Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(If you have not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, SPOILER ALERT! Stop Reading this right now.)
This is the time for closure. A healing after episodes I, II, & III. For the first time ever the 2000 born will experience just how deep and wide the universal love for Star Wars is.
There is no doubt that the beloved movies have received redemption at the hands of J.J. Abrams. Not only does nostalgia play a major role towards the film’s success in the box office, but also it appeals to a much wider audience. Feminists can rally around the strong female character Rey, just as they did Leia. For the first time ever Black and Latino cast members play essential roles within the Star Wars franchise. The interracial coupling of Fin and Rey is a pleasant change that enhances the newness of the film. With so many new changes J.J. Abrams still remains old school, by limiting CGI and relying on his puppeteers for a more charming and realistic effect.
Though the good far surpasses the bad, there are still complaints about the revival.
- Plot Development– One might complain that this film is just a remake of A New Hope. Though it shares many key elements with A New Hope, these two films are strictly parallel. It is true that nostalgia won out over plot development, but it was important that this new film gave you an older vibe. I can’t stress enough that this story was about finding Luke, not about saving a princess from the clutches of the Empire. All of the familiar things—a death star like planet, a mechanic stuck on a dust ball world, an x-wing flight scene bent on blowing up the death star—all of it seems to say, “Remember, Remember, Remember your child hood.” Having that in mind, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, Disney is certainly hell bent on bringing the magic back into Star Wars. There is plenty of room for plot development in episode VIII. Now that it has your attention, have faith and patiently wait for Abrams to reveal what went on during the 30-year gap.
- The Killing of an Iconic Character– Admit it, we all hurt for Han when his son coldly drove a light saber through him. But as soon as he decides to fulfill his promise to Leia and walks toward his son, he becomes a dead man. Be as angry as you want with Abrams for killing off the space pirate, but it was a necessary evil. Star Wars is the definition of a dysfunctional family. Since Abrams had to kill him off, at least the messed up father and son dynamic continues to stay consistent.
- Kylo Ren (Ben Solo)– Maybe it was the slightly crooked teeth, big nose, and tantrums but Kylo Ren seemed as if he was nothing more than a rebellious teenager taken to the extreme. The New York Times labeled him as, “a kind of baby Darth Vader who throws tantrums in inky-black robes while wearing a leather-and-metal head appliance that looks like a domination mask by way of the grille of a 1952 Chevy.” Clearly he exhibits an inner turmoil, because of his lingering ties to the light side. He fully commits himself to the dark side when he murders his father. If only he realized sooner that his true problem hadn’t lied with his parents but with finding his own identity within the dark side. There is a noticeable decline as the movie progresses. The more Kylo takes off the mask, the more novice like and weaker he appears. Though we don’t know how the son of a princess and space pirate fell from grace, only time can tell the answer to this burning question.
- Ray– It is striking how much ray brings back the mystery and awe of the force. Another complaint to be made is how quickly she picked up on the nature of the force. Her transformation without training is completely justifiable. For one thing Anikan exhibited fast reflexes, reflexes unlike any other human, that kept him alive during the pod races. Is it not possible for Ray to have instinctual power within her that awakened in the most desperate of times? A more popular theory is that, “she reversed engineered Kylo’s tricks.” All of these questions would be more pertinent if we knew her origin. No one can argue that she is part of the Skywalker clan or else the light saber wouldn’t have called to her. But is she Luke’s daughter or niece? Think about Kylo recognizing her importance before they even met, her inheriting the falcon and Chewbacca, her father and mother like relationship with Han and Leia. As much as I want to see the epic fight that would ensue between brother and sister, something doesn’t check out. The fact that Han and Leia did not recognize their own daughter is disturbing, but I supposed that that’s not the weirdest thing that can happen in this family. If that is true, then Luke must have abandoned his daughter in order to save her from the Jedi massacre. Which in turn suggests that she might have had a little bit of training that she had forgotten underneath the trauma of abandonment.
- Humor in every other line: Whomever made the complaint of excessive humor, really?! You had nothing better to complain about? The humor bodes well. Think about how old Han and Chewbacca are? Instead of dwelling on the fact that they are past physical peak, they make fun of each other and their younger counterparts. This is an inventive way to bridge the generational gap. In turn, Fin and Rey show their excitement and inexperienced eagerness through humor, which gives the movie a certain charm.
For those who are being nit picky about the movie, be careful. You might find yourself thrown into the pit of Carkoon, “where you will find the new definition of pain and suffering, while you are digested slowly for a thousand years.”
The moment when Rey finds Luke, and she holds her light saber out towards him, that is the moment when we all collectively cheered for Abrams, because HE-DID- IT. We all wanted to stay in the theater for hours on end to watch episode VIII followed by episode VIII. Having left the cinema, each die hard collectively agreed that the son of a Wookie did it.
Bravo J.J. Abrams.
Dedicated to my Dad, who thought the Haters needed a verbal slapping.