Baconsale Episode 38: Does the Force Awaken?

In December of 2015, four podcasters disappeared in the area near the Wasatch Front while recording the season one finale of Baconsale, which is a review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Days later their audio recording was found, uploaded and posted on various social media sites.

Note: The first 30 minutes are spoiler-free.

34 thoughts on “Baconsale Episode 38: Does the Force Awaken?

  1. Joel, I’m a huge Star Wars fan and I’m totally on your side here. I really want to go more in depth about my feelings on the film and this episode of Baconsale, but my current emotional state is so angry about certain things in this episode I need to take a bit to calm down to make it family friendly. I’ll post later after I’ve had a chance to seethe a bit.

    I’ll say one thing though, Emily ticked me off in this episode to no end. The flow of this episode was pretty disjointed, which made it kind of hard to get through the first 30 minutes.

    Overall this episode was “really good”.


  2. Ok, I’m calm(er) now.

    I’m a little sad this is the last episode of this season guys, and that it left me with a really bad taste in my mouth. I’m not gonna tear it apart, I respect you three and really like the work you do. Before I get started, great job this season and I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a good, well deserved, break.

    First off, I still don’t know what Jacob really thinks of this movie. Kent’s thoughts were kind of murky as well, like I get he wasn’t thrilled about this movie but I don’t really understand what he thinks other than it’s (SPOILER ALERT) a New Hope redone. I did read his review on showtime showdown and I agree with what Kent’s thoughts are, though his final score I felt was a little harsh. Joel, you are 100% in the right here. I loved this movie and I am a REAL Star Wars fan. I don’t like the prequels, I’ve dabbled in the EU, and I love the original trilogy.

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens I would place as tied for the 2nd best Star Wars movie with Return of the Jedi, both of those behind the Empire Strikes back. So my ranking would be 1) Empire Strikes Back, 2) Return of the Jedi, 2) Force Awakens, 4) A New Hope, 5) Revenge of the Sith, 6) Episode 1: A Star Wars Parody, and 7) Episode 2: Anakin the Creep.

    You have to view this movie as a foundation for a trilogy, and a true trilogy in which all 3 films are totally dependent on each other. If viewed this way The Force Awakens is solid. The implications of what happened in this film are HUGE. There’s no Coroscant or Republic anymore, there’s a new Sith-Led faction that while at face value, it looks like the empire the instability of it’s leadership and the tangible hate you can feel in them gives this faction a menacing air about them that even the original trilogy couldn’t build. The Empire was about control, that no matter what you did you were still outnumbered by a foe that had more resources and better technology. The First Order feels desperate and angry.

    I love that the movie didn’t feel a need to tell us everything. I think this was the real benefit to no George Lucas, he geeked out with the prequel trilogy and it resulted in us getting three over-explained “look at what I made!” movies, with a clumsy ham-fisted love story between some canadian creep and Natalie Portman. The only reason any of the prequels were any good was because ultimately Anakin would turn into Vader and connect it with the original 3 and even in this George Lucas messed things up by creating plot holes that weren’t in the trilogy before (like why does Leia remember her mother when Padme died in childbirth… stupd stupid stupid.) I’m excited to learn about if Rei is really Luke’s Daughter, and if so what happened to her mom (and it better be Mara Jade), how did Kylo betray Luke and how Lord Snoke turned him. Also did Phasma get out of the Trash compactor (I was disappointed there wasn’t more of her in this)? (haha)

    Daisy Ridley and John Boyega were fantastic, and how good was Harrison Ford? That was the best job I’ve seen from him in years. The cast did a great job and J.J. Abrams did exactly what J.J. does; set a series up with a great beginning and give it the momentum it needs in the right direction. Also I think the fact he is not directing the next movie is great as well, I think it will let the story move forward, and I don’t see how they can do another true empire strikes back as the setup that exists doesn’t really line up with that, I could be wrong but I think the next one is going to be fantastic.

    I love that I didn’t get told anything about the plot before hand, minus little bits and pieces. It made it a fun experience and it made it so I didn’t come in with a preconceived vision of what it should be and then leave disappointed it wasn’t what I thought.

