baliao: (Rey)
[personal profile] baliao
After three viewings I'm finally ready to share my thoughts on The Force Awakens.

SPOILERS



Let's start with the name. "The Force Awakens" is a cheesy name. Sorry. I had to say it.

In my first viewing I was a little upset the film seemed to be a rehash of various bits of the original trilogy. Now it doesn't bother me so much. It would make some sense to get the fan-service out of the way in the first movie, the only one in the new trilogy—presumably—with Han Solo. I'm also glad J.J Abrams won't be directing the next one. He did a good job, but his style is a little fast and flashy for my liking. I want more strategic pauses in the action. More compelling dialogue. One of my favorite scenes in the prequel trilogy was Palpatine telling Anakin about Plagueis. It's gripping, but without any action at all. Maybe I'm getting old, but CG explosions don't seem all that exciting. There needs to be some plot significance hanging on the flashy bits. Drama! That's the word I was looking for. The action should be like a seasoning for the story arc drama.

You know what pisses me off? That the movie posters have Finn holding Anakin/Luke's lightsaber. They clearly thought they'd put more butts in the seats if people believed Luke 2.0 was a guy.

Rey is the Star Wars hero I longed for as a child. Luke was too whiny, too impatient, too headstrong to be relatable. I mean no offense... but who arrives on a new world and talks to a local the way Luke talked to Yoda? Rey is a clever, level-headed, responsible character who is far more similar to the old jedi in temperament than Luke ever was. I'd be willing to bet she had her memory wiped at some point. Her old force training snapped right back when it was needed. I don't care how much innate power you have, you should still need training to do much of anything. Right? Look at how much difficulty Luke had force-pulling the very same lightsaber out of a pack of snow in ESB. She managed the same thing while someone else was fighting her for it. She knows what she's doing. She just doesn't know she knows what she's doing. Which is a lot of fun.

Finn is a nice guy. He's fun. Presumably he has some force-sensitivity and the force shook him out of his conditioning when it was necessary. You might say he "awoke." I don't imagine the trauma of seeing his friend/comrade die was enough. After all, stormtroopers go through that all the time. If the conditioning wasn't strong enough to survive some heavy psychological trauma they'd be going AWOL on a regular basis.

BB-8 is too cute for words. I want to marry him. Rey/BB-8 OTP forever.

Kylo/Ben: Despite his pedigree he's actually rather weak in the force. He embraced the dark side to try to make up the difference. Snoke is only using him out of a lack of apprentice options. He's emo af.

It seems they're trying to roll the best of Luke and Han into Rey. Which suits me just fine. The Rey/Chewie friendship should be fun to watch, as will the Rey/Finn friendship. I don't foresee finding a ship in this trilogy. Which is okay. I don't always need a ship to stay interested.

Another thing that pisses me off is that so many people think Rey is too capable, too skilled to be realistic. She's no more skilled or capable than Luke or Anakin. In fact her skill-set is almost identical to Anakin's. Which, to be fair, was totally unrealistic for a child to have. But she's much older than ep1 Anakin and has been working with machines much longer.

In short, the movie was good (and the new characters great) but it needed its own story. And Rey is my new hero.

Date: 2015-12-31 03:36 am (UTC)
lanalucy: (Helo)
From: [personal profile] lanalucy
Yay for a review that doesn't tell me the one thing I really didn't want to know.

It sounds like more fun than the "first" three, though I have to admit I enjoyed the pretty of Natalie Portman. :D

Date: 2015-12-31 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baliao.livejournal.com
You haven't seen it yet? *gasp* Spoilers!

What was the one thing you didn't want to know? Or did you mean you didn't get too spoiled?

Daisy Ridley is absolutely gorgeous. I'd say she's 2/3 Hayley Atwell, 1/3 Natalie Portman. There are times when I think she might actually be Hayley. She's her but smaller. Same sexy accent too, if you'll believe that.

