Hello, dear readers, and welcome to 2016. Last year ended with a bang in Hollywood, with the release of the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. As expected, it has already broken numerous records, and is on its way to breaking many more, including the top grossing film domestically, which it is projected to become as of Monday. As of the time I am writing this post, it has already sunk Titanic (I couldn’t resist). Even more amazing than how much money it has earned thus far, is how well it has been received by fans. Fans old and young seem to love the film, something the prequels were never able to accomplish.
Having seen the film three times now (I know, that’s not very many, I am a slacker), I am more excited about the Star Wars franchise than I have been in years. I can admit that the film definitely is not perfect, and quality wise I would put it between Star Wars/ Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which is a pretty good place to be. It may have been competing for the number one spot if the story had been more original, instead of being so derivative of the original Star Wars film. Although, if it had been, it probably would not have been as much fun.
So, since we are now into the new year and the film has been out for two weeks now, I feel like I can write this post safely. Just in case, though, you haven’t seen it, please be aware that this post will contain spoilers, so you may want to wait until you have seen it to read this. You have been warned.
Take-away 1: Secrets CAN be kept these days
One of the most amazing things to me was the number of potential spoilers in the film that were not spoiled before the movie came out. Yes, there were plenty of theories out there, but I think for the most part, most of the big reveals were un-revealed before the film opened. There were theories about who Kylo Ren was and who he might be related to, but it was never revealed until the film. People suspected that we may see the passing of one or two of the original characters, but no one from the film ever just came out and said it.
In this time of social media and 24 hour news cycles, it is rare for films to make it to release without their major points coming out before hand. Sometimes, the major plot points are revealed by the studio through trailers or a synopsis, but that did not happen this time around. JJ Abrams should be applauded for that, as well as all the Disney folks. There was no major Conan slip up this time.
Take-away 2: A well written, genuine female lead CAN carry a major blockbuster
All the marketing before the film pointed to Finn and Poe being the main heroes of the film, accompanied by Rey. They pulled the big switcharoo on us, though, in the actual film. This Rey’s story, and this film sets Rey up to be the main hero of the whole trilogy. Like the prequels were Anakin’s story, and the original trilogy was Luke’s story, this trilogy looks like it will be Rey’s story (she is so Luke’s daughter), and that is awesome.
Not only is she the main character, she doesn’t suck. Her character is well written and brilliantly performed by Daisy Ridley. She doesn’t come across as one-dimensional or poorly conceived like so many other female characters. She was just amazing. I could not wait to bring my oldest daughter to this movie to meet Rey for the first time. These are the kind of characters I would like to see more of.
The next part of this post has a major spoiler. If you have not seen the movie, please don’t read any further, but please come back after you have. Thank you.
Take-away 3: Sometimes you have to let go
Maybe this is still too soon, but I felt like Han’s demise was perfect. I really felt like something like this needed to happen, but I wanted it to mean something, and I think it did. It was a great way to pass the torch from the previous generation to this new one. I had speculated with friends before hand that maybe someone would die in this movie, but I was always unsure, since it’s Disney.
Let me just say, though, it needed to happen. We got one more adventure with Han and Chewie, which was awesome, but there wasn’t going to be room for all of the old characters and all of the new characters and a good story. Someone had to go. His death worked for me on so many levels, including emotional. I teared up each time I saw the movie and he died. I felt it right in the feels, which is exactly what should happen, but at the same time, I see the necessity. It may be too soon for some, but trust me, the next films will be better for Han Solo’s death.
Take-away 4: It’s ok for two grown men to be besties
If there was one thing I could call a complaint about this film for me was that The Force Awakens needed more Poe. Maybe, more specifically, it needed more Poe and Finn. These two characters had such great chemistry together right from the start. It was a shame that they spent so little time together in the film. Poe seems like an amazing character, and I am hoping we see a lot more of him in the next episode. What would be even better is to see a lot more of him working with Finn.
I loved that Poe was this tough, sarcastic kind of rogue, yet he had no problem embracing Finn when he saw him again. And it didn’t feel weird or awkward. It felt natural. I think if I had been rescued from the Starkiller base by a renegade Storm Trooper, and then later saw said Storm Trooper and he had brought my droid safely to me and completed my mission, I would totally give him a hug. Our society teaches us that guys don’t do that stuff. The Force Awakens shows us that guys should.
Take-away 5: Star Wars is still fun
After my personal disappointment with the prequels, and then the sale to Disney, I didn’t know if Star Wars could ever be fun like the original Star Wars, and feel like the original Star Wars. The Force Awakens did feel like Star Wars. I walked out of there feeling like a kid again, which is exactly what I wanted. Again, it’s not a perfect movie, but it is fun, which is what Star Wars should be. I am now really looking forward to the next films in the series. I am hoping they can keep this up.
What did you think of The Force Awakens? Did you enjoy it, or was it a miss for you? Let us know in the comments. You can also send me your feedback directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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