    Now for Emily… Trying really hard to be respectful here. We heard way too much of her opinion. I don’t blame Joel for not really feeling like he could talk because of how she acted here. I could hear her eyes rolling. I wanted to hear Joel and Kent talk about this movie and what we got was over an hour of her being a “Real Star Wars Fan”. She dominated the podcast and made it almost unlistenable. If I wanted to hear the opinions of jilted critics I can go online and find them. I wanted Baconsale to review the Force Awakens, and what I got was the Emily show with guest hosts Kent, and Joel. I’m also really resisting the urge to fact check what she said, because there were a number of errors, but I honestly don’t want to go back and listen to her again and point them out.

    So in summary, I’m with you Joel. Kent while I do agree with what you said on showtime showdown I didn’t really hear enough of you here and I wanted to hear you talk about your side. Jacob, I still don’t understand what you thought of it but it is comforting to know you and Emily are not the same person. Emily, I think I said enough.

    Congrats on finishing the first season! Can’t wait for more next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chadwick! Hey – dude I had to jump on and say hey to this comment. Awesome. It’s great you’re so fired up. Frickin love it.

      I saw Force Awakens for the second time over the weekend which really helped solidify my feelings. Also – Imax is for this movie is superb. Anyway, this movie was executed brilliantly. There’s no getting around it. I loved the movie and hated that it wasn’t original – ya know. That was really hard to express on the podcast! For myself, I seriously agree with all the positive things your saying. It’s just a bummer i didn’t get to see more unique material. As a foundation for a series – i’m ready to go. Give me more!

      Thanks for commenting. Seriously. Question though: Batman or Star Wars? You can only choose one! What do you do, man? What do you do?



      1. Hey Jacob!

        BTW you saw this at 11:15 right? If you saw it at the Megaplex in Ogden then we were in the same showing! Sorry for my negative comments, I got pretty fired up. I think this new trilogy will be one where you can sit and watch all three in one sitting and not get tired of it if everything pans out. After watching this the second time I thought to myself “I could watch another 3 hours of this if it kept going.” It wasn’t really original, but I was ok with it because it got back to being Star Wars. Which is something the prequels never made me feel. The scene where Rey gets Lukes lightsaber and fights Kylo was epic.

        Batman or Star Wars?! Whats the situation here? Does the other one get erased from existence or am I on a desert island or something? That’s really tough. This might be controversial but I’ll say that the Dark Knight trilogy is better than Star Wars… Am I really saying that?.. Ugh, yeah I think so. But I think as a whole the Star Wars universe is more fun to explore. You can only hear about Bruce’s parents dying so many times. I could hear side stories on Luke, Han, Palpatine, Vader, Maul, etc. all day. So I’m going with Star Wars.

        But… Why not have both?! Have you seen this video yet? Take a gander, let me know what you think. haha enjoy!


  3. My random thoughts – Joel is right. This was a great movie. The prequels sucked. Emily is super annoying. Every James Bond movie has basically the same plot. Every Batman movie has the same plot. The fact that the movie is similar to A New Hope does not make it bad – instead, it actually makes it good. This actually feels like Star Wars, unlike all the prequels. If Emily thinks the prequels are good, everything she says is not valid. Kent just wanted to not like this. Kylo Ren is a better villain than Darth Maul. Darth Maul had no character development. I didn’t want to see something new, I wanted to see Star Wars. I also don’t want to hear from Emily again.


    1. Ouch. Everyone has their opinions. The movie disappointed me, and I was probably more intense about it than I should have been. And for the record, I barely talked for the first 30 min. Hardly the Emily show.


      1. Hey Emily!

        Sorry, I was probably a bit more intense in my comments about your performance. For the record, I really liked the M. Night Shamylan show you were in. I think the intensity you had in this episode really turned me off, honestly. This episode didn’t really run smoothly and it felt like Joel was getting attacked for enjoying the show once the spoiler full part took over. Since I agreed with Joel, I took it personally. I did go read your review on your website and saw you bumped the score from a 7.5 to an 8.5 after your second viewing. I was curious to get a little bit more from you on what changed your mind.

        Also, I think we can agree this movie is a hard one to really review without seeing how the rest of this trilogy turns out. In all honesty, if you judged every Star Wars as a standalone movie you would probably end up putting episode 1 or 4 as the best, and if they were judged this way they probably wouldn’t be rated very well at all. It’s when you look at the trilogies as a sum of their parts that they really become such great stories. This new trilogy could end up being really great, I think it may take a more direct Sith vs. Jedi with less story on giant galactic war than the previous two trilogies. I’d be pretty stoked if that were the case. What direction would you want this story arc to go? I’m honestly curious on your thoughts.


