By John F. Allen – December 22, 2015 (Reposted)
Well folks, like most of the world I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens this past weekend. I’m now taking the time to give my thoughts and opinion on the film. This blog post/review will contain SPOILERS!
That said, if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to have it spoiled, TURN BACK NOW! If you’re still here, I have to safely assume you’ve already seen the film and have at least a slight interest in my thoughts.
I give this film a solid B+…yeah, it was that good for me. It is my opinion that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a very good (NOT EPICALLY GREAT), and definitely well worth seeing in the theater, and on more than one occasion if you choose…believe me, I won’t judge!
Again, here there be SPOILERS…YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
Still with me? Excellent! Let’s get to it shall we?
WHAT I LIKED:
- The Return of the Original Cast. For nostalgia’s sake alone, seeing Han, Chewie, Leia, C3PO, R2D2 and Luke again on the BIG screen was a magic in and of itself. I was (at least for a moment) a seven-year-old child again. DON’T JUDGE ME!
- New and Improved Stormtroopers! Yeah, we all know that in the past, the Stormtroopers couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with their blasters and were far from intimidating. However, this NEW breed of evil minions are much better marksmen and have a much more imposing presence. I look forward to seeing more from them and their leader, Captain Phasma!
- Kylo Ren. This NEW villain, is not a Darth Vader cookie cutter wannabe, imo. He displays a level of complexity from the onset which made me want to know more. It is revealed that he is Ben Solo (son of Han and Leia), who was trained by his uncle Luke in the ways of the force, and went rogue when enticed by the Dark Side. The conflict in which the Light Side of the Force threatens to overtake him, is an interesting take on a conflicted antagonist.
- Rey, Finn & Poe! The NEW Trinity are really interesting characters with GREAT chemistry. The actors, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaacs were fantastic and very believable/convincing in their roles. I look forward to their continued adventures within the franchise. I liked the idea and execution of a female lead and a black main character, as opposed to a shadowy secondary character like Lando Calrissian (I loved Lando, but yeah!). Ridley, Boyega and Isaacs are definitely three young actors to watch! It appears that there is a BIG NEW future for Star Wars and I am proud and happy to experience it!
- BB8! I loved this little droid! He had so much charisma and gravitas I wanted to see more of him and every time he was on screen I wanted to get one for myself…SERIOUSLY!
- Special FX. I think that 95% of the Special FX were on point and I loved seeing them. There were some cheesy moments, but nothing which took me out of the experience at all. The cinematic style was very much in line with the original trilogy, which pleased me immensely.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
- Not enough Captain Phasma! I really liked the look and feel of the Head Stormtrooper in Charge. That said, I was sort of bummed that we didn’t see enough of her. With all the hype surrounding the addition of Gwendolyn Christie (from Game of Thrones), you’d have thought we would have been treated to more than two scenes and no fighting. Here’s hoping we’ll see more of her in Episode VIII!
- Han dies! I was literally heartbroken about this. Han was easily my favorite Star Wars character and to see him return, only to witness his death was (sobs) tough for me. I get that it helps to further the story, but now Kylo Ren aka Ben Solo is IRREDEEMABLE to me!
- A lot of unanswered questions. I suppose this is to be expected, given that Episode VIII and Episode IX are a sure thing. Luckily, we only have to wait a year and a half for the next installment…May 2017 can’t get here fast enough, IMO!
- A NEW New Hope with an Empire Strikes Back Again ending. I understand why this was done and appreciate it as much as possible. That said, I really wish thirty years hadn’t passed since the last GOOD Star Wars film, but it is what it is I suppose. Here’s to a NEW and exciting leg of the franchise with the sequels, the spin-off films and Star Wars: Rogue One!
- Rey being so powerful and not knowing it. Personally, I think this was the only point where I really had to take my brain out and roll my eyes at. I didn’t mind C3PO’s red arm, R2D2’s coma, Han’s discovery that he likes Chewie’s weapon (Forty Years Later…) or even the Death Star on steroids, I mean most villains/evil empires are extremely predictable and prone to repeat their mistakes time and time again (rolls my eyes and chuckles). Anyway, how the hell did she become learned enough to hold her own against Kylo Ren in a span of two minutes? J.J. got some ‘splainin’ to do!
All in all, I was very satisfied with the film and it more than made up for those atrocious prequels, imo.
While it was in NO way a perfect film and isn’t my new, all-time favorite, it has booted Return of the Jedi from the number three spot of my favorite list.
I am a fan of some of J.J. Abrams work and I don’t scathingly hate the NEW Star Trek films, like some of my peers. I think he excelled with this directorial romp and has (at least somewhat) redeemed himself in the eyes of some of his HATERS!
Please feel free to leave comments and hit me up on Facebook for any other Star Wars conversations.
If you haven’t seen it yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!