Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I wasn’t sure what to expect with The Force Awakens. My biggest question was, “where was it going to go?” At the end of VI there were celebrations around the galaxy, Vader was dead, the Galactic Empire was defeated and it appeared as if the story was over.

Apparently not. In The Force Awakens, a new evil empire, the First Order, has grown out of the ashes of the Galactic Empire. Sort of like ISIS rose out of the ashes of the Taliban. Or more appropriate to the WWII themes, Hitler’s Germany rose from the ashes of post-WWI Germany.

The First Order wants to destroy the Republic, but there seems to be somewhat of a power struggle between Kylo Ren (aka Ben aka Han & Leia’s son) and the Hitler wanna-be General Hux. There are other complexities to the new Star Wars that weren’t in the previous three movies. The complexities make the movie better than any of the other improvements, such as the special effects or cool new weapons.

The overarching plot of this movie was to discover where Luke had disappeared too, but that seemed to be more incidental than primary. Once the map is complete, Luke is all but forgotten until the end.

Overall, it was a great movie. It was fun, action-packed and didn’t diverge horribly from IV, V & VI. It did lose some of it’s WWII flavor that was there in the first three movies. Yes, there was a few hat tips to it, but it wasn’t ingrained in the entire film like it was before. The blatant Hitler-esque speech scene was a bit much.

The new toys the Storm Troopers are on my next year’s Christmas wish list as are the lightsabers. The previous movies, they all had the same black rifle. This time, there was a variety of rifles and other weapons. I also liked the new ships and the amazing effects, especially the voice of Kylo Ren without his mask.

I also liked the new ships and the amazing effects, especially the voice of Kylo Ren without his mask.

At first, wasn’t too impressed with Finn or Rey. Still think that Finn needs killed off. He took over for Luke as the annoying character.  His part is way over acted and he’s annoying. My opinion of Rey changed a bit once Kylo Ren was brought into the picture with her. The chemistry between the two was perfect. It may be me, but I see a hint that those two might be getting together in the future. I’m still not impressed with her acting skills, though. She has like 2 facial expressions and her crying isn’t very convincing.

I love the acting by Adam Driver who played Kylo Ren. He portrayed a very complex and conflicted character and he came across as an over-eager pupil trying to fill much bigger shoes. He’s got the skill of Vader, but lacks the wisdom and experience, which creates a weakness.

There were a few things that I was less than impressed with.

First…why the hell are their sights on the Storm Troopers weapons when it’s obvious they don’t use them. Although, in this episode, their aim has improved a bit. The cool new toys (flamethrower anyone?) probably helps with that.

Secondly…the contrived plot still kills me. The droid and Hans ship just happen to end up on the same planet with shocker…the lead character Rey. All completely coincidental…uh huh. Oh, and the Millenium Falcon just happened to start and run after sitting for 30 years? [eyeroll]

Third…Rey just miraculously knows how to use a force she didn’t know she had previous to her interrogation with Kylo Ren and she all of a sudden knows how to channel the force in her fight with Kylo Ren? That’s just lazy writing.

Last…the  use of the “EEOC check-list” for close-ups. Shot of a black guy…check. Shot of a black woman…check. Shot of an asian dude…check. In the wide shots it is clearly a predominantly white cast, but close-ups were all about checking off boxes. It was annoying and distracting.

Leave a Reply