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(courtesy Long Range Rimfire Facebook page)

I thought The Force Awakens was a supremely silly movie. SPOILER ALERT! I reckon The Force Awakens was the first episode remade with new characters playing the old characters – with the old ones playing the old ones, too. (A concept worthy of Phillip K. Dick.) A tale as told by Dr. Seuss. Look! It looks like Luke’s looking at a Luke lookalike! Does Luke like her? Do we like Luke liking her? And while you gotta hand it to Han, the new Han is handsome. Will handsome Han lose his hand like Luke? That would suck; everyone in the movie’s shooting handguns one-handed. What’s your take on The Force Awakens gun-related action?

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  1. What’s the recoil of a blaster anyway? I’ve come to the conclusion that shooting my .44mag Blackhawk is almost more comfortable one handed than two, although might be a bit more accurate with two.

    • Does it have a birdshead grip? I’ve heard those are extremely comfortable to shoot one-handed when shot properly.

      • No, it’s the original Blackhawk or New Vaquero grip. Pretty much have to drop your pinky under the grip and shoot two fingered though.

    • Considering that a Blaster is an Energy Weapon it shouldn’t have much recoil so one handed shooting would be fairly easy, However a two handed grip would still provide more stability but in the Star Wars lore it states that the sights have some sort of auto aiming device of some sort…So the shots don’t have to be perfectly aimed…They also have no ballistic trajectory so if you shoot at long distances it wouldn’t arc but they are only limited to 300 yards if I’m not mistaken…

  2. I saw The Force Aweakens and it was a very “meh” movie. It wasn’t appallingly bad like the prequels, but it was a far cry from the brilliance of the original movies. The main flaws? The plot was the same as Episode IV (though with moments of whiny Anakin from Episodes II and III thrown in), a lot of the dialogue was poorly written (Finn and Poe had dialogue that clashed with everything else in the movie and felt very out of place, Han’s dialogue didn’t fit with how he talked during the original trilogy), some poor acting – primarily from Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher who just seemed to be there for the paycheck and didn’t care about doing a good job, and the worst villain Star Wars has ever had (I don’t elaborate in order to not spoil anything) – Kylo Ren started good but after he took his mask off and his backstory was told, it was impossible to find him intimidating or take him seriously at all.

    • J. J. Abrams is all anyone needs to know about this movie, or anything that vapid schlockmeister touches. He is a syphillitic infection, rotting the brain of science fiction.

      He can take a great premise, and dumb it down to the biggest steaming pile of mediocre, removing any traces of actual science. Which, sadly has made money yet again. So, Star Wars fans, there’s the final validation. You knew it was dead as soon as it sold to Disney and Abrams, but here’s the irrefutable corpse.

      • I absolutely loved Episode 7, my favorite yet. And it’s funny that you mention JJ Abrams because I was talking with my friend about how the internet hates JJ Abrams Star Trek movies and he was like “what!? Those are the only ones I like!” And that’s what I said to. I hated Star Trek, but I love the JJ Abrams ones.

        • And there you have it. People who were fans of Star Trek before J. J. Abrams got his hands on it have very little to recognize in it, other than some character and location names. It was just a two movie audition for Star Wars.

          That said, the practice Abrams got making Star Wars by making it twice over in the Star Trek films paid off. The Force Awakens was really good, and I’m looking forward to the further films, both in the trilogy and in the Anthology series.

    • It’s amusing to me that you decry the new movie for its bad dialogue, poor acting, and recycled plot, but then call the original trilogy “brilliant”…

      Now, I’m not defending this new movie, because I haven’t seen it. But your criticisms could very easily apply to the earlier movies (well, at least Star Wars and Return of the JediEmpire was pretty good all around).

