Two whole months since I last updated this blog? How is that possible? Well, it MIGHT have something to do with the fact that I’m wrapping up my novel and that’s taken up the majority of my time, so there haven’t been too many chances to blog.
(That and the 143 hours I spent getting this pup. Moving on…)
So…perhaps the biggest pop culture event during my two month break was the release of the latest STAR WARS film, The Force Awakens. It premiered a month ago today, and while I’m far from a hardcore fan (seen the movies but don’t own them or anything Star Wars related) I was seduced by the surrounding hype and decided to see it shortly after release day.
And I thought it was GREAT! At first, that is. When I saw it the first time, I loved the new characters and was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen next. On my way out of the theater my initial review boiled down to one phrase: “Epic as F***.”
(Until I received this bag on my doorstep.)
But then some time passed, and I thought about the movie a bit more critically, and soon realized that The Force Awakens is not a good film when you get right down to it. Why? Because to be frank, so much of it doesn’t MAKE SENSE and so much of the plot is just a bit too CONVENIENT for my tastes.
So I’m going to hold up the magnifying glasses and shed some light on the issues I had with the film. And in the interest of time, I’m going to ignore the fact that it leans heavily on nostalgia (as a non-Star Wars fan I don’t care) and dismiss the whole “everything will be made clear in episodes 8 and 9” nonsense, because it’s really a faith-based rebuttal.
(You’ve been warned, ya filthy animals.)
I’ll start with Rey, because she’s my biggest gripe with the movie. Now this is nothing against the actress Daisy Ridley who portrays her; she played the role well and from the interviews I’ve watched she seems like a down-to-Earth and professional British girl.
But Rey is not. In the trailer for Force Awakens it opens with Maz Kanata asking “Who are you?” and Rey answering with “I’m no one.” And you know what? I couldn’t have characterized Rey any better myself. Rey has:
-No last name
-No friends or family
-No formal training / or a teacher
-No experience off her home planet of Jakku
And yet…she’s perfect at everything. Seriously.
Did I mention she’s a tenth degree black belt in the Force even though she hears about it for the first time like…30 minutes into the movie? Yup, she sure is. She goes on to do Jedi persuasion and Jedi telekinesis (stuff Luke Skywalker couldn’t do until Return of the Jedi) in just this film alone.
The only POSSIBLE explanation for this being legit is that Rey is secretly the love child of Luke Skywalker and Superwoman and by episode nine she realizes her heritage and can split atoms by snapping her fingers and blow up Star Destroyers with a flutter of her eyelashes!
(Although I must admit that would be cool to watch.)
Next up is Finn, played by John Boyega. Again, no problems with Boyega’s performance (his American accent is flawless) and he seems like a super funny dude from what I’ve seen of his interviews. However, the character he portrays is a contradiction.
In the film, Finn leaves the First Order (the bad guys) because he was ordered to kill a bunch of people on his first time, and well…ya know…he just wasn’t feeling it. Fine. So he becomes a pacifist, right? He goes into the mountains of Tatooine and becomes a peaceful hermit, similar to Obi Wan Kenobi, right? RIGHT?
(I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH THIS)
It just doesn’t make sense for Finn to leave the bad guys because he’s opposed to violence but has NO ISSUE slaughtering their Stormtroopers and ships left and right without a hint of remorse.
But I couldn’t see past the hype and razzle dazzle of STAR WARS on my first Force Awakens viewing, so it didn’t hit me. Now it does. And part of that is because of this film’s PACE.
I always define pace as “the rate at which events unfold” and they do so QUICKLY in this film, leaving no time for the audience to think critically, because OH MY GOD THE FIRST ORDER HAS FOUND US (AGAIN) AND WE NEED TO RUN, RUN, RUN!
(“Interested in how I got this lightsaber? Too bad it’s time to leave!”)
For a first viewing a fast pace is good because it sweeps you up in the action and leaving you breathless. But…this is Star Wars and they could have slowed it down a TAD to explain some stuff. Like who Rey is (see above) and where did the First Order come from?
But these are just a few of my gripes with a movie I DID enjoy, and even saw twice. There are a few other problems I’d like to explore but I’m out of time. And yes, it’s possible everything will be corrected in episodes 8 and 9, and I do hope so, but we’ll have to wait and see.
VERDICT: The Force Awakens, while a lot of fun at the movies, falls apart the instant you hold a magnifying glass to it.
That’s all for today. If you liked this post be sure to SUBSCRIBE by email and if you saw the Force Awakens feel free to share your feelings with a COMMENT below.
See you next time,
J. F. Seegitz