STAR WARS: The Force Awakens [ALL SPOILERS EDITION]

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

Like, really.

 

If you haven’t seen it yet, you should run away from this post as fast as you can.

 

NOW.

 

 

Really.

 

 

 

I’m NOT kidding.

 

 

 

LAST CHANCE….

 

 

kylo

 

 

Oh boy.

Let’s get this out of the way up front: I really, really liked The Force Awakens. Really.

But, boy, do I hate it. The last time I had a reaction like this, it was Million Dollar Baby. That’s a great film, but it pissed me off because it had the audacity to not be a happy feel good story of a scrappy underdog who makes it big.

TFA pulled a similar stunt the moment Han Solo dies is murdered by his own son. I literally cried out in my seat. It was awful.

But, it was necessary, and for the life of me, I accept that it happened and how it happened because it created an opportunity for the filmmakers to make the next movie great. Like, possibly better than Empire. I know, I know…heresy, but I truly feel they can do it with what was set in motion by J.J. Abrams. Sure, TFA suffers from a few too many coincidences and a breathtaking pace that doesn’t allow you to pause and collect your thoughts beyond the primal. Which, can be fun, but not when you don’t give enough space to mourn the best character in the series(so far).

That is it’s biggest flaw: speed, or, taking narrative shortcuts and assuming that the audience will just “turn off their brain” and ride along or something. J.J. Abrams always seems to be directing these “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” projects. This movie such a big deal and has SOOOOOO much money on the line, that I’m sure the entire process was trying. And he and his team got it 90% of the way to great. Unfortunately, some characters(Captain Phasma) have little, to no impact on this story and I wish there had been someone tell J.J. it’s perfectly o.k. to pay homage to something without rubbing our noses in little easter eggs, pilfering scenes wholesale and making endless callbacks to A New Hope. It was a little distracting. We get it.

So, enough with the “bad” stuff, what’s so great about this story? I’ll tell you what, J.J. Abrams knows how to cast his films and he outdid himself with this. John Boyega is very strong as rogue Storm Trooper, Finn. He had many of the funniest lines. I appreciate that there is actual humor derived from situations in this film instead of manufactured laughs due to bumbling droids. His journey is far from over and his immediate bro-down with Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, while too fast of a friendship in my mind, was still infectious to watch. They’re having a blast and as such, we have a blast watching them.

Daisy Ridley is electrifying as Rey, the orphan scavenger who realizes a small part of her potential in this film. Her training in the Force is imminent and necessary, if she is to fight the Dark Side again. There is no doubt she’s a Solo or Skywalker. The hints all add up to it, but we don’t get the luxury of someone flat out saying it like we do with Kylo Ren.

This guy is the crux of the movie. The strained relationship with his parents has led him down a dark path that seemingly comes to fruition when he strikes down his father. But, you really get a sense of the struggle within him. This is the Anakin we wanted out of the prequels. And his pain is played beautifully by Adam Driver. He is strong but untrained and if he is to be the “big bad” going forward, he’ll need to get some  of his grandfather’s ice running though those veins of his. It’s an enigma to have him tortured by the light side. I like it. I think he learned a little bit about where he’s going with his fight with Rey. I can’t wait to see them square off again.

 

So, all in all, Uncle George was right when he said that fans will like this movie. It may not hit the highs of the original trilogy, but it’s lows are well above the most of the highs of the prequels. I’m glad to be living in a time when we’ll be getting new Star Wars movies every couple years(not to mention all the “A Star Wars Story” films in between.I personally liked it better when it was “Star Wars Anthology,” but whatever. I don’t get paid to name stuff for a billion dollar franchise).

We’re headed to a very interesting Star Wars future.

May the Force be with you.

JB Written by:

Joshua has been an avid fan of movies since he first saw Indiana Jones escape that rolling boulder and resoundingly punch Nazis to death. Forever wrestling with the notion of "why" in movies, he believes there is such a thing as "A Perfect Film."

  • Janet Stiles

    I will be honest, I bawled my bloody eyes out when my favorite Star Wars character (and the best Star Wars character period) was murdered in front of my eyes. I felt this overwhelming loss of a character I loved so much since I was 6 years old. I am heartbroken, but I too understand the reason for it. I actually even called it before it happened. As he was stepping out to go to his son, I turned to my mom and said “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” and that I didn’t think he was going to make it. Then, as they were holding on to the light saber, I kept saying “drop it, drop it, drop it” because I knew that it came out on the sides as well. I knew in my heart he was gonna die, but the moment it happened, I gasped, my hands went to my mouth, and tears filled my eyes. It hit me pretty hard and believe it or not, I am still getting choked up just writing about it. I understand the need for the story line, but it still hurts. I also feel cheated that there was no real closure, no funeral or even pause to respect and honor his death. I mean, even Darth Vader had a funeral and he was evil for most of his life. Han Solo just fell into darkness and was gone just like that, and that doesn’t sit well with me. They could have had some sort of funeral at the end, once they got back to base, where we could stop and mourn for him. I just feel robbed. It was bad enough he had to die, but he deserved a better send off than he got. Other than that, I loved it… I just also hated it.

    • I know EXACTLY what you mean.

      • Jakethortnon

        Right?