    2. Joelisright, I’m sure that if Joel were here, he would appreciate the sentiment that he is right — he usually does. However, please remember that Emily is a guest of Baconsale, and while you have every right to express your opinion, she deserves the same type of respect you give Kent, Joel and Jacob. Wait…that won’t work. Please give our guests at least 25% more respect than you would the main cast.
      -Pete the Intern


  4. Haha the problem was going last. I bottled everything up and then EXPLODED. Probably wasn’t a good idea haha. Thanks, I was definitely more pleasant in the Shyamalan ep for sure, because that movie was more a pleasant surprise than a letdown like my initial feelings felt about The Force Awakens.

    It definitely is hard to review not having seen the sequels, and I think they’ll make the biggest difference in how this movie ends up feeling to me as time goes on (once we have our answers.)

    Expectations for me are HUGE. This movie was advertised as the PERFECT Star Wars film, and seeing that it was just a copy of another one really bothered me. But seeing it again and knowing who is who going in the second time made things just flow a lot more smoothly to me, and I could accept it. I still have issues with its lack of creativity and it being A New Hope rehash, mostly in terms of the Death Star 3.0. And my other biggest issue is with Snoke (he seems like a really generic baddie to come on the heels of the crafty Palpatine) BUT it is undeniably well made and I enjoyed it a lot more knowing its future potential.

    As far as where I want it to go, I mostly hope we get answers… and that Rey continues to see the past since I think the “how did we get here” is more interesting than copying the old trilogy again. Though I’m sure 8 will see her training with her Yoda figure in Luke, and possibly an I am your father moment, I hope they can do something new. And at this point.. no more death stars!


    1. I’m sure there will be training with Luke in 8. I’m starting to get my doubts on Rey being Lukes daughter. I feel like she is but they could have a bigger story for her. I think something cool they could do with Snoke is actually make him Darth Plagueis and have Snoke be just a cover. He looks a lot like the race they have said Plagueis was in the EU and they seem to be borrowing quite a bit from the EU stuff. Having him be Plagueis would be a cool twist because he apparently was killed by Palpatine, and was Palpatines master. One of my big issues with the Prequels was that we didn’t really see how Palpatine became Palpatine. Making Snoke Plagueis could lead to some cool background on Palpatine as well.

      I’m ok with the New Hope rehash. I get that it’s not creative and is a let down, but despite that, I’m happy we got the feel of Star Wars back. I’ve been missing that since I saw the original trilogy and the prequels never gave me that. I like the take on the successors to the Empire being unstable. I loved Kylo Ren’s instability, I always found it odd that the Sith were so controlled in their emotions when they’re so hateful. He’s no Maul, but he’s a great villain.

      Also, I think you and I have some common ground on Maul. He was great. I’m sad they killed him off so early, I would have loved having him be the villain through 1, 2, and 3 instead of Dooku and Grievous. Can you imagine him having a Return of the Jedi esque duel in front of Palpatine between Anakin, Obi Wan, and Darth Maul, where Anakin kills Maul despite Obi Wan telling him not to and then Obi Wan and Anakin’s big huge epic awesome duel happen right after?

      Anyway, nerd moment over there. I apologize for being so critical. Excited to hear the next episode you do.


      1. But yes I’ve heard the Plagueis theories too, and it’d be cool. As long as they give him some kind of good backstory that doesn’t make him Palpatine 2.0 I think I’ll be good. I agree with your comments on the Sith, and definitely Maul. He shouldn’t have died so early on 😦


      2. I think it will be pretty easy to make him different than Palpatine. He’s this mad scientist, brooding, hermit Sith lord. It would be hard to make us believe he fits the charismatic, scheming, backstabbing Palpatine. Though, Plagueis did come up with the plan to put Palpatine in the senate and eventually get him in as Chancellor so he will have some similar elements.

        I do wish they had killed off Leia in this episode. How cool would it have been for the first order to blow up Coruscant, the republic, and the resistance leadership and leave Poe, Rey, and Finn to find luke on their own while being hunted by Snoke?


  5. Hey Chadwick,

    I love that mashup vid. However, I’m more into the alternate ending. It’s more Batman-y.

    And I could watch most anything by JJ for 3 hours.


    1. I didn’t actually see the alternate ending… I’ll have to watch it later. I could watch anything JJ does for a long time too. Into Darkness was awesome, I hate that so many people hate on it. How can you hate Khan?! It’s friggin’ Khan! The more of him in Star Trek the better.


