If you hadn’t heard a certain movie came out a few weeks ago that may very well be the best grossing movie of all time. Star Wars: The Force Awakens..
I decided that after a half dozen viewings of this new chapter in the saga to give my opinion on the film. Was it as good as the Original Trilogy, well to me it depends on the viewers age, as a child of the late 70’s and early 80’s Star Wars was the world to me and that nostalgia can never be overcome. So for me personally it can never overtake any of the original three movies.
That being sad, I’ve noticed my 5 and 6 year old cousins watching it and they are entranced… they love the action scenes and the great spectacle that as an older cynical movie goer I’ve become accustom to.
To them this WAS Star Wars, this will garner their attention and later will help them become the fans of the galaxy far far away that the franchise will need to live on. So was it a great Star Wars movie? Of course, was it better then the OT? To me no.. but to my cousins children it is. It’s faster paced, with just as many dazzling visuals and humor along side action and intensity. I dare say they think A New Hope and the rest of the OT are slow movies in comparison.. and in this day of instant information and gratification the OT is.
I won’t compare TFA to any of the prequels and here’s why. The prequels suffered from the unbelievable amount of hype leading up to Phantom Menace in 1999. Also the prequels only ended 10 years ago. While it has been some time it hasn’t been enough to allow that generation of children’s nostalgia really grasp the differences.
Dare I say the prequel loving kids and fans may really despise this movie for the fact so many OT fans think it’s better then the PT. While I don’t agree, I understand it to a point but I can’t really go into depth on why in a TFA review and opinion piece.
Now back to a post Return of the Jedi galaxy aged about 30 years. We are opened to the familiar scroll that gives us the pretext to the episode we’re about to witness. Luke Skywalker has vanished and Leia sends her pilot Poe Dameron to look for him.
I won’t go frame by frame but I enjoyed the movie, the story wasn’t as epic in feel as the original trilogy but I think that’s because we know there’s at least 2 more movies in this trilogy coming and the big-bad was expected to be destroyed. But when I think back to it, in A New Hope everyone expected the good guys to win well everyone over the age of 13 I should say. So the rehashing of the old trilogy stuff doesn’t surprise nor upset me. After the drastic tone change of the prequels it was nice to get back to more black and white characters who fight it out like the old west. No ClintEastwood Fett’s arriving in this flick.
There’s been a lot made about Han Solo and what happens to him. If you haven’t seen the film I won’t spoil it for you I’ll just say if you know what Harrison wanted to do with Han Solo in ESB+ROTJ along with Kasdan (ROTJ’s and TFA’s writer) then you have an idea how they were able to coax Harrison Ford back to playing Han Solo again. To be honest I expected it, what I didn’t expect was when the moment happened part of me was still hoping it wouldn’t but still having that little voice in the back of my head saying… “all good things”.
We find out a decent bit in TFA, but there are tons of questions left and new ones arisen. As a fan of mystery I LOVE THIS. I’m glad I didn’t learn who everyone’s daddy/mommy was and that we didn’t see how things were going for everyone, even crazy old man Luke-wanKenobi on his island of pet rocks.
Rey’s flashback/vision sequence to be honest was my favorite part of the film. It was the connection to the OT that was more surreal but still grounded enough to let the audience understand. Much like in Empire Rey went deep into Maz Kanata’s castle to find something she felt (in this case heard). It turned out to be an experience… for her and the audience.
We still don’t know who her parent’s are even though they were her main motivation. I’m glad to, it gives me something to imagine about over the next year and a half. Maybe she’s Wedges child.. maybe Kenobi’s,.. maybe Leia felt sorry for Luke that he would never have a family and womaned up and gave him a child as bad as it would be a character as strong as General Organa would kind of have the understanding of the audience… to a point lol.
Anyways the villains were fresh to, no old white men here…. now just young white good looking males and a faux Darth Plagueis calling himself Snoke. Meh… happens.
Kylo Ren was emo and rage filled… something we weren’t accustom to seeing from our villains in Star Wars. Who are more methodical like Tarkin or ruthlessly daring like Darth Vader or overconfident in their power like Palpatine. I’m not the biggest fan of the First Order’s designs mind you, I don’t like that they all wear black satin instead of the original cavalry wool in green drab or grey like the OT’s Empire. But I let it slide, the Stormtroopers while still canon fodder weren’t totally useless either and a little deadly here and there. The designs for the armor is less fantasy-esque of the OT and PT and more practical if anything.
Finally the ships and tech, we see a big new Star Destroyer, a big new planet/Death Star 3, x-wings, 2 different types of TIE-Fighters (yes there were 2 kinds) and one old hunk of junk that was old garbage… but when you’re in a pinch the garbage will do.
All in all I felt act’s 2 and 3 were a little rushed and didn’t let the musical score set in with the audience but that was my only gripe with the whole thing. Rey’s being called a Mary Sue, good. She is and she’ll still be whipping azz doing it as one like Luke did in the OT (he’s one to IMO).
What this episode did wasn’t about bringing an awesome story again or rehashing one it was about making sure there was STAR WARS to watch in 20 years from now… and I think it did that job superbly.
8.25 of 10.