Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Snow Screen: Star Wars in 4DX

Our day of Downtown adventure continued as we trekked over to the Convention and Staples Center area to check out Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 4DX. One of the only 4DX theaters in the state, the format boasts 3D along with 8 additional sensations like your seat moving, smoke, wind, water, smell and more. Of course I've seen SW twice already so any major qualms, critiques, expectations and whatnot are gone. The film is what the film is. It's big, beautifully made, exciting, funny and accomplished its mission of reintroducing the franchise, launching lots of sequels and of course, making billions through tickets and merchandise. This viewing I paid special attention to a few things, minor SPOILERS AHEAD:

- Poe Dameron is the big brother we and the universe never had. Don't make it weird.

- Much has been made about Kylo Ren being a badass or a bitch. Supporters point to the fact that he took a blast from Chewie's crossbow to the leg then still fought off Rey and Finn. While Chewie's blaster does knock people back several feet throughout the film, in the actual scene, Ren gets it then Chewbacca blasts 4-5 other Stormtroopers who simply fall down normally. As I thought before, this is just a visual cue and nothing to do with story or strength.

- Ren cannot and should not be saved. Anakin killed a bunch of little kids, Ren killed his dad. Don't let him come back. It would be a repeat of Vader and I think it would be interesting if Ren became a super villain who wipes out his competition, makes the Empire a formidable terror without always being foiled and starts killing everyone Luke cares about to force him out of hiding. Han is already gone, you could give Leia a great arc in the first half of Episode VIII and take her out, then kill off Chewie, because we know people care more about animals dying than humans, leading up to Luke being forced to deal with Ren. He could pull in some dark hadou, Street Fighter style then turn evil himself a bit in order to take out Ren. That could set up a showdown between Luke and Rey, who I think is his daughter and the cycle repeats, more sequels, etc.

- The 4DX was fun, right away a flash of light accompanied the Star Wars logo and brought you in immediately. Shifting around in your chair with fake wind in your face gave you the light sensation of flying while the air puffs around your head during blaster battles along with the chair bumping you in the back to highlight punches and stabs is a nice touch. We only got hit with water once and didn't have a lot of smoke going on. Or the bubbles from the ceiling, but there wasn't really a good opportunity for that sensation. In my mind the 4DX experience could be pushed even further if you blasted the audience with a puff of cold or hot air when onscreen action takes you to the desert or arctic. Then during the lightsaber battle, how cool would it be if blue or red light flashed every time the blades met? Might be a little intense or seizure inducing but you'd sure feel part of the show. Lastly I think the seats could move more and tilt forward like Star Tours but then again, little kids might slide out and you'd need a lap belt. All in, much better than the rumbling, glorified massage chairs of D-Box.

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