“Moist. Because of Star Wars.”

Join Brandon, Heidi, Harrison, Josh, Tom and Liz as they discuss every agonizing detail of Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Learn why it doesn’t matter if Rey is a Mary Sue! Guess Snoke’s actual height! Discover why Phasma’s armor is really, really stupid! All of these things and more of this exact sort of things await in one of our longest, most focused discussions yet. Plus– a special holiday treat for the gang and a few Decem-boo themed listener emails.

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21 comments on “JKP! Ep.222: Abrams’ Lucky Charms

  1. I watched Original Trilogy for the first time last weekend in preparation for seeing Force Awakens on Sunday. New Hope was the longest two hours of my life, it’s plain to see Lucas was excited to do special effects and dog fights but everything else is pretty clumsy. Empire was fun, and Jedi was also pretty good. This is what watching Star Wars with zero nostalgia is like. I really liked the new movie, mostly because I love seeing that world brought to screen with all the budget and bombast of modern cinema.

    After watching the Orig Trig I did realize just how much of Avatar: The Last Airbender has just GIGANTIC Star Wars send ups I was almost entirely unaware of, and I immediately started thinking of Kylo Ren following a Prince Zuko like path to the light. It seems against Star Wars’ family friendly ethos to just have him be dark forever, and Zuko’s journey was the Hero’s Journey in A:TLA, since Aang doesn’t really follow the Campbellian beats as well as Zuko does.

    I purposely went to see the movie with my family, since we all went to see the Phantom Menace together, I was probably nine or ten at the time, and it was probably the first movie I walked out of thinking “oh… that wasn’t very good was it…” especially compared to the last movie I saw in a theatre, which was probably Prince of Egypt. I’ve never even really counted it as a Star Wars experience? It was just a movie to me, and as I mentioned I didn’t really watch the films until last weekend. They showed them on Spike almost constantly, especially around the holidays, when I was a teen, but the story never grabbed me, since I’d seen that tale over and over with tighter editing. I also played a bit of KOTOR and was probably disappointed by the lack of Jedi everywhere. I am the definition of a person who has had Star Wars ruined for them via pop culture hype. Same happened with Princess Bride. This is kind of an aside, but I feel like most genre classics are the type of film that grow more charming on recollection, even thinking about it now, having not really enjoyed the movie, that scene with Luke and the setting suns and the music swelling is just SO GOOD. Watching the movie felt like the longest two hours of my life, thinking back on it is was a an interesting adventure with great character and a lot of energy.

    So with all this baggage, I went into The Force Awakens and thought it was great. I will probably watch it again in theatres if I can. J.J. Abrams has a style that’s both classic and refreshing. I had the entire movie spoiled in great detail (I do this with most movies so I don’t have to grapple with following the plot and avoid having to alter my internet browsing habits, basically I’m lazy and hate surprises) and it still didn’t compare to actually watching Finn and Rey fly the Falcon for the first time, or make me laugh any less when the ship was revealed. It feels grand and mythic on a new scale that wasn’t really available with 70’s technology, I liked seeing all the British actors I recognize from trolling BBC shows on Netflix, I loved how it seemed half the entertainment world dropped everything to be involved with the project because it’s what made them love movies when they were little. I loved that all the locations they shot in that are real places you can visit but still managed to feel distant and alien. I loved seeing a Star Wars that was made with EFFORT and LOVE and DEDICATION and not just Lucas grubbing for money. The world he facilitated the creation of deserves better, and it finally got it.

    I just hope they don’t screw it up somehow.

    PS: Oscar Isaac is so dreamy oh my god oh my god oh my god

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    • I will say that Jedi stopping laser blasts isn’t TOTALLY new. Vader did it in empire strikes back, but Kylo Ren holding the blast in place was totally cool.

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  2. Bunta Mike Dec 30, 2015

    Ewok Adventures takes place prior to Return of the Jedi, (the final episode is when the Empire arrives on the forest moon of Endor) so we can all assume that they were wiped out after the Death Star Exploded.

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    • We can only hope. Yub yub.

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    • This was a spectacular episode, y’all and a great way to top off the year! I went in with middling expectations for this movie, despite the preview giving me feels and trust in J.J. Abrams as a director; I had just been hurt too many times before. My jump from expectations to how I felt leaving the theater was tremendous. I am all in with this new trilogy.

