I saw the new Star Wars movie the day after its wide release — on Dec. 19.
I loved it.
Many people, I have noticed, did not. To the point they are calling it the worst Star Wars movie.
That’s their prerogative. I don’t agree, naturally, but I won’t say they’re wrong and denigrate them for their opinions — they’re allowed to have them, and things like movies are subjective because different people are looking for different things in movies.
For me, I was looking forward to seeing how the film matched up with the trailers, all of which basically said, “Tim, you have to see this! You want to see this! You *will* see this!”
So I did.
And now, I want to talk about what I saw and why I liked it.
I will also refute some of the arguments those buzzkills made in arguing The Force Awakens is the worst Star Wars film.
There will be spoilers, so in the spirit of protecting those of you with delicate sensibilities, I will place them under this new-fangled ‘read more’ tag I just discovered…
I guess my first rebuttal to all the buzzkills is this: some people go see movies because they want to escape reality for a while and indulge in a fantasy.
I am one of those people.
I don’t really care that The Force Awakens is essentially a remake of A New Hope, interspersed with remnants of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
I hadn’t really noticed that until I was reading reviews and breakdowns of the film after I had seen it, but it’s actually quite true. A lot of the same plot points are there — droid carrying sensitive information; father-figure killed by villain; small band of freedom fighters destroying enormous, spherical weapon; desert-planet dweller has special powers — I could go on.
So, yes, it is a rehash of the original trilogy. So what?
Like I said, I was looking for an escape from reality, and I got it. The visuals were great. There were laughs. The unveiling/revealing of the Millennium Falcon was certainly one of those laughs, and something I should have expected, thinking back on it.
One scene that really stuck out for me, and I absolutely love what they did with it, was the fight between Finn and Rey against Kylo Ren.
When the lightsaber is lying in the snow and both Rey and Ren are Force-reaching for it, I knew exactly what I expected — it was going to fly into the air and sail between them, straight into Luke’s hand.
As anyone with knowledge of this film and story knows, the whereabouts of Luke were a major part of the plot. So what better way to bring him into the story than in a lightsaber duel by picking up a lightsaber that had been lost by its previous, now injured, handler?
I mean, it would be so perfect.
And that’s why I love that they didn’t do that. It would have been too perfect.
It would have fallen prey to so many tropes: hero saving girl, hero arriving at exactly the right moment to save the day, villain getting shot at hero with little to no effort, etc.
It would have been so contrived.
But to have Rey be the one the lightsaber goes to, it opens up a lot more possibilities. To this point, we already know she’s Force sensitive, and she already knows how to use it.
That’s the question that now hangs over Episode VIII and beyond.
Now, in other places I have heard some comments, both positive and negative, about the apparent hero being a woman.
Frankly, and maybe it’s because I view myself as enlightened, but I don’t see what the big deal is.
So Rey’s a woman. And Finn’s a Black man.
Yay for diversity. I guess. Other people will say this is a huge step forward. I don’t see it, because I don’t care. Well, it’s not like I don’t care, but I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter to me the sex or race of characters in movies. Whoever fits the role best.
My biggest beef has nothing to do with the movie itself, but more to do with the movie industry — I saw The Force Awakens in 3-D, because that was the only way to guarantee a decent seat without arriving ridiculously early.
But 3-D doesn’t work with my eyes without my glasses on, and I don’t wear contacts (yet?), so I had trouble focusing and seeing everything clearer. So I will be going to see the movie again. Once the hype has died down. If the hype dies down.
OK. I think that ought to sum up my thoughts.
I can’t wait for Episode VIII.