Thursday, December 31, 2015

Okay, I Really Need To Talk About Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I may have had another topic planned for this post, but since I've seen The Force Awakens three times now, it's practically all I can think about. Does that mean I'm in love with it, like when Dipper laid awake all night thinking about Wendy? Read on!
Obviously, henceforth there will be spoilers. So if you haven't seen the film yet (whaaat), go see it and come back. We'll wait for you.

Okay, so this isn't going to be so much a review as it will be just a random bullet-point collection of my thoughts and reactions to the film. If you want a review, you can probably find maybe one or two floating around on the Internet if you look hard enough. So here we go!

- As I said, I've seen it three times now, and it just gets better each time. I think knowing more about the story before you see it actually helps, because you're not spending brain-processing time in the theater wondering "wait, how is the Resistance related to the Republic again?" and stuff like that. If you're more familiar with the background info, you can just focus on the story.

- The first time I watched it, the similarities to A New Hope actually did start to bug me a little, especially when the Resistance officers were all gathered around the hologram, planning out their attack on Starkiller Base. I was like, seriously? Haven't I seen this before? But the second and third times, it didn't really bug me at all, for some reason.

- Also, the stupidity and/or incompetence of the First Order (haven't you people learned anything from the Death Stars?) didn't bother me as much either upon repeated viewings. In fact, it actually seemed kind of winky-cute in a way, like, of course there's a walkway over a bottomless pit with no handrails!

- The 3-D adds nothing worthwhile, except for one shot where the Finalizer (the First Order's main Star Destroyer) looks like it's sticking out of the screen. At that moment I thought, if there are several more shots like this one, then okay, the 3-D will have been worth the extra money. There weren't.

- Okay, yeah, there are plot holes. But you know what? Who cares! I mean, I'm just as guilty as anyone else for nitpicking, but that's the fun of it. Like the saying goes, never let the truth - or logic - get in the way of a good story.

- Favorite moment, out of many favorites: when the lightsaber goes to Rey instead of Kylo Ren. Totally epic.

- I still couldn't tell when or where Yoda is talking during Rey's flashback scene, even though on my third viewing I was actively listening for it.

- The third time I saw the movie, I went with my son. He had only just watched the original trilogy the week before (his favorite of the three was Return of the Jedi), so I was interested in getting his perspective after we came out of the theater. He said that this one was now his favorite. Also, that it was darker than the original ones (an assessment I agreed with), and that he wasn't surprised that Kylo Ren killed Han Solo (in fact, he said that it would have been "lame" if he didn't). After we got home I half-jokingly said "we should go see it again!" and he responded with "okay, when?" Yessss

- "We'll just use the Force!" "That's not how the Force works!" Hilarious.

- I've heard mixed reviews about Adam Driver's performance. Personally, I thought he was fine. It probably helps that I've never watched the HBO series Girls before. The rest of the main cast (especially Daisy Ridley) was awesome.

- After I saw it the first time, I watched Looper, the sci-fi movie written and directed by Episode XIII writer/director Rian Johnson, and I am happy to report that we are in good hands. Looper was excellent, and little Cid is exactly what Anakin Skywalker should have been (50% kind, 50% creepy, 100% angry and impulsive). Johnson even has the JJ Abrams lens flares down pat!

- He does have at least one challenge, though: how to keep the first forty-five minutes of Episode XIII from being basically people yelling at Luke: "Why didn't you come back?!?" "The First Order is destroying the galaxy and you're off feeling sorry for yourself on some remote island!?!" "Why did you wipe my memory and leave me stranded on Jakku?!?" (the last one is assuming that Rey is, in fact, Luke's daughter)

Those are just a few of the thoughts that have been filling my mind, replacing non-essential things like remembering when to eat, shower, and tend to my kids and pets. The funny thing is, when I read through this list again it almost sounds like I'm criticizing the movie, but honestly, I'm not. It's not perfect, but it is supremely entertaining, and isn't that what a movie like this should be? So I guess I can honestly say that yes, I love The Force Awakens, and I can't wait for May 2017 (Episode XIII's release date) to roll around so I can hear what Luke has to say for himself. In the meantime, Happy New Year everyone!

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