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.
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December 2015

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