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?


4 Responses to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

  1. Saw a comment that said basically, ‘A Star Wars movie made by people who didn’t resent the original(s).’ Funny because it was true? Feels that way.

    FA was way better than I thought it would be, but not ‘Peter Jackson LoTR better than I EVER thought would be.’ First Star Wars that my kids (10 and 6) saw in a theatre, and I think they may have seen a bit of why I like SW so much.

    Re: Ren. My youngest, said ‘He had a tantrum’ about Ren. Seems about right. Compare with Darth Looking down the abyss when Luke let go of the ledge in Bespin. Or Darth in his TIE Fighter after Death Star 1 blew up. Be interesting to see if Ren grows up in his ‘evil’ or stays an adolescent.

  2. Kathy Says:

    Oh yes, one of the things I like about Ren is that he sort of, almost, redeems Hayden Christiansen’s portrayal of Anakin – because I could so clearly see those traits in Ren, a stroppy teenager throwing tantrums and wanting to be taken seriously as The Big Bad. Everything I ever hated about Anakin suddenly made sense of Ren. *Just* for a second I thought he might not do what he did….

  3. I liked it, though I can’t help but wonder what newcomer viewers will make of it. I personally would have preferred something a little more original story-wise, but as far as setting up new characters, the film did its job well.

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