One Teeny Critique about The Force Awakens
By Caity, Event Liaison at Bookmans Flagstaff (Take it up with her.)
Okay. Deep breath. Maybe enough time has passed that everyone who cares has seen the latest chapter in Star Wars universe? In case you are one of the 10 people who have not witnessed this cinematic extravaganza, this post contains the most giant festering spoiler of spoilers I will write for Bookmans.com. Additionally, this sentence serves as your big greasy warning that my opinion of the film may not match yours. That is okay, don’t freak out. People are different. This is one reaction in the vast sea of thought and opinions pertaining to this one film. Read on for one Bookmans employee’s review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens–just one person’s opinion. You’ve been warned.
From the get-go, The Force Awakens entertains. The effects feel and look like the original trilogy, far surpassing their prequel predecessors. The introduction to new characters is fresh while affectionately tipping its hat to the rag tag group of heroes we fell in love with 40 years ago. Audiences appreciate the nods to the original trilogy and that filmmakers don’t completely ignore the unpopular prequels. Continuity reamins intact. For the most part, our old faves return and the new generation of Star Wars characters are franchise fits. Among these characters, a few actors stick out as truly great and carry the film. The hottest intergalactic stud in all the universe is still Harrison Ford. Ford’s Han Solo-ing in The Force Awakens includes flimsy blaster holding and (!SPOILER!) a send off both heart-breaking and perfectly executed. Newcomer Rey is a kick-ass addition to the cast. I can’t wait to learn more about her background and where she’s headed.
As for the bad guys…
Kylo Ren, played by cat look-alike Adam Driver, is a bat **** crazy, believable villain. I love the original movies, but I will say this; Darth Vader, for all his baddy, bad guy-ness, is flat. We never learn why he is bad. The prequels don’t offer an explanation as to why Anakin Skywalker threw a tantrum and flounced to the dark side. (Read more about it here.) Vader is terrifying, but the best villains have heart-breaking back stories that shed some light as to how they got that way. Ren clearly battles with dark and light throughout The Force Awakens. Both sides of The Force are at war within him. He’s conflicted. The movie hints that Ren was seduced by the dark side and the ominous Supreme Leader Snoke, but I don’t buy the whole one side or the other scenario with regards to The Force. It’s refreshing to have a character in the Star Wars universe reflect that.
Behind Ren is the planetary oppressor known as the First Order, a tyrannical government that rose from the Galactic Empire. There are obvious similarities between the fictional First Order and the actually villainous Nazi Germany. Abrams says the Order is inspired by the possible but not proven clandestine Nazi escape network called Odessa. The vast army of storm troopers, crisp military uniforms, flags and banners waving a stark red and black emblem, as well as the angry passionate fear mongering speeches made by a white guy, are unnerving.
Here goes my beef about The Force Awakens. (Please refrain from propelling produce, rotten or otherwise.) I promise, I’m a good person. Do we need another Star Wars? No. We certainly don’t need a gender-bending, fan fic version of A New Hope. Sorry, J.J.
If Abrams created a completely new story, I would have hated that too. There is a huge fandom with regard to this franchise, and so much nostalgia surrounding us that nothing can compare to episodes 4, 5 and 6. More importantly, there is a specific Star Wars fan. If you don’t fit within that mold, you’re “not a real fan”. Don’t believe me? Read any comment section on any post on any platform in all the web-o-sphere that mentions these films. I know that’s sad. We are all nerds here, and what makes being a nerd so great is that we get to unapologetically like what we like. Even so, The Force Awakens is entertaining. Even so, I will watch every film pertaining to “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away” for the foreseeable future.
What did you guys think of Episode VII? Tell me in the comments below, but remember be kind and respectful to your fellow nerds. Bookmans firmly takes the stance that you like what you like and that includes all things Star Wars in general and The Force Awakens specifically. Bookmans almost always has Star Wars films and collectibles. Stop in any time and grab your piece of this pop culture phenom.
Hey! How about that last scene, eh? That was the most powerful staring contest I’ve witnessed on the big screen!
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