Now that Star Wars The Force Awakens has been out for a few weeks I thought it'd be fun to discuss. After all there are so many things to talk about. Those who saw my review of The Force Awakens know that I was not impressed with the movie- I think it was unnecessarily derivative and basically a remix of the original trilogy. The plot is very similar to the first Star Wars movie. But- it did bring Star Wars roaring back into the cultural consciousness. And many reviews have been positive, suggesting that most people liked it. So... let's discuss.
I liked the new characters, especially Rey. She's a breath of fresh air, confident and she can handle herself. I think she'll be fine as the new lead character, and the face of the franchise going forward. I like Poe Dameron too, he has charisma and I liked his performance in the early going. He disappears for a chunk of the movie but I look forward to seeing his character grow. BB-8 was fine, although I missed the banter of Artoo and Threepio- they were criminally underused in this movie.
The biggest issue I have is Luke. It would have been nice to see Luke, Leia and Han together again. Why bring these three back and give them no time together? I just don't see Han and Leia separating and Luke going off into self imposed exile. Han became a general and presumably married Leia, who I'm sure took an active role in building a new Republic- yet we're to believe that whatever tragedy befell their child prompted Han to go back to smuggling? And Luke goes into hiding while the First Order kills people left and right? \
Imagine seeing Han and Leia on Coruscant- or even Luke, say, in the Jedi ruins- how cool would that be? Instead we get a desert planet (not Tattooine!), an ice planet (not Hoth!), and a green world (not Yavin!). The galaxy just feels small- the Millennium Falcon just happens to be on Jakku, right where Rey is.
The other big issue I have is the Starkiller base- or Death Star 3 basically. And it has a trench they need to fly down. And a shield that needs to be taken down by a small band. Where have we seen that before? I thought this wasn't a remake? And did that Starkiller beam really split up so it could destroy multiple planets? And of course everyone could just look up and see this, even though it would have been light years away.
It's just lazy writing, seems to me. And the villains... I can't even. General Hux's speech to the First Order was so shrill and over the top it was embarrassing. If you want to see the same actor give a good performance see Ex Machina. It's like night and day. Kylo Ren was ridiculous, he was an emo kid.
A lot of people are saying that this was setup, and that Episodes 8 and 9 will be better. Maybe. Rian Johnson has done a few small movies and Colin Trevorrow did Jurassic World. That doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Some have said it's a generational thing, that they don't mind being reintroduced to familiar plot points. So - what did you like? What did you not like? Let me know!