Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Movie, 2015)
Science Fiction | Space Opera
Lead Cast: Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fischer (Princess Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker)
Blurb: “Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a rag-tag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.”
pooled ink Review:
The Force Awakens. Awakens indeed! Just like the Potterheads have been revived with the coming release of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which I am incredibly eager to see) the Star Wars fans have awoken in torrents for the revival of this blessing of a franchise.
Okay everybody. I’ve given you all of opening weekend to see this movie. This review isn’t what I’d consider a spoiler because I don’t mention anything particularly specifically…I don’t think. Anyway, just in case here’s my advice and warning that you should go see the movie first because a) you need to see it b) this will make even more sense if you’ve seen it, and c) no fear of spoilers, oh and d) you need to see it. There. Now you can’t yell at me. Alrighty, here we go!
Well, the first time I went and saw it I couldn’t get totally into it because the stupid computer/digital file/projector or whatever kept getting stuck. And I’m not talking about getting stuck once or twice (which would have been bad enough) but twelve effing times. And of course it always happened at key moments. There were SO many angry nerds that went to complain to management (I do not envy that poor guy). Needless to say the next time I watched it the movie ran smoothly and everything was even more awesome than the first time I saw it.
The movie overall was epic. So epic the word deserved to be bold, italicized, and underlined. The plot and direction were built clearly inspired by the original three movies (particularly with nods towards Episode IV: A New Hope) but with the technological advances in movie editing that was displayed in the three prequels but even better. The action was intense and unyielding, the effects were stellar, both the acting and casting were on-point, the direction was pretty perfect, the references and plug-ins to the old movies won major nostalgia points…yeah the whole movie was fabulous.
Was it perfect? No. Every movie has flaws. But when people rave about how good it is they’re not lying…although I will say that you should shut your ears to it until you see it once for yourself because (at least for me) too much hype for a movie can ruin it even if it deserves the hype it got. I have a rebellious mind so when people say it’s awesome I end up walking out going “Eh, it was alright.” And I hate when that happens so I tried to shut my brain to any reviews on the movie good or bad.
Let’s dive into some of the characters now, eh?
Overall I will say that I loved how they blended the old and new cast. You had the originals (Han Solo, Leia, Luke, Chewbacca, R2D2, C-3PO) and then we were all introduced to the newbies (Rey, Finn, Po, BB-8, Kylo Ren,…) and they worked surprisingly well together. The originals hold their own while surreptitiously taking a few steps back shining a bit of the spotlight on the newbies as they grow into their own and grasp their roles in the story. They’re not awkwardly segregated but instead they work together in forming this new world years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi when Luke last faced Darth Vader.
Okay so let’s talk about individuals.
Rey is the definiton of an awesome female protagonist…awesome character in general actually. She was a strong female, smart, fierce, but also caring, hopeful, and kind. They didn’t try to squeeze her into a man-suit of a character like so many people try to when attempting to write a strong female lead. A strong female does NOT equal a male of any kind. At all. And Star Wars knew this and executed it well. (Oh and just my two cents, I don’t think she’s the daughter of Han and Leia. I just don’t. I’m leaning towards another certain somebody but I’ll just let the mystery remain and allow you all to make your own guesses).
Finn is a super interesting choice. I mean, a reformed Storm Trooper? Dope. Also he’s super funny and kind. I thought it was brilliant the way they revealed gender stereotypes in movies by contrasting Ren and Finn. Finn kept acting like any normal male protagonist hero type character but Ren was acting like a strong female protagonist character and the thing is that these two things line up in that they’re both self-sufficient so it was hilarious because Ren doesn’t need Finn to hold her hand to run (if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll get the reference). She’s got it. Got it? Good. Also, side-note, this movie made motions to humanize the storm troopers a bit which was interesting. Yes, very interesting. Although they’ve always been human (even the clones) they’ve often been treated as droids (I suppose the anonymity of their suits doesn’t help) and this movie in small ways changed that. Oh! And heck YEAH for minorities as lead characters! I 110% support this!
