As I rapidly approach the day when I will be seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the 3rd time at the cinema (yep. 3rd time), with still some distance from the first two times, I am inspired to write some kind of review/observation/rabid hate-fest/sickening love-fest of the film.
First off, let me say – I really enjoyed it. It was better than I had anticipated and I’d watched every single trailer at least four times before setting foot in a cinema for the big dance. I think in some way the hype for the film and the build-up of excitement not only for me, but for our 3 kids as the release date approached, made the experience that much more enjoyable.
Being a little worried about whether the film would be too violent for our kids, Co-Consul and I decided to go along to a night session on the 17th (RELEASE DAY!) before the kids and I went to a morning session on the 18th (ANNUAL LEAVE DAY FOR STAR WARS!). It was a good decision, as there were a few bits that should concern parents. Although there is no blood or gore, people are killed pretty frequently in the film and in at least two of these killing/murder scenes, it’s very obvious that the victims are innocent and unarmed. This may not make any difference to some (in that they abhor all violence), but to me this made all the difference and I ensured our 3 kids were primed with the understanding that 1) this is a movie & not real and 2) that nobody ever dies forever in movies or comics: it’s just one of those unwritten laws.
With that, we gathered our lightsabers, 6yo packed up her star puffs (thanks, Grandma) and we headed off to see THE NEW STAR WARS (me for the second time).
Having seen it already once, I was able to sit back from the spectacle (which is, let me assure you, VERY spectacular) and see the film with a more critical eye. My first viewing was coloured with a reminiscence that I think most of us who grew up with Star Wars, Empire and Jedi will have felt. The Force Awakens feels (as Han said in the trailer every time we watched it) like you’ve come home. There have been many criticisms of the film that it is a carbon copy of A New Hope and, while I absolutely see the point (because it’s true), I just don’t give a shit. A New Hope was brilliant and so is The Force Awakens – formula fiction at its absolute best.
My main gripe with the film…
**SPOILER ALERT NOW – stop here if you haven’t seen it. Also if you haven’t seen it – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!
…is that they blow up the bloody Starkiller Base!!! That thing was super cool – why can’t we end a Star Wars movie without destroying the primary base of the baddies!?! But this is a plot decision and well, if you’re going to follow a proven formula, you may as well go all-in.
Some other things I didn’t like:
If the Rebellion is now backed by a Galactic Republic, why is it now called the Resistance? A resistance is a group of local militia resisting a dominant power, yet the governing body is the Republic? So my issues here are many:
- How is the Republic in charge if all they have are a group of semi-defended planets in the same solar system, all mysteriously life-sustaining and visible from whatever-the-fuck planet Maz’s bar is on.
- If the First Order aren’t in charge – how is it they have so much awesome kit? Or to put it another way, if they have all the weapons & tech, why aren’t they in charge still?
- If the Republic IS in charge – who is “The Resistance” resisting?
It’s just stupid. More stupid than the astrophysics which is pretty damned stupid.
Anyway…that’s all. The rest I absolutely loved.
Rey is a magnificent character and anyone who doesn’t think so can eat a bag of Funnel Web spiders (I’m upgrading Chuck Wendig’s Tarantulas here because I’m from Australia)…(yes, Rey haters will have to eat very carefully and avoid the fangs and poison sacks). And OF COURSE she’d heard that Jedis could do the mind trick – it would be part of the folklore she didn’t think was real!! Everyone would’ve heard the stories, she was just trying it out (hell, if that reading minds shit worked with Kylo Ren, why not try this out too?).
Finn is a good character with a lot of potential and while I get the criticism that he is not badass enough, he was a Stormtrooper in charge of sanitation for a reason – he’s just probably not very good at being badass. The mission to Jakku was FN2187’s first combat mission, possibly as a reward for keeping Starkiller Base so clean! The only part I didn’t really like was when he went a little 90s rapper film on Captain Phasma (who, by the way, was a wasted character)…(wasted I tell you!!).
Kylo Ren is a good baddie. Kylo is just a confused kid with too much power and no talet for making lightsabers (did you see how its beam focus was all screwed? Shoddy workmanship). In fact, I think the Twitter account Emo Kylo Ren (@) is so close to the actual character I half believe it’s being done by J. J. Abrams.
Poe is as awesome a pilot as he’s supposed to be & does the job of “experienced rebel guy” really well.
I liked BB8. That is all.
It was nice to have Han, Chewie & Leia back, though the star of the role reprisals was the Millennium Falcon. When Rey says “It’s garbage”, then you see what she’s talking about, I nearly jumped out of my seat. SO FUCKING COOL, YOU CLEVER, CLEVER BUGGERS. That was my absolute favourite part of the film.
Just FYI for parents as well – as soon as 8yo got home from seeing the film, he went straight into his room & built a LEGO model of Kylo Ren’s torture table (complete with LEGO Rey from his Rey’s speeder set). No really – the torture table. Thankfully, he built that because his favourite part was when Rey used the Jedi Mind trick, not when people were being tortured (PHEW!). Bit of a worry though.
Anyway…That’s me. I loved The Force Awakens – I rank it 3rd overall for Star Wars films:
- Emprie Strikes Back
- A New Hope
- The Force Awakens
- Return of the Jedi
- The Phantom Menace
- Revenge of the Sith
- The Star Wars Holiday Special
- Attack of the Clones*
*Anakin: “I murdered all the women and children”
Padme: “Oh Ani, I WUV you even MORE now that you’re a child murderer!”