I would like to make a note that there WILL be spoilers ahead for “The Force Awakens” ahead, as well as the previous six “Star Wars” films. I won’t go over the film point-by-point, since I’m going to assume that you’ve seen the movie if you’re reading a spoilered review. If you haven’t and you’re still reading this, what’s wrong with you? This was an amazing movie to go into not knowing anything.
Well, now that’s over with.
To anyone who doesn’t care to read everything, here’s the short version: it was a good movie. I enjoyed it. It had cool characters, the feel of a Star Wars movie, and an actually good use of CGI. However, I feel like it takes too much from the original trilogy, and at times seems like a rehash.
For those who want to hear me explain further, read below.
This is very much a Star Wars movie. It has the feeling of a fun space opera, but also has drama, action, and comedy. It introduces us to strange new places and creatures, compelling new characters, and even more Nazi imagery related to the villains.
And yes, for those who were wondering what I thought of BB-8, he was indeed worth the marketing. While he’s no R2, he’s still a funny robot. Speaking of R2, I was disappointed of his (lack of) usage for most of the movie, but I’m happy he’ll be around in the next few. It looks like he and BB have some kind of friendship, so that’ll be interesting to explore. Also, C3-PO was well used. I especially loved his first line – it was just great, and not character breaking.
Overall, I think there was no character breaking throughout the entire movie. The only moment that might have been iffy was Po’s first line, since it just didn’t seem to fit the situation at first, but it was used to introduce the character, and it introduced him well. I also really enjoyed Han in this one. It wasn’t just Harrison Ford being Harrison Ford; it was Harrison Ford being Han Solo. And, while I hated the fact that he died, Harrison’s been looking forward to that moment for decades. He’s wanted Han to die for years, since he thought it was the only way to end his character arc. I agree, but I feel like his use here was still very strong. I liked how he didn’t stay around with Leia after Ben left for the dark side, as well as his attempted avoidance of her later on in the movie – it fit his character. And Harrison’s probably just happy to be done with this series finally (though we’ll see if he returns at all for the Han Solo solo movie, which is indeed a thing).
The character that disappointed me the most had to be Luke. I felt like that last scene could’ve been expanded to be the first half of the second movie, or at least happening in the second movie. I felt like the scene where they put the map together would’ve been a perfect ending – the rest of it just seemed forced so that they could actually have Mark Hamill in the movie. Also, despite his 30 seconds of screen time, he was the second highest-billed actor in the movie, only after Harrison Ford.
Outside of Hamill, my biggest problem with the movie was that it was deriving a lot from the original trilogy. Rei, Fin, and Po are very obviously a next-gen Luke, Leia, and Han. BB-8 is the replacement R2, they’re not replacing C-3PO, and Chewie is… well, he’s Chewie. Just… older. And dating a centuries-old innkeeper (or whatever you’d call her). Kylo Ren is definitely a discount Darth Vader, and the Star Destroyer was a souped-up Death Star (though it was less of a focus than the Death Star itself was, which was nice). Overall though, it wasn’t distracting, just a little annoying looking back.
The last problem I have is the Kylo Ren “reveal” if you could call it that. It was revealed much too early to be called a twist, and could’ve been much more impactful if it was only shown right before Han’s death. Maybe even make it so Han and Leia didn’t know that Kylo was Ben, instead having Kylo claim to have killed Ben before revealing to Han near the end that he was indeed his son (props to the people in the Screen Junkies spoilered review for that idea).
Overall though, it was an amazing movie, and I had a blast watching it. Thank you, JJ, and may the force be with you, Rian Johnson, who’s set to direct episode 8.