I don’t like to swear, but hooooooollllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy shit. Good god, I think I may need to go to the hospital because this nerd boner simply will not go away. Alright now let’s disperse with the pleasantries and get right down to it. But first, because the internet is full of whiney bitches: SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! THAR BE SPOILERS HERE! SPOILERS! THE REST OF THIS IS SPOILERS! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE FOLLOWING SPOILERS! I RESENT THE FACT THAT I HAVE TO BE SO OBNOXIOUS ABOUT THE FACT THAT IM TALKING ABOUT THE MOVIE, BUT WHATEVER SPOILERS!
Aaaaand we’re done. Naturally the question on everybody’s mind, was I right? Well, yeah, kinda. It really kind of was Star Wars episode 4 all over again. They reused that old 1977 imagery almost to a fault. But even though it was clear they were working within the same framework of the original Star Wars, JJ and friends still managed to tell a fun and exciting new story. I was also right in the regard that one of the main points of the movie was finding Luke Skywalker, although I was expecting them to meet him a bit before the last 2 minutes of the movie, but I digress.
One of the things makes me the happiest about The Force Awakens is the number of things that totally caught me off guards. First off, let me just say, from the way they framed all the promotional material, I absolutely thought Finn was going to be the main protagonist, and future Jedi of the new trilogy, but no it’s Rey! I have a feeling that someone may have been actively trying to deceive me this whole time and I love it.
Moving right along, Kylo Ren as Han Solo/Leia Organa’s son was prime. Once again, everyone, myself included thought that Rey was their daughter (though I will note that it is still a possibility), but no! This may be my Star Wars bias talking but I dig it. The idea of Han’s son being seduced by the dark side, it opens up a whole lot of possibilities down the line, although again, treading many of the same themes as the original trilogy (although this time in reverse), but personally I don’t mind it. He’s kind of like the whiney baby version of Darth Vader, I like it.
Also can I just say, I was expecting a little more out of Captain Phasma then three lines, and a total of 30 seconds of screen time, come on JJ!
Now let’s talk about the big shocker, the death of stormtrooper FN-123, just kidding! I’m talking about Han Solo. I’m torn on this one. For one I love Han Solo, and Harrison Ford for that matter, and seeing him die is frankly heartbreaking.
Oh and just an aside, what is with the Star Wars franchise and throwing people into bottomless pits. It’s like whenever anyone important dies, or is close to dying, they have to either fall off of something, or get thrown off of some high place. Darth Maul, Mace Windu, Emperor Palppatine, Han Solo, and while Luke doesn’t fall after falling into the giant pit in Empire Strikes Back, it still fits in the theme. Anyways, back to what I was saying.
I hate the idea of losing Han Solo, but I’m kind of okay with it. It lends a sense of completeness and seriousness to Kylo Ren’s commitment to the dark side, while also raising the stakes. There are some dangers however, for one, if they’re going to kill off one of my favorite characters of all time, he better as hell stay dead. I don’t want them pulling no damn strings to bring him back in the name of fan service, I want his death to have meaning. Don’t tug at my heart and then tell me it was all a ruse.
Now let’s talk about the movie as a whole. It was, without a doubt the prettiest Star Wars movie to date. Now I will concede that had you asked me that same question circa 2005 I probably would have said Revenge of the Sith was the prettiest Star Wars movie, but I digress. Point is it looks great, the use of practical effects looks wonderful…for the most part. There were a few aliens on Jakku that looked a little…stiff I guess would be the word, but frankly that’s preferable to the CGI monstrosities of the prequels (which have not aged well to say the least) or the tacky 2000’s era CGI inserts of the original trilogy special editions. The mix of CGI and practical effects is just about spot on. I wasn’t super impressed with Max Kanata, but otherwise, the CGI in the film was brilliant. A far cry from the bloated and ridiculous prequel effects, episode VII uses CGI in the places where it shines, making for glorious space battles, and beautiful background scenery. Perhaps my favorite shot in the movie is as Finn is running along the ground shooting storm troopers as Poe Dameron whizzes overhead taking down tie fighters. It’s an incredible shot that epitomizes the kind of union between CGI and practical effects that JJ wouldn’t stop yammering about.
Honestly my only thought when leaving the theater, aside from holy shit that was awesome, was, “Damnit now I have to wait 2 more years to find out what happens next!” I’m all in. Maybe in a few months I’ll rematch it and find all the was the movie sucks, and maybe I’ll begin to hate it, and all the little things will drive me nuts, but right now I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m all in on this new Star Wars. It feels like the old Star Wars, but looks like the new. Ya done good JJ Abrams, I’m super stoked for the future of the franchise, just no more planet destroying super weapons ok? At least for a little while.