    • Anyone who thinks Star Wars is science fictions needs more help then Abrams. At least he understood that Star Was is just a Western with rockets and ray guns and that is has way more in common with the Lone Ranger that 2001 or even Star Trek. Empire tried to push it into a more serious direction. When I was a kid, Empire was my least favorite, now I think it is the best of them all.
      My 9 year old has mixed feelings about Empire (he knows how much I like it). I think he likes Star Wars (,yes he only watches the original theatrical cut,) the best, and flips between Jedi and Empire for second place. As a dad, I’m happy J.J. made the film for kids (and not with any Ewoks)
      My kid also knows that the Martian is science fiction, not Star Wars. He wonders why we haven’t built Hermes yet, not X-Wings. But he loves playing with his Star Wars toys.
      Now for the movie, (SPOILERS) Kylo is a messed up untrained kid who as no idea what he is doing. And if you really want to take it seriously, if you were Snoke do you really want any trained Skywalkers running around even if they are on your side. I think the only reason he kept Kylo alive was to draw out Luke. As for Han’s death, he knew he was going to die. He ran out on his wife and his kid because he could not deal with the situation. What level of guilt would he be feeling? And yes I at first had issues with Poe. But a lot of that was me expecting him to be Wedge, not his own character.

      • We can get into a debate over the picayune minutiae which defines it as “science fiction” or “sci-fi” or “scifi” or…

        Sure it’s a space Western, we knew that with the first movie. Just like Firefly. Nobody is claiming it to be PKD, but it’s still using tech we don’t have, moving around in space, and features aliens. It’s broadly science fiction. We also knew it was not going to dazzle us with technical detail when we heard about “making the Kessel run” in a unit of distance, not time.

        Still, just like Star Trek, Abrams has killed whatever soul Star Wars may have had and replaced it with some pablum. Bright and shiny pablum. Personally, I don’t see a world full of McD’s and Olive Gardens as something to strive for. Sadly, others disagree…

        • I’m pretty sure George Lucas killed whatever soul Star Wars might have had long before Abrams came on the scene. The sloppy CGI additions to the ’90s re-releases were pretty awful, but that prequel trilogy was just absolute trash.

      • Firefly was a much better “space western” than Star Wars. The characters (all of them) actually had charm. Han Solo, Yoda, and Darth Vader are the only Star Wars characters to have much charm.

        I enjoyed The Force Awakens, but also realize that it is mindless drivel. Way too PC as well. They had to make the main character a super powered girl. Rey’s abilities are absurd. She is an untrained scavenger, but flies the Millennium Falcon better than Han Solo, and fights off a trained Sith warrior.

        Little girls can do everything better than grown men.

        Feminist drivel.

        • Wait, Firefly, that series that actually had a strong female role model that actual embraced her sexuality without resorting to OMGWTF force powers?

        • Exactly Panzercat! I have no problem believing Zoe is a badass! Likewise, Kaylee and Inara have charm, and are believable in their roles. Joss Whedon does get a bit silly with the waif-fu and River, but hey, it’s a western in space.

        • The best explanation I’ve heard for this is that Ray is actually Anakin/Vader reincarnated. Given the fact that the First Order arose and there clearly isn’t any balance to the force at this point, it’s pretty obvious that Anakin didn’t fufill his destiny as the chosen one, so he used the force to reincarnate himself as Ray in order to finish things. It explains why she’s so good with mechanical stuff (Anakin spent his childhood building pod racers) as well as all of the force powers and light saber abilities. She isn’t learning them, she’s just remembering stuff Anakin already knew.

      • You also misunderstand Star Wars too. It isn’t a space western, it is a fantasy film, a mythology. It just happens to have some sci-fi elements and western elements along with many other influences, but at its heart, Star Wars is a fantasy .

      • What was so bad about eps 1-3? I’ve heard this quite a bit but never with any specifics. I’d like to hear some specific reasons, instead of just “its trash”, “Jar jar binks”, “anakin is whinney”, etc…

        • Well, aside from all the ways that they’re just objectively bad movies (ridiculous dialogue, horrible acting, dull characters, inscrutable plots, and so on), the worst thing about the prequels, if you accept them as part of the Star Wars story, is that they ruin a lot of what was good in the original trilogy.

