So lets talk Star Wars, which honestly feels a little odd for me. I mean as a comic/manga nerd first, Star Wars never captured me the way it has so many other geeks. I always appreciated it for the impact it has on people and I do think the original trilogy is entertaining. So when I walked into this movie I felt an overwhelming sense of disconnect. Perhaps that was due to arriving on opening night where Darth Vader and the Fett taking pictures. Perhaps it was seeing the fans themselves dressed up as their favorite characters just to watch the movie. To me I felt out of place but also I admired their love for the series. It was truly inspiring to see but I clearly was not part of the magic, merely witnessing it.
Enough about that, moving on to my thoughts on the movie itself. Now the movie was an overall mixed bag. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie but couldn’t quite get over the sense of dejavu that continued to appear throughout the movie. Also… SPOILER WARNING!
We start out with our girl Rey, she’s without parents, stuck on a Tatooine-like planet and survives by selling parts. She tough, persistent and does have a sense of justice despite living a hard knock life since the age of five! She’s a very skilled mechanic which I assume is a must-have if you’re going to be a main lead in Star Wars. Now I like her, I really like her; she was the right mix of the “determined protagonist” with just enough progression for her to be relevant for the story. Most story tellers will say to have the world revolve around your main character and while in some areas it does for Rey. Many of the events are pivotal and world changing without any influence from her. Yet in the end, you still care what happens to her, well I cant speak for everything because she was borderline forgettable for about half this movie.
Let’s talk Finn, now everyone is in love with this guy like they’re trying to piss off their white dad; he’s honest (kinda), he’s funny and he has a nice arc so I get it. However the one key aspect of his character that I needed to click, unfortunately didn’t click with me. This guy was taken at nearly infant age, and brought up through the goggles of the First Order. I feel like this faction would have had a few classes on “Kill anyone no matter who, when ordered to”. I just found it odd that he was so easily disturbed by his mission on Jakku that he immediately is like, “the First Order has been my whole life, now I’m done.” I like the choice he made but perhaps I would have enjoyed a bit more time with him seeing his internal conflict. To be honest this movie did not have enough time for that even though it’s longer than your average movie. The movies paces so fast and there’s a lot of information being thrown around.
So we run into the Oldies, Lando, Chewy and Leia make they’re return to the big screen. Han Solo looks too old to be still smuggling and surprised that people still let this guy talk his out of sticky situations. I enjoyed that he wasn’t just there to point at the previous movies but instead made a pretty decent connection with Rey. Leia on the other hand is much more forgettable in this movie. She was only here to rekindle a flame that never rekindled, and to sign Han’s death warrant. Chewy is… Chewy, he growls and Han replies to him… Yeah that’s all I got.
Oh, it turns out that Luke wasn’t in the trailers because Disney were keeping him hidden well. It’s because if they showed a single frame of him it would be quarter of his overall screen time..*cough*
All these classics heroes come with a new antagonist named Kylo Ren, which is an badass name. He has this unpractical but badass light saber and wears this badass mask only to find out that… he’s kinda a
b**** crybaby. He’s a handsome guy with hair fashioned as if he just came off a Head N’ Shoulders commercial. He also throws tantrums when nothing goes his way which makes him look weaker to me. He continued to look weak throughout the movie as the newly force-born Rey is making this guy look like he should go back Sith Academy. I think Star Wars made either Kylo too weak or Rey too strong for just discovering her powers.
So here’s one of the reasons I feel odd talking about Star Wars; so at the point in the movie where Rey and Finn are trying to leave the planet, the camera pans over to the Millennium Falcon. At that moment the movie theater went NUTS! Roaring and cheering flooded the theater and silly me, I was thinking, “Oh that’s a cute fan service” but clearly seeing something like that- to true fans- really resonated with them. This ultimately is the core of my post. I thought Star Wars was entertaining, no more or less. The constant callbacks to the original trilogy was annoying and while many will defend it I know of better movies that have been smashed for lack of originality. The final climax left me so unsatisfied, it was not flashy or well choreographed as the prequels nor was it an exchange of epic lines like the originals. What makes an IP, is not it’s beats but rather the world that it’s set up in. If you want to create a new Star Wars then yes, keep it in the universe but explore the lesser man, avoid the epic-ness for one second and have faith that the universe itself will move your story. If written well, Star Wars will feel like Star Wars even if it’s not the biggest plate of fan-service one could fit in 2 Hours+.
I hope in the future, they decide to branch out and explore what Star Wars HASN’T done. I feel like they covered nearly every possible rehash from the previous movies so I’m waiting with anticipation. I’m sure JJ will avoid making Star Wars : The Force Re-Awakens Again Ultra Edition. Only time will tell and I’ve become invested in its future.