I started writing a “short review” of Star Wars: The Force Awakens a few days ago and it started approaching 7,000 words and I decided to cut some things out and to split it into separate blog entries. I enjoyed the film immensely and just saying it was a 10 out of 10 is too simple to justify how good it is.
This entry is less of a critical analysis and more of a “OMGAWD I LURVES THESE PARTS THE BEST!”
Finn went AWOL from the First Order when he had a crisis during the slaughter of an entire village. The slaughtering was in response to Dameron Poe and his droid’s efforts to get information on Luke. Watching John Boyega sell this particular moment was great. He was sweating and anxious and his nervousness added an unexpected amount of tension to the beginning of the film. When you see it happen, you will understand. His departure from the battle and ultimate escape from the Order is both powerful and memorable, even though it isn’t a major thing.
This little guy added some fun to the film. From shocking motherfuckers who don’t comply to using a flame attachment to emulate a thumbs up, BB-8 is the most animated and lively droid in the galaxy. His importance in the film is legit and towards the end, when he tag teams with R2-D2 to show the location of Luke Skywalker, I got all misty eyed (I love these little droids). There is a moment in the movie where BB-8 finds R2, covered with an old, dusty sheet. He pulls the sheet off and tries to communicate with R2 and the little droid is sad to find out that R2 is in sleep mode (God damn I hope it’s not Windows sleep mode).
Who is this Chick?
Our first introduction to Rey is interesting and rather familiar. She is a scavenger on a desert planet with a penchant for understanding machinery. It’s what she is scavenging in the film that really got me going: A fucking star destroyer! She loads up her scavenged parts on her hover tractor thing and goes home. You know what her home is? a fucking AT-AT! She eventually bumps into BB-8 and then Finn (who failed to safely escape from the First Order). This meeting eventually leads to Rey making a new friend and her departing the life of slavery.
The Escape From Jakku
Of all the things that develop on Jakku, the escape of Rey and Finn via Han Solo’s seemingly derelict ship the Millenium Falcon was one of the most memorable escape/dog fight scenes I’ve enjoyed on the big screen. Here we witnessed the Falcon do what it does best: Fly awkwardly, crash into shit, shoot inaccurately and have shit break down at the most inopportune times. Rey and Finn struggle to get the clunker going, and they put forth much effort to just get the thing to fly straight. All of this while dodging and blasting Tie Fighters. Rey earns her pilot’s license and Finn gets props for not not completely shitting himself. Let’s face it, the Falcon hits the ground so many times in this sequence, it almost shatters the immersion. What the fuck is this thing made of? It was an old piece of shit thirty years ago!
Han and Chewie Return Unexpectedly
I did not see Han Solo and Chewbacca’s return to the film this soon and in this manner. As Rey and Finn make their escape with the Millenium Falcon, they are picked up by a large space freighter type thing? Low and behold, Han Solo and Chewbacca are transporting things, in particular, deadly, nasty, alien things. Of course, Han’s presence is closely followed by people who want to kill him because guess what? He owes people money. They get out of the situation by releasing those deadly, nasty, alien things that immediately begin eating everyone. Classic Star Wars stuff.
The Death Star to End All Death Stars
It doesn’t take long into the movie for the First Order to establish their villainous treachery. Cue the reveal of a new Death Star, but a hell of a lot bigger. The Starkiller Base (The name is an Homage to Luke’s original intended surname Starkiller) is actually built into the body of an ice plant and has the capability to suck energy from nearby stars, and launch that energy across the galaxy to destroy planets. The first time this weapon is shown, they destroy like five planets in one volley of shots. The stakes are known at this point: If the rebels don’t stop this thing, the galaxy is fucked. They do manage to stop it, almost the same way the original death star was stopped, except it was a lot cooler looking and more action packed.
So the crew ends up on Takodana, which is a planet opposite of Jakku. It’s really green and watery and I got flashbacks of Naboo and was semi excited that maybe we would see some Gungans! Nope, we get Maz Kanata and JJ Abrams’s effort to recreate the cantina from the original Star Wars film. The element and feel of the cantina is indeed interesting and is full of many different kinds of creatures. It’s also filled with spies from both sides of the war! Anyhow, all of this amounts to nothing. What is interesting is that Rey snoops around downstairs and gets near some of Luke’s old things and has some visions. Visions showing a mysterious robotic hand doing something with a familiar looking droid. It was a dark and ominous vision that culminated in us learning that Maz actually has, in her possession, Anakin/Luke Skywalker’s fucking lightsaber. Like how? All we get is a comment like “Oh, you’re going to have to wait until the next movie when we can spend 20 minutes on that explanation!”