          Lucas’ idiotic desire to shoehorn in a million references and callbacks to the original movies gave us such stupidity as C-3PO having been built by a preschool Darth Vader for some reason, Chewbacca giving Yoda a piggyback ride, and some crap about Boba Fett as kid. So when you watch the original movies after seeing the prequels, you can’t help but wonder why R2-D2 doesn’t tell anyone all of the knowledge he has about Darth Vader’s past, or why old Ben Kenobi neglects to mention midichlorians when he’s explaining the Force, or why Han Solo acts like he’s barely ever heard of Jedi knights, even though his best friend fought in a war alongside them.

          Also, all three movies are supposed to be about Anakin, but he’s a terrible character, insipidly written and poorly acted, and it’s almost impossible to give a shit about him.

          Just imagine if “The Phantom Menace” was the first Star Wars movie, and didn’t have decades of fond nostalgia for the original trilogy to lean on. If it had to stand on its own merits, do you think it would have been a success?

        • Well, I’m a bad one to ask about what would, or would not, make a commercial success, as I tend to like really obscure films like “Used Cars”, “KPAX”, or “Death to Smoochy”. The Star Wars six are the exception. I liked the first from the day it hit the big screen, but my favorite is the Phantom menace. I find much in the prequel trilogy that relates to Amerikan life as it is today. The way ‘Republics’ get destroyed by ‘Democracy’ because no one can tell the difference, etc.
          But I thought the prequel worked pretty well with the original three, overall. As it should, since Lucas is on the record as stating that the entire story came to him in a single dream, but it took thirty years to put it all on film. He also said that he is still disappointed in ep4. He started in the middle, because as a young film school gradate he didn’t think there was any possibility of making the entire story, so he just went with the one that he thought would stand alone the best. That led to most of the plot holes, like Chewbacca never mentioning the Jedi to Han, for example. So its not really just the prequel thats about Anakin, the entire series should have been titled something like , “The two lives of Darth Vader”, or maybe the “Life, Death, and Rebirth of Anakin”.
          I like all 6 movies, but won’t bother with the new one. Its made by Disney. I don’t need to know any more. But this explains why Lucas sold it. The vision is over. He has accomplish what he wanted. Time to take the big money(like he hasn’t made enough from them already :-)) and run. Can’t say I blame him. His dream is still there forever, now. What’s it to him if Disney makes a balls up out of it? As I said they would the instant I heard Lucas sold it.
          Anyway, thank you much for bothering to respond with well thought out reasons, which are much food for thought. Nobody else ever bothered. I did kind of figure out that most people find the plot kind of hard to follow. Nobody else even noticed my favorite lines either, like “We cannot use ours powers to help her”, or “This is how the Republic dies? To thunderous applause?”. Nobody likes my favorite character, Qui-Gon Jinn, either. He never even gets mentioned. Almost like nobody even noticed him, which I consider a real shame. Maybe the depth and esotericness of it is what draws me. Like I said, I tend to like movies that others hate, anyway.

