“The Force Awakens”: It’s Pretty Good, I Guess

Okay, I’m about to say something really shocking…really, really shocking.

Are you sitting down?

Good.

*mumblemumble* As a remake I liked it more than “A New Hope” *mumblemumble*.

Sorry. “A New Hope” aged badly. Nowadays it comes off as very corny. Them’s the breaks.

(Yes, as a remake, not a sequel. The plot was paint-by-numbers the same, come on.)

Things I loved:

– Finn rocked

– Poe rocked

– Kylo Ren rocked. Making him a whiny, petulant loser was a brilliant idea. Following up Darth Vader with an even evil-er Darth Vader could never have worked. The whole concept of Kylo Ren was great.

– Han Solo…was actually not as entertaining as he could have been, but it was great to see Harrison Ford back in that role.

– I liked the actress who played Rey. Very pretty, at least, and she had a certain natural charm.

Things I didn’t love:

– Yeah, Rey was ridiculous. Her fight with Kylo Ren was a little off, but at least he had already been injured by Chewie and Finn. It was her use of Jedi mind powers that really got me, something Luke was never able to master until after his training with Yoda but that Rey got through…I dunno. Jedi osmosis? And, yeah, maybe she could pilot the Falcon since it’s been there for such a long time and she’s probably looked through it before, but expertly pilot it, outmaneuvering several trained fighter pilots in a high speed, low-orbit chase through tunnels?

Not quite the same as “She managed to fly it”.

Her treatment of Finn at the beginning of the movie was contemptible, and her fight with the four men who tried to mug her was ludicrous. Her sudden and basically inexplicable expertise at flying the Falcon made no sense. Rey Sue indeed.

Why I liked it more than “A New Hope”:

To be perfectly honest with you, there was no character in “A New Hope” I ever liked as much as I liked Finn with the exception of Han…who had a major role in this movie, and anyway Han’s very best lines came in “Empire” (which remains easily the best in the series and one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time).

As much as I disliked the character of Rey, the chemistry between her and Finn gains some genuine sizzle later on, which was good to see. Sure, the rehash of the plot of “A New Hope” was kind of dumb, but thought of as a reboot rather than as a sequel it works fine.

The dialogue wasn’t as corny. As memorable as some of the lines from “A New Hope” are, overall it’s pretty cheesy. I don’t mean to bash the movie. It’s not bad, and some people like that corny sort of optimism. I just liked this one more.

You can take it or leave it, I guess, but there you go. It’s not great, but it’s a very good movie. Highly recommended.

  • Fractal Rabbit

    I also enjoyed it more than I expected to. Better than Episode 4? I won’t dismiss the claim out of hand, but I’m not convinced.

    I agree regarding Finn and Poe Dameron. While the movie kept the energy level decently high, the energy level’s high point is Finn and Poe’s meeting/escape. The movie never gets that energy and chemistry back, though it tries and comes close. When I watching that particular scene, I thought, “They might actually pull this off! It’s fantastic!”

    I had doubts about Finn’s character in the lead up to the movie. But he ended up being my favorite by far. Why did they have to retread so many things when his own arc has such potential?

    As for Rey, meh. For now (and by that I mean, by the time, upon viewing that I reach the halfway point of Episode 8), I’m willing to give the benefit of a doubt to the writers and hope that there is some kind of explanation along the lines of Rey being trained as a child by Luke and having her memory altered by a Jedi mind trick, only to have Kylo Ren’s Force interrogation ‘awaken’ it. I find such a possible explanation clumsy and contrived but I could accept it, ultimately.

    Kylo Ren didn’t disappoint me either. His immaturity and temperament made sense. He became a dark Jedi much younger than Vader/Anakin and unlike Anakin’s ‘virgin birth’ (which I found as lame and off putting as Midichlorians), Ben Solo has “daddy issues”. Han Solo is cool. But realistically, would he have been a decent father? An interesting angle a writer could explore would be Ben Solo’s relationship with Chewbacca. Because, given their traits, I’m sure Chewie was probably closer to a decent father figure than Han Solo.

    I also loved the implications of his praying to his grandfather for strength against the light side, while we viewers can see that it’s possible that Anakin is the reason he feels pulled away from dark side. He is shaping up to be a fascinating villain.

    I wanted to see more Finn and Poe. I also wanted to see more of Chewbacca at the end given the nature of things.

    Anyway, thanks. I found you thanks to Jeffro’s list.