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The Force Awakens Impressions [Spoilers ahead]

December 20, 2015

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I’m a bit sick right now with a fairly bleh…cold but I did indeed overcome my anxiety yesterday and managed to see The Force Awakens before the tsunami of this cold hit me. Hurrah! I’m going to split this up into, good, bad, and ugly.

Good

  1. Seeing Star Wars finally regain its form and being able to overcome my anxiety to see it. It was a little bumpy for me toward the end, but I made it through and enjoyed myself.
  2. Han Solo  I give Harrison Ford all of the credit in the universe for coming back to this universe and not only that, but actually acting and giving life to his role as a character on one last mission without a lot of time for bullshit. I also give him props for finally getting his wish and having Han Solo die. He will be very missed, but I really liked his performance.
  3. Fanservice – While the howls of complaints about this movie will be its obscene levels of fanservice, I actually enjoyed it. I don’t necessarily think fanservice is a bad thing because it only exists for fans and shows that the people creating it cared about the fanbase enough to include it.
  4. New Characters – I found Finn and Rey to be very enjoyable characters with nice backstories that were easily relatable. Finn has lost his identity. Being a stormtrooper since basically he was in the cradle, he never had an identity of his own and then he saw what he’d have to do to remain in the New Order and a spark of humanity entered him. and he decided to flee and just gave up any hope because he saw how brutal the Empire would be and knew that fighting them was a lost cause. But he found Rey, who had hope and desire for her own identity and sought it out–however, she didn’t initially like what she found.

Bad

  1. Kylo Ren/Ben Solo – I need to get this out of the way because it’s been bugging me since yesterday: He’s a poor excuse for a villain and is only noticeable for following the Rule of Cool. Why am I so harsh on the character? Well, I have absolutely no problem with Adam Driver’s acting because I liked that, even if it is a bit hokey at times, I think he handled the part fairly well. No, my problem is that his successes in this movie were against an 86 year old Max Von Sydow and Han Solo who’d let his guard down and Poe and Rey while they were strapped down. Other than that? Dude got his ass kicked by a turncoat stormtrooper that seemingly knew how to use a lightsaber after never seeing one up close and a novice Force user. I don’t know how soon the events in The Force Awakens take place after Ben Solo took his first steps toward the dark side, but he’s an awful, awful fighter.
  2. Finn Uses A Lightsaber -This is probably going to come down to whether you think adhering to this too seriously is silly or whether it’s not. But having him use a lightsaber kind of cheapened the mystique for me. Not just using it, but staving off Kylo Ren until Rey entered badass mode and kicked his ass. I know why they did it, but the series has always established that only Jedi could use one effectively.
  3. Shrill Commanders – I wasn’t too keen on the Imperial commanders in this. They were just grating needlessly.
  4. Superweapon/Too much retread – Quick! What’s Kevin J. Anderson known for in the Star Wars universe?! Bzzt! He was known for his ridiculous use of superweapons. I get it: You need a threat that will galvanize the heroes in their fight against evil. But did it have to be another superweapon? Ahem…another sphere shaped superweapon? Wasn’t the quest for Luke Skywalker enough of a draw? Again: I get it and hey, the weapon was pretty terrifying, but enough with the superweapons already. It’s like the Empire is worried that it can’t win fairly. Which brings me to my other question…
  5. Resistance/Republic?  Why make those two separate entities? I can understand if you went, “The Republic has a peace treaty with the Empire and can’t be seen supporting the fight against them.” Just that little blurb would’ve made things make much more sense. And if there is an answer like that and it was explained, let me know in the comments.

Ugly

  1. General/Princess Leia – I’m going to seem like a dick by picking on Carrie Fischer’s acting, but it was…not…good. She never seemed invested in her part, to me. Maybe that’ll change in the sequels, but it was just not there.
  2. Those Tentacle…Things – Yeah, that was a pretty fucked up scene, but kinda fun. Kinda makes me feel sorry for the hapless souls that were a part of Han’s crew when he hunted them down.

Overall I think it was a pretty great film and I liked seeing Centerpoint Station in a movie–c’mon…Starkiller base? No, Centerpoint Station. The only thing missing was Thracken Sal-Solo mucking up the works and the twins: Talus and Tralus. On that I agree with my friend. And was that Coruscant that was destroyed because it sure looked like it. This movie was basically The Expanded Universe: The movie for me because it included a lot of elements from  the stuff that was thrown away so casually by Disney. One thing I was really happy about: No Mara Jade. At her best, she was a mildly interesting character and at her worst, she was a Mary Sue for Timothy Zahn. And with that, I’m done. I eagerly await Episode VIII and what’ll happen from there. Hopefully it’s just as good.

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