        • As a theatre major and fantasy buff, I found 1-3 lacking on several levels.
          First, 4-6 are classic pulp space opera. The science (such as it is) doesn’t make sense. It is all about the story, specifically the action. Lucas pioneered special affects and set the tone for the genre with those films. They are a little ruff around the edges as a result. However, that ruffness lends them authenticity. Sure storm troopers bonk their helmates on door ways and there are some scenes that probably should have been re-shot—but it is that very lack of polish which lends them their charm.
          1-3 have been over-polished with CGI and muppets. Rather than focusing on the characters and the action, a large part of the experience is the special effects and the ooo shiny aspect of the films. This means that for those of us who grew up on thousands of viewings of the originals, the new movies feel very staral and dumbed down in comparison.
          Second, 4-6 come with a boat load of myth and legend. One of the largest stories is Ford’s discovery and casting choice—but there are plenty of similar stories that came out of the originals. That legend continues to grow as bits of memoribelia, further interviews, and collected histories bring out what was then and is still now a very American story. Lucas made one of “the” films of our era on a shoe string budget, with unknown actors, and did so against the advice of the movie industry.
          1-3 have no such associated romance and legend. They are Lucas’s back story put on screen for fun and profit. There is nothing wrong with that, free market and all, but I tend to think of them as the family ties of the sci-fi world—a little too cute—a little too simplistic—a little too preachy at times to evoke the simple fun and joy of 4-6.
          Third, 4-6 are more than the sum of their parts. How many teenage guys dreamed of Fisher’s slave outfit from return? How many of us can quote entire sections of dialog from 4-6? Lucas created a cultural icon with his original three movies. I have read almost all the subsequent fiction, watching the spin offs, and played several of the video games—even the original Atari versions. 1-3 can’t compete with that kind of emotional investment even if they were objectively as good, which as others have said, they aren’t.

  3. Why do stormtroopers bother with the white armor? It doesn’t stop lightsabers or handheld blasters or much anything else. If the resistance ever figures out how to print ARs…

      • Keep in mind it is a movie, but the “power” of the blasters is kind of tricky. Look at the big holes they leave in walls, case in point the Mos Eisley hangar fight between Han and the Stormtroopers at Mos Isses. It they showed people getting hit with that, how could they keep the PG rating?

        • The term “slug thrower”, meaning projectile weapons, acually comes from the old Steve Jackson dice RPG called “traveller”. Star Wars fans just picked it up and made it popular, because it’s rather descriptive and sounds cool.

  4. The Force Awakens should really be called the Wallets Open. The film was simply a doorway to move product and get people to re-buy the other 6 movies. That was really the big plus for me, my wife who never had any interest in Star Wars became interested in it because of the Force Awakens. It’s targeted at those that have no prior exposure to Star Wars, mostly so parents can try to bond with their kids.

    For me the film started off unnecessarily light. It immediately presented an issue with its language and the fact a storm trooper brought up from birth to be a storm trooper had reservations about being a storm trooper. I am also surprised at how soldiers brought up from birth to do nothing but be soldiers have a hard time hitting anything. It seems storm troopers are really there to scare people and then die. Ren didn’t feel right from the beginning, starting with his voice, then he took off his helmet and there were more problems. His character had no nuance. My wife even saw Han’s fate coming. My biggest gripe is the terrible last shot from a helicopter. Cut the shot, don’t just stand there for minutes.

    The whole film was there to sell the other 8 films and a bunch of merchandise. It had some good high points but didn’t feel as put-together as a Star Wars film should be.

    • “The whole film was there to sell the other 8 films and a bunch of merchandise.”

      Um, yeah, it’s a Star Wars movie. That’s pretty much the same reason that all of them exist.

    • I liked it better when stormtroopers were clones, as they only take 10 years to grow up instead of 18 to 20 like normal human. Plus clones are engineered to be docile to obey all orders without question, like 66. Stupid JJ has change things for the worse and contradict the previous films.

      • Abrams didn’t ruin stormtroopers. After the Clone Wars they stopped using clones. Watch Star Wars (ep IV) and note that the stormtroopers are not the same height. They weren’t clones.

  5. My takeaway is that, so far, people have spent $1 Billion on tickets for this movie when they could have spent the money on guns and ammo.

    Stupid, stupid people.

    • How could Han and Chewie be partners for 40 years and never gone shooting together? Yeah the bowcaster is awesome too bad the damage it did to stormtroopers wasn’t equal to the other people on the receiving end.

    • I was a little confused with how Han hit on the crossbow a few times but then it never really went anywhere. I also liked how Han used the blaster to dispatch the melee weapon weilding stormtrooper, a hat tip to Indiana Jones?

