Saturday, January 2, 2016

Guest Post: Thoughts on Star Wars The Force Awakens (An Alternate Viewpoint)

Today I give you a guest post by my son who, as you can see, did not inherit the love of Star Wars from his mom. I'm sharing this because I enjoy seeing another side of things, and because I want to show that feelings I take for granted are not necessarily shared by all.  Perhaps some of you will also enjoy seeing another viewpoint.

Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It’s safe to say that I didn’t have high hopes for the new Star Wars movie. All I saw in it was a corporate scheme to make a quick half a billion at the expense of a cultural jewel. I was slightly irked when I heard that they we’re going to add another trilogy to a trilogy that was already three movies too long. However, I’ve been surprised by some of the new movies coming out lately, and I thought it would be at least entertaining and worth my while to keep up with the hype.

The major concern that I see among the brave few who are willing to criticize this movie is that it is simply a re-make of the original Star Wars movie. The protagonist starts out as a nobody living on Tatooine, cultivating dreams of seeing the stars while barely able to make ends meet until she meets a curious little droid. Sound familiar? She is then pulled away from her home planet when her village is attacked by the evil “First Order” who is searching for said droid. It’s by sheer chance that she ends up fleeing Tatooine in the beloved Millennium Falcon, and meeting up with Han Solo shortly afterwards, who enters the film, almost literally, right out of nowhere. The rest of the film follows the timeline of the first movie just as well, with Rey, our modern and more politically correct Luke, finding her powers slowly until in the end, she destroys the Death Star with her politically correct sidekick. Except for this time the Death Star is even bigger than the last two, The size of an entire planet. I can only imagine that we have but two more films to wait until we can see Rey fight off a Death Star the size of an entire solar system. Some people seem to like the fact that it’s the same story we heard three decades ago, but for me it makes for a very boring and predictable movie.

As I mentioned above, Han Solo’s emergence into the film is wholly unexplained, and far too much of a stretch for me to justify any other reason for him to have been included other than the nostalgic kick his character provides. Of course, everyone knows that there is hardly any other reason for Solo to appear, but I feel like they could’ve tried harder to make it less obvious. The character that bugged me more was Kylo Ren, who completely ruined the precedent dark mystere and confidence of the sith lord set by Vader. He came off as a whiny teenager with daddy issues who took his angst a bit too far.

The humor in this film was pathetic and distracting. Most of the jokes originated from Finn, who played the part of the cute, clueless black sidekick and they made me feel like I was watching a juvenile Disney channel TV show.

One thing that I can’t stand about these types of films is how incredibly unrealistic they are. The first scene that bugged me was when, Rey, a young and inexperienced pilot, is able to outrun and outmaneuver a trained New Order Tie fighter while flying an ancient broken down ship that she has never flown before. That’s too much to handle. Many similarly grotesque instances of good fortune take place throughout the film, but the worst was at the end when Finn, a lowly ex stormtrooper, is not only able to wield Luke’s light saber, but successfully uses it to fight off Kylo Ren, a sith lord in training.

All in all, this was one of the worst films I’ve seen in a very long time. The characters were shallow and not worth caring about, and there might as well have been no story line at all. By the end I felt like all I had done was give myself a headache by listening to an entire library of explosion and laser sound effects. I would barely feel justified giving it half a star.

And so, what do you think? Harsh, or justified? Let us know in comments!


  1. It was totally a remake of A New Hope. Basically, if you liked that one you'll probably like this one and if not, well...
    Loved the alternative view. I personally enjoyed the movie but I love having things pointed out for me so I can be a bit more critical.

  2. The Starkiller base was not my favorite part of the movie, either. Kind of dumb. The Emo Kylo Ren Twitter account (when not using questionable language) is hilarious and fits the whole angsty thing. (So is the Lonely Luke Skywalker! The Han Solo one is not as funny.) But for someone like Rey mechanics seem to come naturally (in the Before the Awakening book she spends a LOT of time repairing and then beating flight simulators she's scavenged from the huge battlefield left on Jakku ... they touch on that briefly but that could be part, one day, of telling Rey's backstory and why she was even left there?). Not the same thing as a real ship but then again she also obviously has some Force sensitivity). I don't know that Han was totally superfluous or unbelievable. If that was the first time the MF had been booted up in a while then Han could believably have finally been close enough to pick it up on a scanner. And I can't help but think his death will end up being a critical point later on (KR's story arc ... hopefully to be saved? I like happy endings. And hopefully to inspire Leia to do more in the next movie). But Finn was a soldier. He'd had lots of battle training as a stormtrooper (again, some of that is described in Before the Awakening ... which is not Grand Lit but it expands on the now canon universe). KR was a bit whiny in this one (no doubt he'll get less so and more EVIL before he gets better) so it felt to me like Finn and Rey (who, through sheer need, had already learned to master a staff ... not the same thing but close) could at least hold him off for a time. Finn wasn't entirely successful, was he. I just love that whole mythological archetype thing. But not everyone has to love it. Leaves more room in the theatres and collecting for those of us who do. :)

  3. Which son is this? I didn't read the whole thing because I just couldn't handle someone criticizing as harshly as he did something that I love so very much. Yes, I have my issues with the movie and I'm still working through my feelings, but I could never be this harsh with anything that has to do with Star Wars.

  4. I had never seen any of the Star Wars movies (on purpose) but my husband pulled the "This is all I want for Christmas" card, so we went to see the new one. I enjoyed it and thought it was entertaining but I asked the same thing - how did she fly that broken ship and when did it get fixed? And how come every time they ran anywhere, they let that droid lag behind? Surely he'd have been caught.

    After it was over, I said to my husband, "So, basically a bunch of people died fighting to find a guy who felt bad for himself and went to boohoo on a mountaintop? And it didn't even matter, anyway?" - His look of shock was real and apparently I "just don't get" it because I haven't seen the earlier ones (which I think is irrelevant to my point). Then again, my Start Wars knowledge is limited. Until two years ago, I thought Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers were robots and that Luke was Anakin's father and was very, very confused about who Leia was with, so there's that.

    And lastly, where were the Ewoks?

  5. Maybe a bit harsh, but I agree overall. The only thing that saves it for me is that it felt like the original trilogy, which was more than I hoped for after episodes 1-3 :)

  6. I agree that this was basically a remake of A New Hope, but COME ON! Your son and I cannot be friends!

  7. you are correct, this latest star wars ick-fest is the latest in the long sad relentless downhill slide that pretty much began with the third star wars, the one on that planet with the teddy bears or whatever they were back in 1983. the 'prequels' were so bad i only got threough the first one, half of the second and didn't bother with the third. this new money grab that came out just milked the hopeless star wars faithful out of more dignity and pocket money. sad. good review.



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