      Things I loved about Force Awakens: To start, I was worried how seeing the Disney logo would feel in place of the traditional 20th Century Fox logo to bring me into the movie. Disney was extremely smart in only running the Lucasfilm logo. You knew it was Disney, but they weren’t shoving it in your face. As it got started you could tell that J.J. had really done a thorough analysis into what made the original trilogy great. He stuck to Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, which I know stuck in some people’s craw (Jarman) in how derivative of Ep 4 this one seemed. But that is essential if you are starting a new mythology in this universe. On that note, when I realized that Han Solo’s role had shifted from rogue to the mentor the hero meets in stage 3 (supernatural aid), I knew he was toast, since it is the mentor who dies in stage 10 (apotheosis) in Star Wars films. When I saw he had to confront Kylo Ren on a railingless catwalk, I knew he was supertoast. Other things Abrams knew made for good Star Wars movies were cute droids, badass puppets, amazing real locations, character driven humor, and romantic tension between people who find each other annoying, which the prequels all lacked.

      Things that bothered me in Force Awakens: In this wonderful world that felt real and lived in with amazing puppets and practical effects, they throw in motion captured Andy Serkis and the little spectacled alien lady (I forget her name). They just didn’t seem to fit. They really could have made an effort to keep that realism perhaps with digitally manipulated animatronics, like in “Where the Wild Things Are.” It just seemed like a lazy Hollywood thing to do, which this movie avoided in almost every other aspect. Captain Phasma’s brief appearance disappointed me, but maybe we’ll get a cool flashback about how she fought off a trash compactor monster (come on puppet!) and escaped the Star Killer before it went stellar. Hopefully she will fill the role that Boba Fett had in the second part of this trilogy and incapacitates Poe or Finn or whoever we lose in the next installment, which needs to end on a downer. My last little bother is a stupid nerd thing that you all mentioned about the Star Killer traveling between systems. This bothered me with the Death Star, too, but Wookiepedia has tried to explain it with saying that it had some sort of hyperdrive we just didn’t see. But also we have to assume that this galaxy must be smaller and compact than the Milky Way, since it only takes a few hours (or at least as long as it took for R2 to beat Chewy at monster chess) to travel from Tatooine on the outer rim to Alderaan, which was supposedly closer to the center. At .5 past lightspeed (the fastest in the galaxy) the Millennium Falcon would take 974 days to travel from Earth to our closest star neighbor Alpha Centauri, 4 light years away. So we must assume star systems are much closer in this galaxy. It’s a long time ago, so maybe it’s much closer to the time of the Big Bang, before the universe had time to expand. We just have to assume the 1st Order fitted their planet gun with a hyperdrive, as silly as that seems. Or ions, ions are used to explain away stupid stuff in Star Wars, right?

      Also, Billy Dee Williams is confirmed to be in the next film and will be revealed to be someone’s father, I let you guess who (“No! It can’t be! That’s impossible!”).

      I am overjoyed that everyone liked their shirts (Don’t worry, Joel and Nik, I haven’t forgotten about you!). It was my pleasure to do the leg work to get them all out to you, you’re all well worth the effort! I checked and the Empire parody of the Trump slogan is already a hat:( That could have been really fun. I have also received a request for JKPD&D and DecemBOO! shirt designs. If that tickles anybody else’s fancy, let me know and I’ll try to include them when and if (most likely just when) we run another sale.

      I have a suggestion for you Brandon, regarding your crew coupons (crewpons? croutons?). It would be awesome to get you a hole punch to denote the redeeming of each one, so no one tries for repeat usage. That would make for excellent foley, and you could call them Jump Kick Punchcards!

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    • Sorry, Bunta Mike, this was supposed to be my own thread. My bad!

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  3. I just want to know this. Was this movie the way Star Wars is supposed to look like? For reference, I have not watched any star wars movie, except episode 1 and I dont remember anything besides the darth vader racing.

    Im really comfused about that this movie is and what it wants to be. To me, this movie was the shortest 2 hours ever, best self parody, best parody material. A joke without a punchline. 5, maybe 6/10.

    I really liked the cast, the action and so on, but the what bothered me were a few little things, which really broke the immersion.

    The holding hand thing, sure, not a big deal, but while people are hunting you down, you really dont need to explain somebody to stop holding your hand.

    The come at me bro stormtrooper. Just shoot him like the rest, please.

    Luke Skywalkers lightsaber just sitting there unprotected.

    During the saber fight at the end, she remembers about the force… all I could imagine at that time is that there would be a zoom into her head, into her mind and she would have a montage.

