DANGER WILL ROBINSON – SPOILERS AHEAD – DANGER!
I MEAN IT!
DON’T LOOK ANY FURTHER….
Okay, I’ve seen The Force Awakens (TFA) now, and I’ve had time to sit, think and contemplate…
What did I think?
In short – I liked it. I liked it a lot.
Was it perfect? No, it wasn’t (I’ll come to that), but it laid an excellent foundation from which to build the the rest of the trilogy on.
- The new cast as a whole were great. Daisy Ridley I felt was excellent as Rey, as was John Boyega as Finn. Both brought a good balance to their roles that capture both the seriousness and the humor that Star Wars is about. I also liked Poe Dameron as the hot shot X-Wing pilot. Was he a bit too “cool for school”? Damn right he was, perhaps a little too “cool”, but on the whole he served the role of jock pilot perfectly.
- Kylo Ren…..Kylo, Kylo, Kylo. Loved this guy. A wannabe Vader with temper issues. I liked the fact he wasn’t ice cool and totally evil. He was conflicted, and he showed it well. He also wasn’t an unbeatable bad a*s either, as shown when he nearly got his own handed to him by Rey near the end. Although to be fair being shot by a bowcaster AND having lightsabre wounds already will hinder a person, Force-imbued or not.
- The effects were suitable enhanced for the modern area, but they didn’t feel too CGI (I’m looking at you, Prequels!) either. They captured the world of Star Wars perfectly, and the action felt real enough without getting too Private Ryan.
- A lot “worked” for me overall. Rather than justifying individual points here, let’s just say the cast, the effects, the world – on the whole, they just worked.
What Didn’t Quite Work:
A few things really, although none of them were too bad in my opinion.
- The plot beats. Basically this was Star Wars: A New Hope with fancy bells and whistles on. We follow a young person (Rey) stuck on a desert planet (Jaku), who’s plucked from obscurity when she happens upon a droid (BB8) carrying essential data for the Resistance. She then joins up with the Resistance and assists in their mission against the Death Star – Premium edition. If we change Rey for Luke, Jaku for Tantooine and the Resistance for the Rebellion we have A New Hope all over again. Sure, there are also many differences, but the core beats are the same.
- A Stormtrooper wielding an anti-lightsabre type weapon. Really? I mean, really? The Jedi, lightsabres etc are considered myth now, so when someone signs up to stormtrooper training school is there really a class called “Light Sabre Defense with a Lightning Stick – 101”? Did you see the size of that weapon? Why would a storm trooper carry that around in a battle, just on the off chance he ran into a lightsabre-carrying opponent? And what are the odds that Finn lost his blaster at that moment? A quick blast on that trooper would’ve ended that scene then and there (think Indiana Jones and that guy with the sword – bang!)! Yeah. I didn’t like that one.
- Luke. Not enough of him, although I understand why. If he’d been in more he would’ve stolen the film from the newbies.
- Starkiller base. Yes, it’s powerful. Yes it can destroy an entire star system but to design the same thing, again, with the same stupid design flaw allowing it to be blow up from some central power regulator type thing, that’s uncool. Where does the First Order get its architects from? Did they not look at SharePoint for the lessons learned logs from the past 2 death stars? Doh.
- The New Republic. Where are they? Why aren’t they fighting the First Order? The Resistance are sort of painted as an extremist faction funded by the NR but with plausible deniability. What’s that about? And who – WHO – leaves their entire fleet round one planet just in case something catastrophic happens? It would appear they do!
- Rey is Luke’s daughter. Kylo saved her from the Jedi massacre and left her for dead. Luke left her on Jaku so that she wouldn’t be exposed to the Force and it’s machinations anymore.
- Rey will go to the dark side. Did you see her when she was fighting Kylo? There some powerful emotions there. I suspect she might’ve killed Kylo if the world hadn’t split in half!
- Let’s leave Leia out of it now. With Han, erm, doing what he did, we don’t need them anymore. Let’s move on with the new team. We need Luke, obviously, but hopefully he’ll just be the new Obi Wan and nothing more.
- Kylo must come to the light at some point. He’s got a great journey to evolve over, I’m sure. Heroic sacrifice beckons at some point, mark my words.
- Snoke – who the hell is this guy? He’s obviously strong in the Dark Side, but where’s he been all this time? Is he Darth Plaguesis? Someone else? Perhaps he’s a corrupted Luke clone from the hand that vanished in Empire Strikes Back?
Like I said, I liked this a lot. I think it’s an 8/10. A good start, bridging the old with the new. I can’t wait for the second installment, and am looking forward to the other films in the anthology too.
Right, back to writing. Forgot about that for a time…