Star Wars: The Force Awakens
December 21, 2015
For real this time. Well, sort of.
As predicted, I got home from the movie around 5 am. Instead of going straight to bed, I poured myself a finger of whiskey (Jameson, since someone will ask), sipped slowly, and filled two pages of paper, front and back, with my initial thoughts. I’m not going to replicate those notes here. That’ll come later.
I like it. The more I think about it the more I like it, and I find myself unwilling to read any other commentary about it, because the kind of picking apart that’s going on seems to be missing the point. Or at least missing the point I want to take from it. Which is, if nothing else, I desperately want to find out what happens next to Rey, Finn, Poe, and even Kylo Ren, who at first I thought was kind of sad and laughable, but I’m coming to see him as this terribly tragic figure who wants to be evil but frankly doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, so he keeps flinging himself at bad idea after bad idea. So yes, I even want to see what happens next to him. I have ideas. I have lots of ideas. And this is the film’s real victory: introducing a bunch of new characters, and making me fall in love with them. Let the old guard retire, the torch is passed.
There’s a lot to talk about. My summary is: J.J. Abrams takes the Star Wars trope box and tries to make it go to 11, with varying levels of success. I don’t want to go too much into that because I’ve got a longer review I’m writing. And I’m still thinking about it.
Whatever else I can say, it’s definitely a Star Wars movie, and it has succeeded in making the prequels recede in memory (I’m close to vowing never to speak of the prequels again). Weirdly, I think my favorite thing in The Force Awakens may be how much hugging there is.
There ought to be lots of hugging Star Wars, you know?