Date: 2015-12-31 04:05 am (UTC)
lanalucy: (blue frog)
From: [personal profile] lanalucy
I have not. Too many things to do here at the end of the year. I'll probably wait until it hits the dollar movie or Redbox, anyway.

I didn't want to know about Han. Someone just came right out and said it. Now I can't unknow it. :/

I'm looking forward to seeing it, though. It seems to have a pretty good buzz.

Date: 2015-12-31 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baliao.livejournal.com
Gosh that's awful. You need to smack that person. I hear Han is getting his own stand-alone film though. There's that.

They need to put in a cheap (current) theater by you. The AMC 5 minutes up the street from me has tickets for $4. I might have to go again tomorrow. I mean, I have the week off and nothing better to do. And it's 4 bucks. Figure 7 or 8 bucks with the junk food I smuggle in.

It's a good movie. I just wish it had a unique storyline. All six previous episodes told a new piece of the story. This one feels like it was structured specifically to maximize the amount of fan-service they could fit into one film, to be blunt. But it's a fun introduction to the new characters and it sets the stage for something new. Given how closely the film parallels the whole original trilogy... they kinda have no choice but to go for something new in the next two movies.

Date: 2015-12-31 07:02 am (UTC)
lanalucy: (batman ryan)
From: [personal profile] lanalucy
There are movie theaters nearby, but the overall experience isn't great for me anymore, so I pick and choose. I have to really want to see something on a big screen to make myself go to a theater nowadays. I've gotten crotchety in my old age. lol

Date: 2016-01-02 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rirenec.livejournal.com
Below was my knee jerk reaction, before I mellowed:

Leia - holds her shit together and carries on doing her job.
Han - fucks off and tries to recapture his youth because he can't deal with his pain like an adult.
Luke - fucks off to find a mystical retreat so he can contemplate guilt and recrimination.

O..o

Above said, I like Rey and Finn. They've great backstory, and a genuine feeling connection. Whatever Rey's background, the fact is, she was abandoned/lost with a notion someone was coming back for her to rescue her, but ends up rescuing herself. Finn, after being indoctrinated and abused his whole life, rescues himself and after toying with running, doesn't.

I really hope they explore in this set the corruption of the Jedi, and how Annakin was supposed to restore balance, not defeat the dark. That Jedi are not supposed to feel love and passion as well as anger and hate, is unhealthy. All these emotions are meant to be reconciled and dealt with to be a healthy adult. My inkling is Ben's instability and fall back to Vader is his reaction to Luke's teaching of these rules.


Right, aside from the above, I think I'm going to go with Rey being at Luke's jedi school theory. I'm ready to be surpised, whichever. The dark-sap in me wants Ben to be older than he looks and she to be younger and him be her father. (Yeah, it's messed up. This is me, right? ;)
Or, if Anakin can be bred by the force, why not Rey? (If I could be arsed to write it, that'd be my fic. That said, by now I bet it's been done.)

Ps, AGREE BB8 haters can go hate. He's adorable. (PD, why are all the droids male in StarWars, oh that's right, patriarchy.)
Edited Date: 2016-01-02 04:49 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-01-03 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baliao.livejournal.com
Wait. There are BB-8 haters? How is that even possible?

I agree on Rey. I think she was present when Luke's Academy fell. Maybe she's Luke's daughter. Or Kylo's little sister. Maybe she's Kylo's half-sister. We know basically nothing about what happened to Leia since Return of the Jedi. Let's hope the next movie fills in some details.

In the audio book, Snoke's voice reaches out to Rey, telling her to "kill him" at the end of her fight with Kylo. Her hesitation had more to do with his survival than the planet breaking up. There's a compelling theory that Snoke is Plagueis, and many people believe Anakin was created by Plagueis to be the perfect apprentice. Maybe he's trying again?


"love and passion as well as anger and hate"

I don't know. Maybe for most people. In my experience love and passion are dangerous drugs. You indulge them once and it's right back down the rabbit hole of abuse. If I were a Jedi I'm sure I would have gone full dark side and killed a million people by now.

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