(Actually, it's more like an "early-bird post," because it doesn't look like I'll be able to do a post this weekend due to the craziness that is the holidays.)
I think it's stupid that I've been waiting a whole week to review the movies that I see on the weekend, and I saw Star Wars both Friday (with my dad) and Saturday (with my dad and my brother).
So, from now on, whenever I see a new movie over the weekend, you guys get a bonus post (or in this case, an early post) called Monday Movie! Hurray!
There seems to be two camps whenever someone does a remake or a sequel to a classic: the "This thing sucks so bad I'm so disappointed how could they possibly deface the original they may as well have shot [insert original director's name here] in the face" camp, and the "This is fantastic! They made an amazing thing even better!" camp.
I am squarely in the latter. :)
(Which is kind of disappointing, because my uncle always ends up in the former, so it may very well come to blows on Christmas and someone's gonna get a bloody nose, someone's gonna cry, and someone's gonna call the cops. Again.)
Full disclosure: I've only seen the original Star Wars and the disasters that were the prequels once each (though I think I've made up for it by watching the Family Guy parodies a dozen times). I'm only 20, I've had college to deal with, and frankly I've always been partial to Star Trek. Spock is simply fascinating.
That being said, it was very easy to recognize the style, storyline, and characters in The Force Awakens. They even used the old-fashioned scene-changing technique (and of course they used the original soundtrack).
Normally, this is the part of the post where I talk about everything that annoyed me, poke fun at it, and then go on to the spoilers. Usually this has to do with how the creators marginalized the women, and maybe a few racial minorities, too.
...yeah, I got nothing. Finn (the Black storm trooper turned Resistance) was awesome. Rey, the female lead, was amazing. And badass. And smart. And Harrison Ford was so snarky and funny and a perfect Han Solo (he gets more smartass with age; I love it). The villain, Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver)...wow. Terrifying and commanding and sexy. Reeeeeally sexy. He looks so good in black, like ten feet tall and slim, and the voice. Sweet mother of God, the voice...
No, wait, I got a problem! But it's a spoiler (R2D2 does a Deux ex Machina in the end).
There's also Rey learning how to use the Force way too quickly to be realistic, and successfully using it against Kylo Ren (who's had years of training) just seemed odd. Then again, Luke Skywalker picked it up unnaturally fast, too.
Also Kylo Ren makes some very strange decorating choices...
That's a bold look.
Still an amazing awesome movie everyone should see and my uncle is an idiot.
Similarities and differences between the originals and the sequel:
Original: R2D2 is chased across the galaxy because it's carrying a message from Leia to Obi-Wan.
Sequel: BB8 is chased across the galaxy because it's carrying a map to Luke Skywalker (who's missing, and everyone wants to find him, either to kill him or to pull him out of retirement because the galaxy's going to shit again).
Original: Luke Skywalker is Darth Vader's son (hopefully that's not a spoiler for any of you).
Sequel: Kylo Ren is Han Solo's and Leia's son (oops).
Original: Darth Vader actually did his job and did it well, while the British officers f***ed everything up.
Sequel: The British officers do their job and do it well. Kylo Ren's the one to mess it up.
Original: the Storm Troopers suck. They can't hit the target, they can't fight in close quarters, they have no personality...
Sequel: the Storm Troopers are BA. Finn gets his butt handed to him by a random ST who recognizes him as a traitor and has an electrical club of sorts. The only reason Finn didn't die is thanks to Han Solo.
Original: Darth Vader cuts off his son's hand (one of the many reasons he doesn't get Father of the Year).
Sequel: Kylo Ren kills his dad, Han Solo. And yeah, it sucks, but you see it coming a mile away. Why else have the two come face-to-face on a bridge above a giant pit unless you're going to chuck a body down the pit? And you know it can't be Kylo Ren who dies because then who's going to be the sexy bad guy in the next movie?
The Deux ex Machina with R2D2 happened at the very end, when all's said and done but we still don't know where Luke is, because BB8's map is incomplete. But then R2D2 "wakes up" (it was in low power mode and essentially off-line ever since Luke went missing), and looky here! It has the rest of the map! (Seriously?)
The best quote was Han Solo's (no surprise there), when they're breaking into the bad guy place (essentially a Death Star on steroids), and Solo thinks to ask Finn what his job was as a Storm Trooper, anyway, and Finn did sanitation. He doesn't know how to drop the shields they desperately need to drop, but don't worry!
Finn: "We'll figure it out. We'll use the Force!"
Han: "That's not how the Force works!"
It's a sad day when Han Solo knows more about how to use the Force than everyone else in the room.
The best scene was at the end when Finn and Rey run into Kylo Ren in the woods, and Rey gets knocked out (temporarily; at least these writers understand how a concussion works). Finn and Kylo Ren square off, and I'm okay with this, because Rey's already been awesome and can chill out as a damsel for this one scene.
But Kylo Ren beats Finn and slices open his back like a candy wrapper, right around the time Rey recovers and gets her hands on a light saver.
And then Rey kicks Kylo Ren's ass.
And it was glorious. :)
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions, concerns, or requests for future blog posts that you don't want to type in the handy little comment box down there, just contact me and I'll get back to you. :)