Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Force Awakens Review

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that I enjoy Star Wars.  If you've been reading recently, you know that I was pretty excited for the opening of the newest installment of Star Wars.
My excitement started when I found out that George Lucas sold Lucasfilms to Disney.  While was a little leery that Disney would be a good destination, I was happy that it meant it was going somewhere where someone would probably tell George Lucas no on occasion.  While I have enjoyed all of the Star Wars movies, my two favorites were Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.    The thing that both of those had in come was that George Lucas was neither the director or the writer.  He had some say in the direction but he had other people doing the work.  I think that was the best of both worlds, he was still providing the ideas but someone else was carrying them out.
I did enjoy the prequels quite a bit.  While I don't think they hold up against the original movies, I felt that they had some parts with merit.  My biggest complaint was that the ending of Revenge of the Sith seemed rushed.  It almost seemed like George Lucas got about halfway into it and realized that Anakin needed to turn into Darth Vader.  So the part that fans had been waiting almost 20 years for felt hurried along.  One minute Anakin was an okay guy and the next minute he was hacking up young Jedi and there didn't seem to be a big impetus for him to do so.  And then there was the iconic scene where he dons the armor for the first time and he shouts out a comical, "NOOOOOOOooo!".  But for the most part I enjoyed it.
Now we get to the Force Awakens.  First Lucas announced that he was selling Lucasfilm and then Disney announced they were doing Episode VII (and others).  Then they announced JJ Abrams was going to direct it.  I was happy with that choice because I actually enjoyed the Star Trek reboots.  My only complaint there was that I wish they would have set it in the universe and used different characters but I guess I appreciate whey they used the familiar characters.  I didn't get really excited until I saw the first trailer....that hooked me.

Anyway, there are probably spoilers in if you haven't seen it...don't read.

 One thing I liked about the movie was that they introduced new characters.  The first one you get to know is Poe Dameron.  He is a really good pilot for a group called "The Resistance".  In one scene, I think he became a double ace.  The Empire reformed as something called "The First Order" but the New Republic didn't realize the threat.  The Resistance was a way to try and counter that threat.  It didn't have direct support from the Republic but there was some covert support.  While this character didn't get much screen time, he made very effective use of it.  I have a feeling he is going to figure prominently in the other movies.
 One of the main characters introduced was Finn.  He was a Stormtrooper that decided he didn't want to kill for the First Order.  Apparently he was kidnapped as a child and trained to be a Stormtrooper.  He ends up helping Poe escape from the First Order to Jakku.  There he meets up with *the* main character Rey (sadly I don't have a figure of her yet).  It turns out she is force sensitive.  The movie ends with her fighting the main bad guy...Kylo Ren (who is the son of Han Solo and Leia).
Apparently there is a group protesting because the main character is female and the other main character is black.  It is the opinion of this author that they are stupid.  They are both cool characters.
I liked the fact that they used existing character as bridge characters.  I was kind of upset over what happened to Solo but it made sense to the plot.  Luke only appeared for a couple of minutes but I figure he is going to figure prominently in the next movie at least (if not both).  I was really happy that there was no dialog in that scene, it didn't need it.  I'm not sure about Leia but I hope she's back even though people were complaining about her too.  Screw them I say.  There is enough stupidity in the world, we don't need to add to it by poking fun at fictional characters.
I will have to say that this particular series has been set up pretty well.

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