  6. I haven’t seen it and have no interest in seeing it. The originals were fun, given their place in time, but wouldn’t even make it straight to Red Box in today’s market. The 1990s episodes would never be made, were it not for the built-in fan base of the originals. I’m guessing the same is the case with this latest installment.

    Fundamentally, they’re selling nostalgia, not a movie viewing. I don’t begrudge them their money grab. It’s a free market, after all. I just won’t participate in the charade and silliness.

  7. Who gets gun handling skills and training from a hollywood blockbuster? First thing I tell any noob, even before the 4 rules, is to forget anything you ever saw in a movie about guns. It will at best get you embarrassed and at worst, killed.

  8. Gripe, grouch, and complain, you’d think it was supposed to be a great American novel, or maybe a history of the Republic. I took my son to the original in 1977 when he was 3, and we have a date for this one a week from Monday. However bad the movie, it comes with lunch, so it can’t be a total loss, and I buy the guns, too!

    If it makes a bunch of money (how can it not?) watch for Disney to remake all the others.

    REALLY cool picture, BTW.

  9. One thing that occurred to me is that anyone with a Fabrique National product with serial# 2187 might have something suddenly a lot more valuable…

      • Oh, that is BS, Art. Back when I was in school, a military type drilling with Garands, I had a firearm accident very similar to many others in the same month. The resultant painful injury is (still) called a Garand thumb, and requires no ammo anywhere. I achieved my 15 minutes of fame there, because I knew how to handle it, heating a paperclip end with a butane lighter and then using it to burn a hole in my thumbnail down to the blister, releasing the pressure and instantly removing the excruciating pain. They was seeking me out from all over, I tell ya!

  10. I like Star wars, it’s fun and always had been but a lot of people seem to think the Original Star Wars was the Godfather. It was a super campy, fun series of movies, the same way I feel about The Force Awakens.

  11. That a splinter group left by the empire can afford a giant planet that absorbs suns and destroy multiple planets at once in different systems across the galaxy, but can’t afford buttstocks for their stormtrooper’s blaster rifles.

  12. Haven’t seen it-probably not ’till it’s on DVD or HBO. Kids loved it but dad is waiting for the “realistic”(?) violence of the next Captain A movie. And I saw The Empire Strikes Back on vacation in Ohio-THAT was the best SW movie ever. I don’t begrudge Marvel making billions either-they’ll pour it back into the mindless violence I go to movie for…

  13. When I first saw the gun Rey was handed, it looked like it was modeled after The Liberator – 3d printed gun. Its too similar to be a coincidence.

  14. Wait… Guys in robes, a strange religion based on some outdated ideas, trying to overthrow the government, using guerilla tactics…. hmmmmmm…. Is this an ISIS movie??? Ya know if ya looked at this from the other side of the fence. The orginal 3 rocked, everything else is $hit.

  15. Oh, it was fun – it’s just a movie, not a re-cannonizing of the Bible, for Pete’s sake. Was the nostalgia overdone? Yep. Are there problems on the sci-fi front when the same person is behind the wheel of the rebooting of BOTH Star Wars and Star Trek? Yep. But, this, too, shall pass away. It’s only entertainment, not even literature.

    Yeah, I remember being a little kid seeing Episode IV with my Dad, and I recognize the first three movies are pretty important as far as movies go, but it’s modern mythology, no more, no less.

    BTW – love the posing of the Lego figures for the intro picture.

  16. I enjoyed it for what it is worth. Sure some of the acting was hackneyed. But hell the acting in the originals was bad.
    Sure the blasters make no sense and the troopers can’t hit shit. Once again that stayed the same.

    I as not expecting Saving Private Ryan, or even Boondock Saints. I did get a decent space movie with some pretty cool dogfights which were the best part of the movie IMHO.

    • Awesome Boondock Saints reference! Guns, guns, guns, and good defeating evil. Greatest movie ever IMHO. If you haven’t seen it, go rent it.

