DARTH VADER IS LUKE SKYWALKER’S FATHER!!!
I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t just spoil the movie for anyone. I was working on the assumption that you’ve already seen The Empire Strikes Back by now.
Since Episode VII isn’t 35 years old, I’ll also assume that many of you have not seen it yet. If you fall into that category, I suggest you stop reading and re-visit this post after you have watched it.
In the meantime, why not check out yesterday’s post about the Phillie Phanatic?
And now, on with the spoiler-laden discussion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
I liked the movie, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a great movie. It was certainly better than the prequels, but I wouldn’t rate it as being better than Episode IV as some people have. Is it at the same level as Return of the Jedi? Probably.
Liking the movie isn’t going to stop from hating on it a bit though. I’m going to steal Squinty’s shtick, and point out some of the flaws in J.J. Abrams work:
So who is fighting against who now?
This movie felt like somewhat of a reaction to the prequels. Instead of long stretches of disposition, this movie was almost all action. The pace started off fast, and never slowed down. Maybe they should have taken a little time and explained what was going on.
At some point, I started questioning who the sides in the main conflict really were. The bad guys were The First Order, which was obviously formed from the remnants of the old Empire. (Although they didn’t come across as a group that had suffered major losses since Return of the Jedi.) The New Order talked about destroying the Republic, which was apparently the new galactic government, but we don’t learn all that much about them. The main good guys were the Resistance, but it wasn’t made clear their relation to the Republic.
Based on some research (Thank you internet!), I’ve learned that after the Empire’s defeat, the Republic was mostly de-militarized. The Resistance serves as a peacekeeping force within the Republic.
Honestly, this didn’t really affect the movie much. All we had to really know is that Princess Leia and the X-Wing pilots are the good guys, the stormtroopers are the bad guys.
Kylo Ren’s inconsistent powers
The same guy who was able to stop a blaster bolt in midair isn’t able to defeat two untrained people in a lightsaber battle? Finn had never held a lightsaber before that day, and yet he was somehow able to hold his own for a time against Ren? After that, Rey was actually able to beat him.
I know they wanted to demonstrate that Ren’s training was incomplete, but he was going against two people who had no training whatsoever. He should have been able to dispose of them in seconds.
On the other hand, I did enjoy Ren’s characterization. Instead of the overly confident Sith Lords from the earlier movies, it was kind of cool to see a bad guy with an inferiority complex who threw temper tantrums when things didn’t go his way.
The plot changed halfway through
The first half of the movie, the plot was all about finding Luke Skywalker. As the opening crawl told us, Luke was missing, and it was VERY important that the Resistance find him before the First Order. About halfway through, the movie jarringly changed direction. All of a sudden, the First Order has a new Death Star, and the top priority was now for them to destroy that.
They could have had these two plot lines tie into each other. The map that was primary driving force for the action in the first half could have been used as a mild red herring; Instead of revealing Luke’s location, it could have been a warning that the First Order was building their Starkiller Base.
This would have explained why the First Order wanted to find that disk so badly. Was Luke really that much of a threat to them that they had to go to such great lengths to find him? On the other hand, if the Resistance learned about Starkiller Base prematurely, it might really hurt their plans.
As for Luke, his location could have instead been revealed when Rey grabbed the lightsaber, since it apparently caused her to have a vision. That would have also explained why the Resistance – who HAD TO FIND LUKE in the first half of the movie – would entrust such an important duty to a girl they just met at the end.
Really, those were only minor concerns though. Overall, it was a fun movie that was certainly worthy of the Star Wars banner.
Here are a couple of other minor questions I had about the movie:
- Was I the only one who hoped that when discussing the Starkiller Base, Admiral Ackbar would warn them that it might be trap? Surely, I wasn’t the only one hoping for that.
- Reportedly, they didn’t decide what Supreme Leader Snoke was going to look like until after the movie was filmed. Did they sit down and watch Harry Potter one night and just decide, “Screw it, let’s just make him look like Voldemort.”
- No Lando? I suppose that’s better than having Finn end up being his son.
What did you guys think? Did those issues bother you as well? Did you think this was the best Star Wars yet? Or should J.J. Abrams keep his lens flares limited to only one science fiction universe?