Saturday, January 2, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


This was everything we hoped for. A return to the way the first Star Wars movies felt - adventure, excitement, romance (a bit anyway), and fun.

I liked the way the movie paralleled the first one, with little bits of the second two thrown in where needed, providing just enough context to see that one person's story is never quite finished. Also that it's always about families and friends, the people we love and fight while we're trying to accomplish bigger goals. That age old truth works really well here.

And it fixes the problem with the second trilogy. The new Darth's "issues" connect with us in a way that couldn't happen before.

I also like what Mrs. Darwin wrote about Finn and Rey's relationship. It wouldn't have occurred to me to think about it that way but I definitely agree with her. It was also refreshing, for one thing, to see a strong female who wasn't as pushy as Leia or as wishy-washy as Amidala. Rey was just herself, a natural product of her environment. Huzzah!

We were also thrilled to see John Boyega. We loved him in Attack the Block, one of our favorite movies, and it is nice to see his talent appreciated with this choice role. I also thought it was a genius move to show a Stormtrooper's point of view. They might be clones but they are still people and this acknowledges that.

I've seen various people complaining about different things but I think they are looking for something this movie is not meant to be. The Force Awakens made us feel the way we felt when we saw the original Star Wars. As young college students, my friends and I left the theater excited, happy, and thrilled to see an opening for a sequel. This delivered that same feeling.

Here's hoping the next one is as strong as The Empire Strikes Back. Well done, J.J. Abrams!


  1. Hmm, I never thought about the new movie paralleled the old. I just assumed they couldn't come up with a new story. It seemed rather formulaic to me. Perhaps I didn't judge it correctly. I did give a quick review of the movie on my Christmas post, since so many of my son's presents were Star Wars themed and I took him to see the movie right after Christmas. You can read my review here if you like:

    1. A movie like this, from a director like J.J. Abrams and a writer like Lawrence Kasdan, would have the parallels carefully planned. This wasn't a lack of new story. It was a deliberate choice that I found brilliant.

    2. I have to say you're right. You convinced me. But the follow on question would be why? Why the strict parallels?

    3. It seems to me to be a statement of intent ... that this is the Star Wars world we all know and love, despite the second trilogy which went off the rails. I think of it as a kind of Old Testament, New Testament situation. The people know John the Baptist is a prophet because he lives in the desert, wears specific clothing, eats specific food. Why? The Old Testament prepped them for it. They recognize the archetype. He introduces something completely new, Jesus the Messiah.

      In a similar way, the filmmakers are reminding us of the archetypes we love, but they are also using it to shine light both back and forward. We will see something new (at least I hope so) in the next movie. But they're also reminding us of what we loved so very much in the first movies. And I liked it. A lot. :-)

  2. I was happy just to see Han Solo and Chewbacca, plus a still pretty Princess.