  17. I just like that the blasters pay homage to actual guns in the real world. Finn has a G36 based blaster and the new storm trooper blasters are still Sterling SMGs, just with new furniture like Captain Phasma’s ATI style

    AR15 stock.. I got my nephews a Star Wars picture book for Christmas, one of the new blasters is literally an AR15 pistol with the charging handle missing, a 3″ barrel with no handguard and then a giant muzzle attachment. Looks pretty slick.

    I wondered why they dont really use their stocks, apparently the storm troopers have targeting reticles in their helmets. Always miscalibrated of course. But sense there isn’t really recoil in laser blasters, why would you need a stock? Except, trigger control is hard even when you’re practicing dry-fire. Maybe they do need to use stocks.

    Oh… and what’s up with my favorite gun blog trying to rip on my favorite movie?

  18. 1. Han never lost his hand, only his heart. (spoiler?)

    2. Han DID shoot first in the orginial. (related, “it should have been Lars!)

    3. For self defense guns, choose a model without a thumb safety, as seen by Rey.

  19. I’ve seen all the movies with my kids including the Force Awakens. I was a fan of Stars Wars as a kid but Lucas should have stopped after the Empire Strikes Back! My 3 kids and I walked out our of Force Awakens entertained and discussing the cheesy jokes, the strong female characters, and the contrived “force”d diversity.

    The most interesting observation from my oldest was that everyone in the movie carried a blaster. However, the best discussion was around whether the “Empire” recalls the Third Reich or is a commentary on the current US Government. Damn good question.

  20. I don’t understand everyone saying its pc. We never know the race of storm troopers and AFAIK the empire doesn’t care what color they are as long as they are human; the empire hates aliens. So black, brown, white, etc is well within the realm of possibility. The empire was started by a bunch of non white clone troopers. So who really gives a crap what color Finn is?

    Rey as the main character. I didn’t see much girl power and ra ra ra man hating. The last 6 movies followed a male protagonist… Maybe it’s time for a female characters? As far as powers etc, rey is literally Luke Skywalker so far from desert planet to discovering her powers in a similar way (perhaps a little faster though) and confronting the much more powerful bad guy clusmily and still coming out ok. If luke can do the same thing why can’t rey? And taking that in the old eu han and leia had a daughter it makes sense that a female is going to play a major role in the new movies.

    Now all this is outside of the quality of the movie. It was ok but IMO is a betrayal to everyone because it was a needless rehash (id say remake) of a new hope. Taken as trying to pull in a new generation of viewers that is almost acceptable until you realize it still doesn’t make any sense. Basically I think everyone who saw that movie got f’d and Disney and Abrams are laughing all the way to the bank because they didn’t even try to hide the fact they essentially remade a new hope.

    Now down to blaster etc…
    Given Abrams previous statements about guns reported on this blog I can’t take too much of a progun message from the movie. If anything thinking in the larger context should reveal the futility of the gun control whether the movies portray it purposefully or not. The freakin galactic government had no idea about a super weapon the size of planet being constructed and fired at them how could they possibly keep track of something as small as a blaster on a desert outerrim planet with 8 people on it let alone a planet with billions of life forms? Likely they don’t care about blaster control but the overwhelming feeling I have is that the galactic republic would be the space version of NJ as soon as realistically possible.

  21. Isi was intrigued by the weapons in the movie. They hark back to the original Stat Wars weapons while looking more like the firearms of 2015. I felt like there was attention paid to how gun guys would view the props. I appreciate that.

  22. Nothing says FU like the Millennium Falcon. I really dig it. Nuf said.

    I was always drawn to the technology rather than the story. Hyperdrive on your daily driver personal intersteller mini-van with laser cannons hideaway smuggling compartments and a chess set – YES.

    Transporter beam on a Star Trek “Federation” ship as the only way to get around space – NO.


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