BB-8, just like R2-D2 in his day, steals the show with his humour and cuteness. Bots are the greatest basically and BB-8 fills this role expertly without stealing any thunder or love from R2-D2 which I deeply appreciate and admit I was afraid of.
Han Solo? At the end there? I saw that coming from a million light-years away. It caught my bro by surprise but I didn’t even blink. I mean really? It was so obvious…but still a good scene so it’s alright.
Princess Leia? Oh, I mean General Organa. Still as tough and beautiful as ever. (Also have you kept up with Carrie Fischer in real life? She’s hilarious). Oh, ha, there’s this one moment when Han hugs Leia and he puts his hand on her head and all my mind could think was “Dude! You’re messing up her hair! I bet the on-set hair people are cringing off-camera!” Haha I’ve clearly spent too much time on crew.
Luke Skywalker? Well the whole two seconds he was there were somehow really epic. I cannot wait to see more of what’s gonna happen next. I’m serious. Who knew two seconds could be so epic? Wait, the first two seconds we see him or the last two seconds we see him? BOTH.
Poe Dameron, the best pilot in the Resistance, is a pretty cool guy. I like that character a lot. High-five, Poe.
Maz. Who the heck is MAZ? For such a plot-important character I’d never heard of her until I saw this movie and she was introduced. I mean, you’d think she’d be more of a part of the pre-movie hype, no? She’s a pretty cool person but she does make me think of Edna Mode (from The Incredibles) if she was wrinkly and alien-like and filling the advice-giving role that Yoda once held (although let’s be honest, no one can replace Yoda).
Alright, alright, alright…THE VILLAINS! …blehhhhhhhhhhhh…?
Phasma? For having a chrome suit and all the action figures you’d think she’d be in the movie for more than 5 seconds but NOPE. So…oh well, I guess. Rather a let down though.
General Hux? Ugh. I just really wanted to punch his face every time it appeared on-screen. He has a very punchable face. To me he wasn’t even really a villain. He was just a greedy, snooty child seeking power and praise from his “daddy” who in this case is his master Leader Snoke, I guess.
Supreme Leader Snoke. We only see him as a giant hologram. He’s the new Emperor Palpatine, I suppose. …Snoke looks like Voldemort but less scary. Yep, that’s about all there is to say about him really.
Kylo Ren. Well first of all (in case you don’t know) he’s not a Sith Lord. So get that out of your system. The First Order is the new bad kid on the playground and while they model themselves after the Sith Order they are not the same (nor as awesome…but that could just be my nostalgic loyalty speaking). Second of all…he should have kept his mask on. Literally there was this huge intake of breath with the anticipation and tension while he slowly unveils his true self and then…disappointment. I mean, I’m not insulting the actor himself just…he doesn’t look scary…at all. Kylo Ren was awesome and evil and pure villain (well also a loser Vader wannabe but…) and then he took his mask off and from then on I just couldn’t deal. Oh, also? He looks like Professor Snape, or well a younger version…or maybe he just looks like what Snape’s son would look like. Regardless, not scary. Snape is scarier, actually. Oh and I didn’t like his voice. I know his mask probably had some sort of voice-modulator to distort it but the way it came out seriously sounded like any kid’s voice modulator toy. I dunno, I just think they could have done better somehow. …But yeah, Kylo Ren just should have kept his mask on.
They really need to work on their villains. No one will top Darth Vader. Ah well. Darth Maul was pretty scary though…and Count Dooku was pretty dang intimidating also. So say what you want about the prequel movies but at least they did villains well. They actually did a lot of things well despite the giant pile of nerd-hate directed towards them. But that’s a discussion for another time.
So yeah, Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens was an awesome movie and my inner nerd went bananas when they announced they’d be reviving the franchise (well at first I freaked out because it was bought by Disney but then it seemed like they’d be doing a good job so I calmed down and got excited) and now I’m going bananas because the movie was so great. Although, dang I really don’t 100% know why, but it’s not as good as any movie with Darth Vader. Vader was simply…better. But, whatevs. Go see it. Revel in its awesomeness. It’s beyond epic and I approve.
What we all feared when Disney bought Star Wars: (I think this video is hilarious and amazing and needed to be included in this post)