    At the end, when Skywalker was found and was just standing there, I awnted her to throw the saber at his face so bad and that it became like a Scary movie parody.
    *throws saber and hits face*
    Luke: OOOUUU, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!
    Ray: I’m sorry, I thought you would catch it with the force…
    Luke: WHAT THE HELL IS WONG WITH YOU, I HAVENT SEEN A PERSON IN 50 YEARS, HOW WOULD I SUPPOSED TO KNOW YOU WOULD THROW THAT?!
    Ray: You could have used the force, I don’t know
    Luke: THE FORCE?! I CAME HERE TO GET AWAY FROM IT! YOU SEE WHA THAT DOES TO PEOPLE?! DAMN THIS REALLY HUAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaa *falls off cliff*
    *que theme song*

    I went to see the movie without expectations, I just trusted that it was good and yet, I was actually dissapointed.
    The movie always had something going on, it had my interest, but few and far where things actually happened.

    For reference, I found Interstellar to be an interesting movie, but just too damn boring.

    I really wanted to like star wars=(

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    • “The holding hand thing, sure, not a big deal, but while people are hunting you down, you really dont need to explain somebody to stop holding your hand.”
      When someone keeps doing a thing you don’t like, you’re likely to tell them to knock it off, right? I thought this was pretty funny/told you a little about who Rey is.

      “The come at me bro stormtrooper. Just shoot him like the rest, please.”
      I am assuming you’re talking about the trooper not shooting. I think it was more of a case of showing he was better than Finn? Bad guys want to show dominance to the weaker opposition, and guns are an easy way out. Also, let’s assume Stormtrooper guy thinks Finn can deflect the shots with the saber like other Jedi do. Hand to hand was the safest course of action if fighting him.

      “Luke Skywalkers lightsaber just sitting there unprotected.”
      This added some mystique for me, like, the door would not have opened had it been anyone else but Rey. Also, no one knew it was there except for Maz, and who knows, maybe we will learn about it in one of the off-shoot movies.

      That’s how I viewed those bits. It’s interesting to see how other people are liking (or not-liking) Star Wars.

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      • Also this is just me nitpicking and really are not big issues, but are just things I personally found really interesting.
        I would give better or other examples, but I legit dont remember.

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  4. Here’s the George Lucas interview I think you guys were referring to.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8hQVlRgFlU

    Please respond to my diatribe on this thread if you like (Sorry again, Bunta)

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      • *tears up* My first official JKP Photoshop! I want to thank Dave, not only for putting me in one, prominently no less, but also for choosing a rather flattering photo of my round Irish face. I want to thank the JKP Academy for letting me into their old white boys’ club without objecting to my old white girl status. And finally, I want to thank God. To quote a good season of a show that inevitably crapped out toward the end of its run, I feel God in this Chili’s tonight.

        …oh god, does that mean I’m the Ellie Kemper of JKP? As long as I’m not the Zach Woods. Wait, am I the Zach Woods? Fuck.

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        • You should be really happy then that I said to myself, “Oh! Admiral Macke-bar, that’s awesome! Eh… maybe I won’t do that to Liz. She did just recently trust me to paw through her Facebook photos like some mangy Photoshop raccoon. Her first photo manipulation shouldn’t turn her into some horribly disfigured squid person.”

          Like I said before, you won’t get full fan benefits until the 2 year mark. Then it’s fair game, missy.

          I have wanted to do something with the original trilogy theme for a while, but it wasn’t until you officially joined the crew that I could fill the whole cast. This seemed like the perfect episode to do it.

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  5. Shadra Dec 30, 2015

    Before a Star War happens, a comment about the Warcraft movie:

    I’m not as excited about this movie as I’d hoped to be, but I’m also jaded and bitter now!

    That said, it’s worth pointing out that the perception of Warcraft from those who didn’t play it a fuckton when it came out is mostly based on general public awareness of World of Warcraft. WoW is a whole different beast from the original Warcraft games and story-- while it’s much more like the third Warcraft game in terms of the visual style and having a bunch of sentient races, World of Warcraft has really become its own beast that a film could never really do justice to (nor should it, because WoW is a game crafted to be an MMO experience, not a film).

    The film’s story is focused on the first concept of Warcraft: Humans/elves/Tolkeinstuff vs. Orcs/Trolls/Ogres/moretoltienstuff While the first three games aren’t exactly the most narrative experiences one can have (with the exception of the third), it does have a story that revolves around that initial conflict and how/why humans and orcs are at war in the first place. Assuming most of you don’t care about the heavy lore details, I’ll summarize:

    The Horde invaded the human world through a magical portal and started fucking shit up, so the original residents fought back and war happened a lot. After a time, you find out that the orcs were being mind controlled by evil, and driven to the human world because their world got totally fucked by that same evil. So now that the orcs are not just ‘oooh evil bad monster people’, they’re kinda stuck in this new world, their old one is fucked, so they try to settle and make a home for themselves here, but humans are kind of assholes and want them off their land, so it’s fighty-fight time forever.

