like to play an older version of Luke Skywalker for the eventual Episode VII sequel to RETURN OF THE JEDI, which Lucas predicted would be made circa 2011. While only appearing at the end of THE FORCE AWAKENS, Hamill did indeed appear as an older version of Luke Skywalker, now a veteran Jedi in the likeness of Obi-Wan Kenobi as actor Alec Guinness did portraying Kenobi in 1977’s STAR WARS.
Trivia: the Dejarik holographic chess game that appears on the Millennium Falcon during THE FORCE AWAKENS is a recreation of the original stop-motion animation from STAR WARS in 1977. Our previous podcast guest, Frank Ippolito, created and moulded the stop-motion characters for this tribute sequence, which was animated at Tippett Studios.
StarWars.com – visit the official website of the STAR WARS universe, including films, TV series, news, games and more
Creature-Geek.com – visit the website for Frank Ippolito and Len Peralta’s podcast
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – purchase the digital download of the feature film plus bonus features via Amazon.com
Star Wars: The Complete Saga – purchase Episodes I-VI of the STAR WARS series on Blu-ray via Amazon.com
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – purchase Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the film via Amazon.com
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