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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

 

Title: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Release Date: December 18 2015

Running Time: 2 hours and 16 minutes

After months of anticipation, the wait is finally over. I have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens and I’m glad to say it wasn’t bad. However, despite the music and visuals being absolutely outstanding (especially in IMAX), I still had a few problems with the characters and plot points.

**Warning: Spoilers Ahead!**

BB-8

You’ve been warned!  Let’s roll!

What I liked:

The humor: All of the jokes in the movie were great. None of them felt out of place whatsoever.  “That’s not how the force works!”

Han Solo: Harrison Ford, despite his age, slipped right back into the role of Han Solo. Every scene with Han was like a crazy melding of the old and the new. Han’s scenes also filled us in on what had happened in the years between this movie and the last one.  Han’s last scene was utterly heart breaking to watch.   

BB-­8: This little guy has done R2­D2 proud. Abrams did a good job of balancing his appearances. I never felt like there was too much or too little emphasis on BB-­8.

Poe Dameron: This guy was awesome. I feel like this is the kind of character that was missing from the prequel movies. Much like Han, Poe is confident, fearless, and an excellent pilot.  Unfortunately, he didn’t get much screen time. Hopefully he will develop more in the next movie.

The new designs for the X­-wings and Tie Fighters: The vehicle designs had me feeling like a ten-­year-old again… that is to say, I had to fight back the urge to buy Star Wars collectibles.  The new designs are just so fresh and clean. 

 

 

What I didn’t like:

Overall pace of the movie:  This film seemed to move very quickly. While engaging, I feel like some key moments were just swept under the rug when they shouldn’t have been. One moment I feel that needed more than a few minutes was the mourning of Han. Darth Vader got his own memorial service at the end of Return of the Jedi, but Han didn’t get much of a mention after his death. I expected Chewy and Leia to be more upset about this. While we do see a brief moment of mourning, I don’t feel it was enough. It was like “Oh well Han’s dead, let’s keep lookin’ for Luke… oh look we found him! The End!” The movie rarely gives us any time to breathe or process important information.

Lack of character development:  I felt like the majority of the new characters in the movie receive little-­to-­no actual development.  They just get blasted off from scene to scene doing whatever for no real reasons. Let’s look at the 3 new characters:

Crylo Ben:  This character made such a strong impression in his first scene. Stopping blasts midair, using the force to literally stop Poe in his tracks. He began as dark and imposing, but then he threw that little tantrum… then he started taking off his helmet… then he killed his dad… then he got beat down by Rey like he never used the force a day in his life. Thank god the planet started erupting when it did, otherwise he would have probably died.  It’s a hard pill to swallow but Kylo Ren is really just a little brat pretending to be Darth Vader.  

rey vs kylo

He never stood a chance…

OP Disney Princess Rey:  When we first see Rey, she is scavenging parts in the remote desert of Jakku. It would seem she is an independent orphan struggling to survive and coming to terms with her abandonment. As the movie progresses we learn that Rey is not just any orphan…

It soon becomes apparent that Rey is without a doubt the most broken Star Wars character ever conceived. There is literally nothing she cannot do. Let’s list some of the unbelievable things Rey does in this movie:

-She never loses in a fist fight. When an entire gang tries to steal BB­-8 in the marketplace, she beats down her attackers with not even a scratch on her. She then proceeds to clock poor Finn for trying to help her.

-She can fly the Millennium Falcon with no prior experience. She was capable of maneuvering a ship older than she is with absolutely no prior instruction while enemy fire. She later also goes on to fix the ship in a way Han and Chewy never even knew about. Not only is she an ace pilot, but she is also an expert Mechanic.

-She is apparently fluent in every known Star Wars language. Droids, Wookies, remote alien scavengers, you name it, Rey can speak to them and probably do translate for you.

-She pushes Kylo Ren back when he tries to read her mind. Again, with no prior instruction she was able shut down Kylo Ren’s advances. She then goes on to escape her cell using Jedi mind tricks that Luke couldn’t use until his 3rd film…

-She has too many hit points! Kylo force ­chucked her into a tree, from about 50 feet away; she then proceeds to get back up and beat him with Luke’s lightsaber like it’s no big deal. Maybe the force does work like that!

Rey started off as an interesting character, but as the movie progresses she continues to never actually be in danger or struggle with anything. In the end, all we know is that she is a super Jedi space orphan that cannot be stopped. How is anyone supposed to relate to a character that is already perfect? In any case, they will probably explain it by revealing that she is Luke’s daughter in the next movie.  That’s my guess at least.  

Or maybe she’s the daughter of

361285-john-cena-2

JOHN CENA!!!

Beta Boy Finn:  Oh, Finn… I really thought you were going to be the main character of this movie. I was so wrong. After 2 hours and 16 minutes, all we know about Finn is that he was a Stormtrooper (that worked in sanitation), he’s always sweaty, he lies, he’d rather run than fight (unless it’s for Rey…), and that he’s not going to be wielding Luke’s lightsaber again anytime soon. Prior to seeing the movie, I was really hyped for what I thought was going to be an ex­-Stormtrooper’s journey to becoming a Jedi. I am a bit disappointed to see how his story arc played out. I honestly don’t have a clue where they are taking Finn’s character from here. Will he learn to be a pilot? Will he learn the ways of the force? Will he run away to look for Rey, AGAIN? Is he Lando’s son? I really hope he has a more important role to play in the next two films.

finn

Next time Finn.  Next time!

Final verdict:

Despite the aforementioned problems, I still think The Force Awakens was an awesome movie. If they had managed to balance Rey’s ass-kicking with some more meaningful character development I would have enjoyed the film more. With that being said, I’m not going to be too harsh on this film.  There are still two more movies on the way that will hopefully flesh out these new characters in exciting ways.  At the end of the day, I enjoyed this new Star Wars movie. It was fun, fast paced, and filled with everything that Star Wars fans have come to expect, and that is really all most of us wanted.

 

I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, and it was definitely better than all the prequels.  I give Star Wars: The Force Awakens –

4 Crunchy Tacos out of 5!

cruncy tacocruncy tacocruncy tacocruncy taco

 

 

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Juan Valei

Buffalo-based gamer, artist, and adventurer. Blogging about life, games, art, entertainment, health, and everything else in the universe.

One Comment

  1. My hope is that in the next film Finn will show signs of being a Jedi, then learn from this super jedi who, in the third film will die, leaving Finn the true hero after all. I’ve still not seen it, but I’ve got a good sense of what has happened in it from all the spoilers online, so I hope I’m not too far off base here.

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