Darth Snape’s Lightsaber Has Crossguards?
This is not a new thing. We new about the crossguards long before the film was released. What we never realized, however, is that Darth Snape’s bad ass red lightsaber with crossguards is a ratchet piece of shit. His lightsaber beam looks like it’s struggling to stay powered up. The crossguards, up close, look like exhaust fumes – and they are. The film does not venture into the explanation of why Snape is using such a shitty weapon, but watching the movie had me in a researching mood right after seeing it. My confirmation of this lightsaber came from a most unlikely source: An official encyclopedia book from Sam’s Club.
I was at Sam’s Club a few days ago and was looking at the books section and noticed that Star War’s books are suddenly all the rage. There must have been 20 different books – some were even “Learn how to count from 1 to 10” preschool books. The book that caught my eye was an encyclopedia book that has a diagram of Darth Snape’s lightsaber. It showed all of the components that made it, and explained how Jedi and Sith were required to create their own light sabers. Darth Snape’s lightsaber was created using ancient means and the power was hard to contain or something, and requires exhaust ports for the power. It also mentions that the lightsaber is poorly designed. Very interesting indeed.
Leia Still Loves Han Solo
Then she says “YOU CAN SAVE OUR SON!” And then….
Kylo Ren/Ben Solo/Darth Snape Murders His Father, Han Solo
What could be the “I can see it from a mile away” twist of the decade, watching Han plead with his son to leave the dark side behind was heartbreaking. From the intensity of the sequence and the look in Han’s eyes, it seems as if Ben Solo has been absent from the love of his parents for a very long time. While it is entirely too early for the film’s main baddie to turn to the light side, Han’s pleas were convincing enough, and Ben’s reaction was genuine enough to make me think “Damn, he may come back home with Han after all! Especially since the Uber Death Star is about to get its ass kicked.” Then instantly, the light saber pops out and through Han’s chest and he takes the tumble over the catwalk. Tears.
The Destruction of the Starkiller Base
The entire sequence of the destruction of this giant base was intense from beginning to end, including the aforementioned murder of Han Solo. However, more was going on in this event that applied a strong sense of urgency. Finn and Rey had to bring down the shield to the base. Han and Chewy had to destroy the weapon so that it could not fire. Leia had to organize a strike with her small fleet of X-Wings and what have you to do even more damage to the weapon. The entire time this was happening, the Starkiller base was absorbing an impossibly large amount of energy from a nearby star, which set a time limit on the mission. Even though the good guys stopped the weapon, one last momentous event occurred. One that should have Star Wars ding bats up in arms, but I just drank my Root Beer and cheered on the inside…
Rey Kicks the Shit Out of Kylo Ren
Okay, let me be honest. I don’t want my flawless, journalistic integrity to be questioned! Darth Snape was shot by a laser. It didn’t hit anything major, he just bled out a little. Sure, it probably hurt, but Darth Snape is like a total badass and pain shouldn’t be an issue for him, especially since he is so in tune with the force that he can stop a beam of light. While the Starkiller Base is crumbling, Darth Snape has one thing on his mind: Kill Finn and Rey. Stop them at all costs. He handily beats Finn’s ass and focuses on Rey. They have a pretty decent lightsaber battle which involves Rey “outforcing” Darth Snape by doing the ol’ summoning of the lightsaber trick. Also, during this fight, Snape recognizes how good Rey’s midi-chlorians smell and tries to coax her to the dark side. Kind of like Vader did to Luke. This whole fight has lead me to believe that Darth Snape and Rey are siblings, which I thought was neat. I still don’t buy, even if Rey has all this experience fighting with a staff (not a sword), that she still possessed the knowledge to defeat a war tested not-a-sith-but-totally-a-sith Darth Snape. I still found it really enjoyable, though!
Dat Ending Though…
Luke Skywalker is alive, he’s well and he is just standing there staring at Rey. From his eyes we can assume that Luke is gazing upon her with pity, that he believes she is about to endure many hardships. He realizes he is now Master Yoda!
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