So, don’t say you weren’t warned. Warned about what, you might ask. If you really have to ask me that, you don’t read my blog much at all, do you? I’m going to talk about Star Wars, of course.
The Force Awakens was released upon the world on December 18th and is already making and breaking box office records.Undoubtedly, the question on the minds of most fans is was J.J. Abrams able to do it? Was he able to create a Star Wars sequel worthy of the name Star Wars and which would make up for the lackluster reception we all remember from the George Lucas prequels? I’m happy to report that indeed he was. In fact, I’m willing to say that J.J. fucking nailed it. The movie has everything that a good Star Wars film needs. It has an adorable droid, a set of villains that you love to hate in Kylo Ren and his Supreme Leader Snoke , and heroes who you instantly want to side with in both Rey and Finn as well as Han Solo.
Naturally, the soap opera inspired plotline still revolves around the Skywalker family’s extended tree. In The Empire Strikes Back we learned that Luke was the son of Darth Vader and Return of the Jedi told us that Leia was actually his sister. What’s left? This time around we learn fairly early on that new baddie Kylo Ren is also part of the family. He’s the son of Leia and Han Solo. Even more important is what Ren does in this film. During a pivotal scene we get to see him ignite his groovy cool light saber right through Han Solo’s chest, killing the aging smuggler. That’s right, its a pretty big spoiler and I just told you. Kylo. Ren. Kills. Han. Fucking. Solo. And it’s AWESOME.
The death of Solo in this manner solves two dilemmas: it gives the audience a real reason to hate on Kylo Ren and it answers Harrison Ford’s long ago request to George Lucas that he “just kill Han Solo.” Ford famously thought the character was “stupid” and he wanted out of the Star Wars saga as early as The Empire Strikes Back. Thirty years or so later and he got his wish.
Naturally, that’s not all there is to The Force Awakens, there’s still the issue addressed in the opening crawl: Luke Skywalker has vanished. Finding his is of the utmost importance, as the evil First Order wants him dead and Leia just wants him back. Much of the plot revolves around a map that leads directly to Luke’s location. This plot point has two problems for me. It’s a map that leads to a human being for one, and if he really wanted to not be found, why would he create or allow to be created such a map in the first place? Even if it was just a map to the original Jedi temple, how did the really know he was there? At the end of the film we do see new hero Rey climbing a seemingly endless flight of steps to find a cloaked Skywalker at the top. What if he’d stepped out for a sub when she arrived? Fortunately, he did not do this. At the very end of the film she reaches Luke and hands him his father’s light saber. Roll credits. This means that Mark Hamill, the undisputed hero of the Star Wars saga (I know that I wrote about the real hero being R2-D2) has no lines in the film and a whole two minutes or so of screen time. Come on, episode eight!
And just who is Rey, anyway? The heroine of this film is force sensitive, that much we know, even if she didn’t. She uses the old Jedi mind trick to get away from the First Order at one point in the film (in a scene with reportedly Daniel Craig dressed in a stormtrooper uniform) and has the most amazing visions when she first grasps the previously mentioned saber. Oh, and she pretty much beats the living shit out of Kylo Ren’s Solo killing ass too. Pure bliss in Star Wars form.
In short, J.J. Abrams’ take on the Star Wars universe is a success on all fronts and is a good movie. It’s probably a 9 out of 10 for a Star Wars film and a 10 out of 10 for just any old flick. I say go see it. You may see me there as I intend to watch this movie a number of additional times before it leaves the theater.