    So this story is mostly about the conflict between the human kingdom and the orcish tribes that are trying to settle there because they have nowhere else to go. I think the movie could be good, but it could also be hot garbage.

    Also I agree about the giant CG orcs looking dumb, but that’s a symptom of the evolving Warcraft art style from its origins to what people expect to see today. So we’ll see.

    NOW FOR A STAR WAR

    I’ve only gotten to see it once, but I’m going to see it again at a fancy theater maybe next week. While there were some weak points (mostly to do with Phasma or lack thereof), I thought it was a good Star Wars movie. It had the right feel, except way more intense than the originals-- there was more tension throughout and fewer periods of calm amidst the chaos. I’m okay with that, but it is something I noticed.

    The two things I’d like to talk about are less to do with the movie plot itself and more my experience in watching it. Much like Josh and Harrison, I was in no mood for a casual, social viewing experience when we saw it opening night. A lot of this had to do with the fact that I’d just come from work, and was thus incredibly cranky and tired. We were also seeing it with my friend’s coworkers (and their kids, who are nice boys, but still kids who talk when they should not be talking because DON’T TALK DURING A STAR WARS). Basically I wanted to be left alone to enjoy my Star War and for the most part I got to have that, so I was happy. Our theater was also mostly fairly quiet, mostly from the intensity of the viewing experience. While there were the occasional appropriate laughs and cheers, the thing I loved the most was the audience reaction to the part where Han mentions that Kylo Ren is his son. There was a mild cascade of ‘What?’ ‘Huh?’ ‘Wait, what?’ bouncing around the theater that was charming in that it sounded like people were genuinely shocked enough to speak out loud DURING A STAR WARS so you know it was a genuine feeling of surprise that I thought was really cool.

    I’d love to talk to Josh about this at some point, but one thing I did notice while watching was how nostalgic the scenery and setting made me-- not for the original trilogy, but for the Star Wars video games I played a fuckton of growing up-- and more recently, SW:The Old Republic. I never actually played any of the KotoR games, so SWTOR is my only experience with that section of the Extended Universe lore, but this movie really reminded me of some of my highlight experiences playing that MMO-- the fairly immersive setting, the amazing visuals, and the sense that there is room for lots of important stories in the SW galaxy-- not just the Skywalker legacy or even the Jedi/Sith. Watching the movie really made me nostalgic for playing SWTOR and being immersed in those worlds, those different planets, and feeling like that universe is a network of thousands and thousands of important stories, and not just the ones that they made movies about.

    Oh, though there was one thing that did draw me out of the movie a little bit-- every scene where you were not on Jakku or Starkiller Base was totally filmed in Kerry and the nearby islands, which is kind of awesome and I can’t wait to go on some Star Wars tours when I go back.

    -Shadra

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  6. Patrick Dec 31, 2015

    The introduction of Rey and Finn make a new generation of Star Wars fans interested in a series that they have most likely been grandfathered into. It’s not super childish like the prequels but it’s not super grim dark like some of the comics/EU. The best corollary I can make is the Duracell commercial with the kids playing at Star Wars, then the big thing at the end happens and shit kinda gets a bit real.

    I am really surprised that I haven’t heard anyone make a joke or speculate on C-3PO’s red arm which he isn’t wearing (do you wear arms?) in that final scene where Rey is flying away.

    NeitherMike: If you think Kane debuting as the Christmas monster was stupid, I have a whole advent calendar for you.

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  7. I think I’ve got you beat, Josh.

    I started to tear up when the lightsaber flew to Rey’s hand. I’m still not entirely sure why, but it was just an overwhelming feeling of joy and excitement for where all three of those snow-fight characters will go in the coming movies, and just a general re-invigoration of a franchise I thought was long-dead and devoid of any further value at this point.

    My favorite sequence of the whole thing was Ren and Solo’s catwalk convo. The lighting of Ren’s face, half in red and half in blue, and then shifting to entirely red as the sun was depleted, right before he cut his father down, was excellent. There’s nothing subtle about it, but it was still fucking beautiful.

    Dammit. Star Wars.

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