I’ve been holding off, because… spoilers.
But it’s been almost a month, so I feel justified.
Just a quick warning:
I’m going to type some more stuff, as I try to get beyond the wordpress barrier so people don’t have to read any spoilers that they don’t want.
Okay, this will hopefully have done the trick, and if not… sorry.
Okay, so it’s Star Wars. I love Star Wars. I watched the Original Trilogy every weekend for over a year when I was in grade school. I can recite all three. I know where all the ‘mistakes’ are.
The Prequels… are okay. Not nearly the monstrosities they’ve been made out to be. Enjoyable. I’ve watched them all multiple times, and my kids like them.
So when I heard we had new Star Wars, I was cautiously optimistic. Even bad Star Wars is a good thing.
Then this trailer blew my mind.
This is when I knew I was done. I had already been sucked in. I avoided all trailers, mentions, spoilers, and speculation. I wanted an unbiased and unanticipated Star Wars.
And I loved every moment. From the opening crawl to the ending, I was utterly enthralled. There was barely even any lens flare!
The characters are solid. Rey is a desert waif-mechanic, who has managed to keep her sense of right and wrong, even while scrounging for food.
Finn, bless him, a soldier who doesn’t want to fight.
And BB-8 stole like every scene he was in.
Poe… was barely in the movie, but he made me want to see more of him… in the movie, you pervs!
Kylo Ren? Loved him. The psychotic man-child with a saber… very different kind of villain. I’m in!
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room: The similarities.
It’s a desert planet like Tattooine! They go to a forest planet like Endor! There’s an ice planet like Hoth! And what they destroy is basically a mega-Death Star!
To which I say… and?
Star Wars has literally gotten so big and been around so long that it’s not going to have ‘new’ ideas. If they had fought in a city, people would have screamed “Coruscant”! If they had done a water world, people who have screamed “Naboo!” (or Manaan, but Knights of the Old Republic isn’t canon anymore...)
At some point, you have to accept the repetition. There are only so many biomes to choose from, and Star Wars has done most of them.
As for the mega-Death Star… would you have rather that the movies completely ignored the planet destroying technology that has existed in universe for thirty years? It makes no damn sense to think that people wouldn’t have kept trying to build upon that technology and make it better. Of course, the remnants of the Empire are building a bigger and badder Death Star. They have Death Star technology. They can blow up whole damn planets. All that they have to do is keep those exhaust ports guarded.
In fact, the only thing that I wish they had done was sell that destruction more. There should have been reaction shots from Leia. Which would have sold her feeling Han’s death a little more. Not that it needed it, per se.
The destruction of Alderaan was emotional because of Leia and Obi-Wan’s reactions. We had no attachment to Alderaan.
And a caveat, while I liked the callbacks to the original, and I felt this was a brilliant start of an adventure, I also feel like the next step in the series needs to be more unique.
It’s one thing to pay homage and start in the same place (desert planet, orphan, missing information on a huge piece of machinery that needs to be destroyed.). With the new characters and a few tweaks, it’s a great place to start, and it felt good.
It’s another, entirely, to just send new characters through entirely recycled scripts.
Although, we’re already off that path, to be honest. Finn’s in a coma, and Rey’s off with Luke. As long as we don’t set up shop on an ice planet and Poe doesn’t start referring to Rey as ‘sister’ we’re probably okay.
Now the other thing people have been complaining about, Rey’s ‘sudden’ Force powers.
I posit that they aren’t sudden at all. Like Anakin and Luke, she starts out as a mechanic and pilot. She’s a fierce fighter. In other words, she has all the ‘symptoms’ of a Force user.
Ignoring the more subtle images of maybe X happened (she’s Luke’s daughter! She’s a padawan! She has repressed memories!), Rey’s force use is only slightly faster than Luke’s. First off, unlike Luke, she’d heard stories of the Jedi. She has some ideas of what they can do with the Force. Luke had no idea what a lightsaber was.
Secondly, Luke took a few swings at a droid and was suddenly able to use the Force to make the ‘impossible’ shot to destroy the Death Star.
Thirdly, she doesn’t start using the Force until after she touched Luke’s lightsaber and was probed by Kylo Ren. In other words, she was Awakened to her Force potentional.
Finally, she doesn’t own Kylo Ren in that last fight. He’s injured, and she flails around barely surviving, until the end. When she lets the Force take over she does better, but Kylo Ren was bleeding out having been injured by a Wookie Bolt caster, shown to throw Storm Troopers about with ease. Perspective, people.
My other negative thought: The ending felt rushed. For a movie that had no trouble taking it’s time and setting up shop, we did ram through that mega-Death Star battle as quickly as possible. If you’re gonna be slow, then be slow. Don’t rush through the ending, that’s what all the slow build up is heading towards, remember?
Overall, an enjoyable watch that made me feel eight again. In the best way.
Also, I want a BB-8.