Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy, and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance (from IMDb).

Rating: ★

Disappointed isn't the word for how I feel about this film. Embittered, perhaps, is a better choice. For all the genuinely-interesting stories the writers had to choose from in the New Jedi Order and the Legacy of the Force book series, this pompous pile of special effects and nonsense is what we get. And each day that passes I get a little more pissed off about that. 

I'm not a big fan of Star Wars. There are parts of the six movies before this that I really enjoyed, and characters I genuinely connected with. I do like watching them, but I'm not blind to their flaws. The original series was rather great, especially for its time. The prequel series...is a whole other matter, but they did try. They are over-acted and just a bit ridiculous, but I do actually kind of enjoy them. They do provide some interesting context to the original series, an insight into how the world was before the Empire, a time the Jedi Council existed. Plus, Hayden Christensen was really rather attractive. I personally thought he was a good Anakin, as he did come across as somewhat psychotic and awkward, and Darth Vader clearly wasn't a sane sort of guy. 

Regardless, none of the other movies are half as terrible as The Force Awakens. All because this one was meant to be good. It's not even anything to do with the hype about the film for me. I know that can ruin a film, but I went in with no expectations whatsoever, and still got annoyed. I know I mentioned the book series earlier, but I only looked them up afterwards because I was confused about the film and had to do my research, and that's when I discovered the clearly superior lore of the franchise that made far more sense. 

Our three lead characters in The Force Awakens are as follows: Rey, an orphan scavenger on the planet Jakka who somehow trained herself to fight and who doesn't need anyone, but also wants to find a home and people to love her; Finn, a turncoat First Order soldier (storm trooper) who just can't bring himself to be a bad person despite having been raised within the Order, so how the fuck does he know any different; and Poe, a gifted pilot we barely see in the entire movie and who you're apparently meant to believe is dead, despite him appearing in all the promotional interviews, so why would he be dead after the first ten minutes? 


Then our bad guys are: Kylo Ren, a 'mysterious' psychopath with serious issues obsessed with the Dark Side and whose real identity is actually very obvious within the first few moments (because they tell you); General Hux, a commander in the First Order, who is actually a really great character as he is lawful evil, and that's hard to pull off but he does it so well; and Supreme Leader Snoke, a weird Voldemort-looking giant hologram thing who just wants to destroy the world with his mad plans who is manipulating the psychotic breaks of Kylo Ren, much like Chancellor Palpatine did with Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. And that is just one of many times they just reuse stuff from the previous movies, thinking no one will notice. 


And of course, all our favourite characters from the original movies are back, shoe-horned in whenever the plot becomes so stagnant the audience needs to be distracted. At least Leia becoming General of the Resistance army feels like the direction her character would have gone, unlike Han and Luke who both just have mental breakdowns and fuck off, it seems. Poor Leia and the useless men in her life. She was capable of going on without them, but that's not the point. 

Poe was the character I think I would have liked to have seen more of, as he seemed a bit snarky. Finn was rather bland but had potential, I guess. Rey is the character I grew to hate most in this film. She's just so whiny and useless. Sure, she does kick some ass during the movie, but my issue is how. Surprise, surprise; she's Force sensitive (*unsurprised gasp*) but how does she go from knowing nothing about the Jedi to being able to use Jedi mind tricks in the space of about two minutes of screen time? They're not something you just pick up. She wasn't even told she could do them. Having grown up on a planet that clearly doesn't know about Jedi or the ways of the Force, she sure seems to pick it up easy. And she immediately knows how to use a Lightsaber, and can go toe-to-toe with Kylo Ren, who has spent years perfecting his technique. 

This movie was too much of the same, really. And not in a good way. I keep hearing people saying this is a callback to the original series, and that's kind of true, because it's the exact same movie. Just with poorer writing and more annoying characters. The same flaw in the enemy plan was the same flaw the Death Star had. The bad guys destroyed a couple planet with some new super-laser death beam in The Force Awakens? Pretty sure that happened to Alderaan. 

All in all, I wasn't impressed by The Force Awakens. Chances are, I'll watch the next one whenever it comes out, in the hope it finds its own path. I would like them to be epic, I really would. I just have a feeling they can never match up, especially since it's started off on the wrong foot already.



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