(Spoiler) And still no guard rails on their thin little bridges.
It's true... but... in all fairness, they had to really work hard to make it blow it easy.
Also, before blowing up it did eliminate most of the opposition leaving only a tiny force of elite soldiers. Unfortunately, tiny forces of elite soldiers have a strong history against planet sized superweapons.
I actually thought that was a big problem, even though I liked the movie overall. Not that that was the Empire's, or First Order's, plan, but that they had the resources to do it. If the First Order is only a remnant of the Empire, and if the New Republic controls most of the galaxy, how did the First Order have the resources to build a weapon much more powerful than the Death Star?And that weapon itself seemed totally ridiculous. Even if I could accept a weapon that fires a faster-than-light energy blast that can destroy multiple planets from across the galaxy, how could it ever hit anything? J. J. Abrams seems not to understand just how big space is. At that distance, if you were off by an infinitesimal fraction of a degree, you would miss by light-years. And don't forget: planets move; solar systems move; and planets are a tiny fraction of the size of the stars they orbit. So trying to hit a planet from across the galaxy would be like trying to shoot a speeding bullet with a slingshot from the back of a galloping horse on the other side of Pacific Ocean.Also, just what is or was the relationship between the Republic and the Resistance? If the Republic controls most of the galaxy and sponsors the Resistance, doesn't that make the Resistance not a resistance movement, but the actual military force of the state? Isn't the First Order the actual resistance under those circumstances? So that made no sense.But you know what? That isn't actually all that important. It was an exciting, action-packed movie with well-acted characters (whose dialogue sounded as though it had been written by someone with at least passing familiarity with human speech) I cared about with relationships and personal conflicts that mattered to me. I had a really good time watching that movie, and really, that's what counts.
In all fairness, it's not a hard science-fiction movie, it's just and adventure movie. Whatever suspension of disbelieve you need to overlook everything force related, Sun-swallowing and FTL travel should be more than enough to overlook blowing shit up from half a galaxy away. The original premise of a relatively small machine blowing a planet into dust is already preposterous enough, making it bigger and badder doesn't really make things worse, I honestly didn't stop to think about all this until you mentioned it.Anyway, it's like you said: a decent story and good scripting and acting, you don't really need more than that to make a Star Wars movie. I don't quite understand yet how "Attack of the Clones" happened. I mean, "Phantom Menace", disappointing as it was, I understand (to a point) but still they managed to make things worse... way worse...
"It's just" is a bad excuse for half-assedness. But I could've overlooked planet-sized superguns, mystical space-powers, and all the rest, if there wasn't a bright Mary-Sue sun at the centre throwing it all into stark relief. Decent story? Good scripting? Well acted? Hah.
The movement of planets, stars, and other bodies through space is predictable....IF you have all the variables and enough computing power to use that information in order to work out where the planet in question will be when your giant laser beam arrives. Provided you can handle that, actually hitting your target isn't that hard; you just have to make sure nothing gets in your laser's way between 'here' and 'there'.The hard part is sucking the energy from your planet's sun until it seemingly goes out and oh, I don't know, NOT FREEZING TO DEATH. (Though it does seem to reignite...)As for destroying the planet sized superweapon, just keep in mind they had a shield over the planet, potentially millions/billions of troops stationed there, and who knows what other resources available...and a traitor stormtrooper/sanitation worker who used to work there and basically knew enough about the facility well enough to pinpoint where the resistance should attack. And it STILL wouldn't have destroyed the planet if the First Order hadn't already absorbed the energy from the sun and been storing it for their superweapon. Think about that for a minute: they were storing the energy of a small sun. What the resistance did was destabilize that storage ability and basically create a new mini-sun where before was a planet killing superweapon.Not too farfetched imo...as long as you can accept that these people have technology capable of doing these things (and why shouldn't they? They're from a highly technological galaxy-spanning society.) it makes sense enough for the movie. Re: Resistance/Republic/First Order/Space is Big - Space is BIG. Even if the Republic controls most of the galaxy, that still leaves potentially billions of planets/asteroids/moons for the First Order to get their resources, and then you still have the issue of the First Order raiding Republic ships/planets/whatever. As for the resistance, I was under the impression they were trying to free the planets the First Order had under its thumb and were being supported by the Republic for such a purpose. As for comments regarding acting and etc, yeah, pretty much. It could get pretty bad at times. My impression when Ray (spelled correctly...?) was introduced? "Hey, it's that girl from the Hunger Games/Divergent/Current Trendy Teen Adventure Series transplanted into Star Wars!"
You're never going to get universal agreement on the story or the acting. The story was, as has been implied, pretty much an updated rehash of the original/first/fourth (take your pick) movie but I did enjoy it. As to the acting, I thought they did a competent, professional job with what is essentially a space opera out of a 1930's Planet Stories. E.E. Smith would feel right at home. The bottom line for me, as the OP said, is that I actually cared about the new characters at least as much as I did about the originals back at the end of the first/fourth/whatever movie. I've seen it twice now and I don't regret the price of admission either time.On the rest of it (planet smashing weapons and all), my degrees are in physics. Picking holes in the (pardon the term) science is easy and SO not the point. This is a fantasy movie. If you want to get nit-pickingly detailed, it's a science-fantasy, as opposed to actual science fiction like "The Martian". As long as they throw enough double-talk lines at it, I'm good. (OBTW - something the size of a moon being able to destroy an entire planet. What would you say to something the size of a briefcase being able to destroy an entire city?)
@Warren NO LIKE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS! WARREN ANGRY! WARREN SMAAAASH!Something tells me you would accept the exact same character if it was a guy. Hell, you probably have before in other movies.
While watching Force Awakens, it did seem like a reboot similar to the Trek Wrath of Khan reboot thrown in your face, along with many little things that copied the first/fourth. In a "See? We're still Star Wars." kind of way. But then I realized, what else could he do? The series was so derailed by by the prequels. Start with a new story (which is needed) and you piss off a great number of viewers on the angle you took. Or they don't feel like they're watching Star Wars from everything new.I doubt any studio would back it if it was too different from the others. Which is really what it needs. It needs a satisfying conclusion. It also needs to fulfill the prophecy of the unification of the Force. I don't think there are many writers who have a clue how that could be done. And Hollywood has a great rep for putting out the last chapter that sucks.I look at it this way, Abrams gave us the reboot/rehash and now that's done. The next one really needs to be something new and not a rehash of Empire. I noticed Kasdan in the writing credits (who only finished Empire because Brackett died). So, I really hope it's something new next time and that Abrams and the studio have the guts to do it.Disney execs are famous for not having a clue. Wanting the hit song from Lion King cut out. Freaking when they saw Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow "OMG is he gay?". But it's not limited to just Disney execs.
A society that can fit a computer capable of navigating around heavenly bodies at hyperspeed on a craft the size of an X-Wing can probably build a computer inside a planet that can calculate the correct trajectory of a speed of light weapon. The bigger issue is that if it was truly draining its own star then Starkiller should have lost its own orbit.
What other 40-year-old trope could JJ have shoehorned in, I'd like to know? He'd already shoehorned all the others in.
The Dark Side really does need a new strategy, but the problem lies in topping a weapon that destroys entire planets. How do you one-up that?
There hasn't been a "Planet Sized Superweapon" in Star Wars yet. The Death Star, and the First Order SuperWeapon were both considerably smaller than a planet.
In the EMpires admittedly meager defense it prolly takes 38 years or more to build one of those damn things.