Sunday, December 20, 2015

FRESH FROM THE THEATRE: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

Back in 2011, when I started this blog my first real review was "Why you should enjoy Star Wars Episode I, II and III in spite of public opinion", and I still stand by what I wrote and I love those movies. They are guilty pleasure for me, and for a lot of people, with awesome music and good actors. Deal with it :D anyway, it has only been four years and here we are, with a new story. I have just seen it with a dear friend of mine, I'm sorry to say there will be spoilers, so if you don't want it ruined, I suggest you skip this review and come back when you have seen it!

It is Episode VII, Luke has disappeared and the First Order is after him to destroy the Jedi's for good. One of their stormtroopers gets away with a pilot of the Resistance, Poe Dameron, and they end up on Jakku, the former meets Rey. Both are guided by BB-8, a droid who holds a map fragment to find Luke. During their attempt to escape the First Order they encounter Han Solo and Chewbacca, who takes them to the Resistence, but after an ambush Rey is taken by the First Order and one of their leaders, Kylo Ren, tries to get the information out of her. The First Order has in the meantime perfected a weapon that has the the power of eight Death Stars and while on a rescue mission to get Rey the Resistance enables their weapon. Rey faces Kylo Ren and she sets out to find Luke.

Before Episode III came out I held an all day marathon to rewatch the original trilogy and my first idea was that they could - easily - continue the franchise with the three main characters, just put the story 30 years later and use them to introduce the new characters! And when they did exactly that I had a heartattack... I was very curious to see what will happen and I refused to think too much into it. If I were to come up with my own version I would've been disappointed (remember movie adaptations? It's a curse to think ahead...), so I just had to wait. And wait I did! And disappointed I was not :D

The Bad:
I want to start with what I didn't like because I want to get it out of the way soon. This was a great Star Wars movie, but it wasn't the best movie ever made, ever. To begin with, Finn at first was bad at everything and then got better, which is nice, but it seemed to me that he should've been a bit clumsier even the second time that he wielded a lightsaber... Knowing who Kylo Ren is and his power it seemed simply foolish to me that he would challenge him - even if in that situation it would've been hard to just run away. Still, you immediately recall that Rey had that stick and she's got skills with weapons of this kind. Moving on, not enough Leia and not enough Captain Phasma! I loved that we have a strong female protagonist, but damn, MORE! Give us more of that! I do, however, get that this is the first movie and well... this was really a nice twist but very-very similar to the New Hope... so much so that this is almost the same movie. People might hate me for this, but when they brought up the schematics for the Death Star and compared it to that planet I just thought: this is gonna be the same ending and unfortunately it basically was... and not just the ending, calling it Jakku is very nice, but that planet was really a smaller version of Tatooine. With Rey, we have someone skilled who is clearly in the wrong side of the galaxy and thanks to a droid carrying a message for someone else, she is saved from her dead-end life. Sounds similar? I don't mind watching the same film, because I have no fear that this was on purpose, but a sand planet... I think they could've been a bit more creative there.

The Good:
Everything. Why did I begin with the bad?Because I am aware that this is just the first movie! There is so much more to go! And what I mentioned above are really minor things, but you know what? There is no perfect movie - it doesn't matter if I had those couple of problems because it is nothing that cannot be fixed. Moreover: I did not feel that it was two hours long and I liked the setup and I liked the characters. What really sold this story to me is that I could feel the love behind the scenes. The director, the cast, the crew, they are all fans who care for their source material and care for what they are giving us. I did have criticism, but trust me, if a movie leaves me thinking about it 5 hours later, it doesn't matter if I am nit-picking, that is still one f*cking good movie! I liked every character - even the clearly neo-nazi blondie dude - as well as the antagonist and every protagonist. If you watch episode I, II and III you'll notice that sometimes CGI takes over the story and the characters get lost, here they made sure to have as much action as character development and with all the comic book movies out there that yell ACTION, ACTION, ACTION, I really needed focus on the little guy as much as the plot, and I got that, and this is what made it a good movie! Not to mention that a little robot expressed more emotions in just a couple of scenes, without talking or facial expressions, than some stories have in 90 minutes! He was done brilliantly!

Trying to guess what is next - as in, what I think will happen:
Who is Rey? I know there are a lot of books and comics that tried to expand this universe, I'll be honest, I barely know any of them. According to my friend there is a version where Han and Leia had twins, and well we do have two people who can use the force here. Still, the movie seemed to hint that Rey is Luke's daughter, with the "That lightsaber was Luke's and his father's before him", and it is calling her now. And, overall, I think Leia could never leave her in that place, while I think Luke, for the greater good, could. I'm not calling him a worse parent, I'm just saying that he is driven by something else than Leia is, for example; and Leia missed her son, as she mentioned it in every single scene she had, while Luke disappeared on them...
I need to, however, point out that there is a problem with this logic as well. When did we establish that the force can only be passed on by blood? I mean... all those Jedis of the Republic didn't have Jedi parents! Jedis were not allowed to have children at all! To me the logic that someone who can use the force has to be a Jedi's child is simply stupid. Rey doesn't have to be Kylo Ren's sister, nor cousin. Remember all the younglings Anakin killed in Episode III? They were skilled children who could be taught the way of the force. Why can't Rey be just like that? Another youngster who does have potential in her, but isn't necessarily a member of this one God forsaken family... Not to mention that we don't know anything about her family yet, it could be and will be important, but to me it isn't obvious yet. AND I LOVE THAT. We don't know what's going to happen and I adore that!

All this having been said, see it? WHAT?! ARE YOU SAYING YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! WHY ARE YOU READING THIS? GO-GO-GO!!! Watch Episode IV than V, than II and III and finally VI and have a great evening at the cinema! Happy f*cking holidays!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _ 

Finn - John Boyega
Poe Dameron - Oscar Isaac
Kylo Ren - Adam Driver
Han Solo - Harrison Ford
Leia Organa - Carrie Fisher
Chewbacca - Peter Mayhew
Supreme Leader Snoke - Andy Serkis
General Phasma - Gwendoline Christie
Luke Skywalker - Mark Hamill

1 comment:

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