The first Star Wars movie in 10 years, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has a lot to live up to. Is it successfully not terrible? It is garbage (like a certain ship?) Did George Lucas go see it in Obi-Wan cosplay so as to remain incognito? Welcome to Trekabout Presents The Force Awakens.
Warning: spoilers abound.
To be fair I’d consider myself lit crit savvy, and I thought Bathos was made up too. Hah.
It kind of was. It’s not a real Greek term so whatevs.
Theory: Maz is either someone Luke had trained, or an /old/ old Jedi.
Then again, maybe she was just a friend of some Jedi at some point.
Regardless, she’s cool. I hope she returns.
Starkiller Base is a serious misfire. The plot, I think, ought to have stayed centered on finding Luke?
She’s Jar Jar in disguise!
The implication I got from the Republic was that it was the closest thing to a true galactic government, but one that lacked the political support/civilian infrastructure/political allies to maintain total war on the imperial remnants, and have to console themselves by supporting a series of proxy wars. More could have been done (if this head-canon is true) to illustrate how the resistance planets feel equally abandoned by the Republic and the First Order.
And, uhh, I guess you could use this to justify how we only see X-wings and (modernized) Tie Fighters: The resistance is stuck with civil-war surplus and make do with multi-role strike craft without specialist support; the First Order focused all its creative energies on wonder-weapons. No idea why we never see any ground vehicles. Also no idea why the resistance is so well organized and clearly has an inter-planetary framework, that doesn’t make sense. And why is the resistance nothing but X-wings. Like seriously, it’s literally nothing but X-wings. Not even any Y-wings, or B-wings or infantrymen, JUST X-wings.
Kylo Ren was cool. I think a big part of his skit was that, unlike Anakin who needed healthy relationships but refused them, Kylo needs healthy relationships and is looking for them, but in a self-defeating way. He’s less “raaaaaaaaaa, anger!!!!!” and more “I’m going to do things the way I know how until I can figure stuff better.”
To illustrate, as he kills Han, he’s not actually capable of doing it until he tricks Han into re-framing the scene. He allows Han to go from a father figure gently chastising him, to a weak aggressor trying to steal something preciouos. He consciously manipulates his emotions, his father, and his situation to give himself the strength he seeks. And that is the coolest side of the Sith we have ever seen.
Last big thing is: it had too many fight scenes. Why was it all fight scenes. And why are they always escaping explosions by inches? The original trilogy felt like it had auspicious and unfortunate comings and goings guided by the hand of fate, this one feels like it has “welp, the plot needs this now, and let’s explosions”.
Overall, it was, fine? We’ll see? It could be awesome?
WHY ARE THEY CARRYING NERF GUNS NOW FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
This comment is actually making me appreciate Kylo Ren a lot more, because it’s kind of making it clear just how many directions Kylo is being pulled in at once. It’s part of why I’d like to see a more nuanced take on Dark Side/Light Side–which I think this trilogy is actually capable of–because of the in-universe debate over whether or not someone can be redeemed from the Dark Side. There are, frankly, examples of it both ways: Palpatine and Darth Maul were never, ever going to become good guys; they’re incarnations of destructive power used for its own ends, and have fully embraced the Dark Side.
Anakin, on the other hand, is able to find redemption, partially because his intentions were good if misguided and easily led. It’s a triumph of Catholic forgiveness over Calvinist predestination: Rather than evil deeds being seen as proof that the soul was damned from the start, they’re actions that one can repent;
So yeah–I really did like the scene of Kylo Ren struggling with his inclinations towards the light, almost a reverse of a monk praying for strength against more worldly temptations: Kylo Ren has a conscience, and Voldemort has twisted him into thinking that’s a bad thing.
I mean that’s one of the defining bits about Han Solo in the original–he protests that he’s only in it for the money, but when push comes to shove, his conscience bears that out and he comes through and plays the hero. In a way i think that’s what Han Solo is counting on, when trying to talk Kylo Ren down–he’s living proof that you can back down from doing a shitty thing and do the right thing after all and make it look even *more* badass, still keep your street cred. (“But son, wouldn’t it be cooler to DEFY the First Order…?”) It’s a moment of making a deliberate choice to be Kylo Ren instead of Ben Solo–maybe almost a hope that it’s too unforgivable of a sin to come back from.
I do think it would be somewhat foolish for this series to not believe in redemption, though!