Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Awww yeah! It’s out, the next installment in Star Wars! I will try to have a non-spoiler section and a spoiler section.

For the non-spoiler section, I’m not sure how much I could say. The feel of this is much closer to the original trilogy than the new trilogy. Lightsaber battles are more low-key, which makes sense as the only Jedi left wasn’t trained to fight like the original Jedi. It’s actually pretty great to watch since less flipping is needed.

It is a lot less about politics. In fact, there’s pretty much no politics, just people in over their heads trying to fight the new enemy, the First Order. It does bring back the sense of mystery and intrigue about the Jedi, though I have no idea how well that would work for first time viewers. For everyone else, it does feel more mystical. Though I still think it’s ridiculous that the entire Jedi ways have been reduced to myth in just 18 years or something.

Its grand and awesome. The main thing I liked the prequel trilogy for were the action scenes. This one feels just as much about the characters and their struggles. So, if you want to have the feeling of the original trilogy, this will give it to you.

 

 

Spoiler Section

The bad parts of the movie for me was that it felt way too much like a greatest hits remix of the original trilogy. Want a cute and useful droid? BB-8 is your guy. Want a giant mouth with tentacles? Got that. Want a planet destroyer? It’s back, bigger than ever with scatter shot, now. Want father/son facing off against each other? It’s here. Want yoda? We have that scene at the end and a mysterious female cantina owner. Oh yeah, want a cantina? Have some music, too.

Now, does any of that make me not like the movie? Not in the least. All of the scenes are actually fun and work really well. I just hope they explore new stuff starting in the next movie.

Also, I am disappointed at how little Captain Phasma did this movie, and then they left her fate ambiguous. I’ve read she will be in the later movies, but I would have liked a scene of her and General Hux picking up Kylo Ren.

Also, Kylo Ren is certainly no Vader. What would be potentially interesting is to see him grow more powerful and dark as ther series goes in a similar way the main characters will certainly get more powerful. So Kylo Ren is more of a mirror journey rather than starting out as an unstoppable force.

Now for the good. Pretty much the movie for a Star Wars fan. There are great space battles, blaster battles and lightsaber battles. Jedi are a rarity and the force is magical again. And that baton Storm Trooper, man, that baton Storm Trooper.

As of right now, I think Finn is the more potentially interesting character. He’s not the force sensitive one! That was an awesome move by the trailers to misdirect us, but now, what will he do? He’s a former member of the First Order and that kind of character has not been explored before.

I just really want Episode VIII to explore new ground. Even the political rise of the Emperor was new in the prequel trilogies. But this is a return to form for Star Wars, and it’s great to see the gang back again.

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