  6. Hi friends, great show. It is really a treat to listen to everyone. Emily made some really valid points. Great content and insight from a true Star Wars fan. So all the haters need to back off!


  7. I was so excited about this review! Glad Emily came on, her “explosion” was awesome. I agree with pieces of all of your arguments but mostly Joel. I loved it!
    I grew up with the prequels and moved on to love the originals later on. I hear about the wonder people felt in theaters seeing a New Hope for the first time and having this amazing, life changing experience. The Force Awakens gave me that chance. I don’t mind that the story was rehashed, I wonder if it was almost necessary or even intended to give a younger generation that true Star Wars experience and to help the “olds” forget the disappointment that the prequels were. I am hopeful now that they will move on and create some new content and give the needed background information.
    I was really disappointed with the portrayal of the original characters. The reveal scenes were so awkward and dramatic. I loved the new characters. That’s it. Thanks guys! Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Emily reminds me of a graph I saw that showed a person’s enjoyment of star wars compared to their level of knowledge of star wars, and as one knew more the level of enjoyment went up, up to a certain point, when the level oh knowledge is “extreme star wars geek” and the level of enjoyment plummeted.


    1. Still not done with the podcast, but went back and read all the comments before (I skipped them because I didn’t want spoilers). I know the anger wasn’t directed toward me or to the other hosts, but it came as somewhat of a shock since Kent and Joel are pretty good natured in their arguments and rarely get angry, so when your anger toward the movie came out it was a shock. Baconsale is like star wars a new hope, it should be like other baconsales, and so far this one is different.


  9. I just started the spoiler-full section, but want to give my review. I REALLY LIKED this one. I know I might sound like a heretic, but I think this is my #1. But then I am part of the “general masses” I didn’t go see it opening night, I watched all six of the previous movies, but I am not a geek by any means. Sure I know more about star wars than some, but I know less than Joel and Kent. I liked it. The acting was better than any of the previous six, it wasn’t bogged down in politics, and the plot was easy to follow. While some might say that it was a rip off of New Hope, I like what a previous commenter said above: Bond movies have a certain formula, Marvel movies have another, etc, etc. and I would add that even scriptures have a formula (Moses born, king wants to kill all the babies, so mother puts him in basket and he ends up being raised in Egypt as the son of Pharaoh (or son of god), as adult he becomes savior of his people compared to Jesus is born, Herod wants to kill all the babies, family flees to Egypt where he is raised and as an adult and son of God he becomes the Savior). Formulas are good especially when there is a bit of the supernatural in star wars. Anyway, I really liked it.


    Now, before I continue I am going to jot down some thoughts here. First, I read another critique by the author of the Martian who said his only beef with the movie was that the storm trooper who got into the fencing match with Finn should have been Capt Phasma – it would have given her a bigger role and made much more sense as to why that storm trooper was so mad about Finn being a traitor.

    I would have liked to see through Finn’s eyes in the beginning. Give us an idea as to what the storm troopers see through their helmets. Is there a heads up display? They missed a chance there. I do think Finn should have had a little more to do.

    Now about Rey, I know they don’t give us answers, but I don’t think she can be Luke’s daughter. Jedis aren’t supposed to marry. I was kind of wondering if there was anyway for her to be Kylo Ren’s daughter, but that seems quite unlikely since there doesn’t seem to be much age disparity. So, that leaves her as just one of the students of Luke.

    Death Stars are great as a long range offensive weapon, but the First Order needs to invest more in defensive weapons. I get that the Death Stars have weaknesses however, given that they are government contractors building the weapon, and only 3 have been made, so it’s not like they can work out the kinks with prototypes.

    Now Emily so far has said that she is unimpressed with the level of advancement in 30 years. I don’t know, I kind of think of the Empire and Republic as being like the ROman empire. Not much advancement in tech happened during their rule, and after the Roman empire fell, technology went backwards. I mean, there are still guys fighting with swords in this world, and scavengers hunting for scrap from downed spacecraft. Considering that Anakin as a kid had a C3PO and so did Luke. But BB8 compared to R2 seems to be a pretty big advancement in tech.

    That’s enough for now. Back to the podcast, and from what I understand to be a Joel getting attacked by everyone.


    1. I’ve changed my opinion on this too. No way Luke would do that. It seems like they are trying hard to mislead us into thinking he is though. I’m realizing my opinion could be an epic spoiler though from things I’ve seen so I’m probably not gonna post it up and sit and wait for the next one to blow everyone away.


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