Star Wars. The New Hope Awakens.
Oh that's not the name of the movie? You could have fooled me.
STOP. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. I WARNED YOU.
I went into this movie expecting to be disappointed and came out with a solid "meh" rating of it overall. It's a solid movie, enjoyable to watch, some neat characters and effects that aren't too overdone. If I was rating it on a 1-10 I'd give it something like a 6 or 7 maybe. But, I don't think this was a great movie. In this post I'm just going to vent about some of the things I didn't like about the film. And also then going to mention a few things I did like.
Plot holes and things that don't make sense.
In no particular order
- The death star knock off uses suns as energy and the light fading during the final fight is shown as what happens when the weapon charges it's lazuh. So why, during the first firing of this weapon, is it daytime?
- In the age of space flight, they can't take a piece of a map that has stars in it, and match the constellations to find Luke? Really?
- Why wouldn't Luke take R2-D2 with him? Oh right, so we can conveniently have a way for Rey to get to him at the end without having to think hard.
- Fin is shown at the beginning as being horrified by the violence of the first order and this is the driving force for him running away. But when he's escaping with super-pilot man, he has no trouble killing all of his former co-workers in the hanger. Uh... Ok?
- Han complains about the falcon being a dirty ship and they go to Motts (or Moz? I don't know) to get a new ship or smuggler to bring Rey and Fin to the resistance. But then he still uses the same ship after and that the falcon shows up on radars really well isn't touched again (even when they jump onto the planet and magickly no one on a giant military base detecs anything)
- Why the hell is the resistance called the resistance? What are they resisting? It's been what, 20? 30? years since the RotJ, and somehow even though we've established a new senate and a new republic we still need a resistance against the First Order? Huh? Shouldn't we be just calling them the republic fleet?
- When Ren is interogating Rey, why the heck would he take off his mask? This did nothing for his torture and removed the sense of fear and mystery about him.
- When Rey and Chewbacca fly away at the end it amazes me that the wookie is able to happily sit next to her and fly away. Why? Because the wookies best friend just died and he should be grieving. I mean, at this point Chewie and Han had been friends for what? 50 years?
- What is the lifespan of wookies, and why isn't Chewie greying yet?
- Does Ren have some type of motor in his side? How does him hilariously punching himself in the side during his fight with Rey help with his bleeding out slowly from a gunshot wound problem?
- Reeeeal convenient how the earth splits up and seperates Ren and Rey in their final fight so we have a bad guy for the next movie.
- How did Rey beat a Jedi-turned-bad who was trained by Skywalker and apparently slaughtered other Jedi or something when his training went bad?
- Is Rey just so stupidly powerful with the force that she doesn't
need any training? I mean, she does the jedi
mind controlsuggestion trick with no training, the only force-ish thing she's done her entire life is resist Rey's interogation. Huh? How? What?
- How did the super-duper pilot, whose name I keep forgetting, get back to the resistance? When he was captured didn't the order take his belongings in some kind of regular prison thing? And he somehow managed to survive an entire day laying face down in the dirt without some Jakku vulture creature picking his body for a meal?
- How does Ren have Vaders melted helmet? Luke burned Anakin at the end of RotJ, why would he hold onto a melted helmet and then keep it in a jedi temple?
- How the hell does one Aim a space shotgun? And what controls those beams to break off and hit each planet once they exit out of hyper space?
- This movie is a knock off of a New Hope that didn't have an original plot and is an excuse to make more money.
- What was the catalyst for Rey to stop being naive? We understand from her conversation with Han's friend Motts/Moz/whatever that she was basically abandoned on Jakku but still clings to hoping her family will come back for her. There is no single moment in the film where we see a reason why she decides to go to Luke at the end rather than going to Jakku to continue moping. I mean, yeah she just fought a Sith, escaped from a giant explosion, and been interogated by space Nazis, but she seemed pretty content before to say screw it! and go back to Jakku even after the market she goes to everyday was raided and blown up by them.
- The light side of the force is now seducing Ren? What. The. Fuck? Ren is one hell of an angst burger.
The movie's plot is "A New Hope's" mixed with a bit of "Empire Strikes back" plot. Allow me to point out some of the recycling:
- Both movies begin with a low opening shot of a space ship with the bad guys storming something and an angry sith being evil.
- A droid is given something important and thrown out to an isolated planet.
- The droid is found by an orphan.
- Orphan escapes from a desert planet via Millennium Falcon
- While the protaganists are off doing something to try to get the secret droid information to the rebels/resistance, the bad guys blow up something with their big weapon.
- Our orphans mentor dies by the sith while defenseless
- The big weapon has one weakness and we've got to send out three squadrons to blow it up, borrowing from RoTJ, someone has to go down to the surface of a planet to disable something to make this effective.
- Old Jedi master lives on a deserted planet and will train the orphan.
The movie follows the same formula as "A New Hope" nearly to a T. The entire time I was watching I was thinking of this:
Kylo Ren is a crap bad guy
Yup. I said it. Knock off Darth Vader? Who's thin and un-imposing in pretty much everyway. Who goes on angsty rages and smashes up computer consoles in front of Generals like a spoiled brat? And I'm supposed to be afraid of this guy? Why? Storm troopers know to avoid his hissy fits as shown in the part where the two soldiers hear him smashing things and walk away.
I know he's young, dark side ridden and idolizing Darth Vader for some reason we're never told but will probably make it into the 2nd film. But if he's been through enough Jedi training to slaughter his way out (shown vaguely in the flashbacks when Rey touches the lightsaber) Shouldn't he be a bit more, I don't know, composed? His sith character is just a knock off of angsty anakin from episodes 2 and 3. And just like that character, I'm not given enough reason to care about him by the film.
Removing his helmet all the time is silly. All the cool stuff he did before? Stopping a blaster bolt in mid-air and holding it there (coolest part of the movie right there by the way), holding down Rey's gun shooting hand via force? Ruined by his angry tantrums and young, teenage face. When Darth Vader's helmet was removed in RotJ it was a humanizing moment, central to the redemption of his Character. When Rey removes his helmet and we see his face for the first time it's for... what? So Ren can discover her Jedi powers? So Ren's knows not to be afraid of this kid who's the same age as her? Does Ren just remove his mask because Rey whines about it? Why the hell does that matter, he's supposed to be torturing her. How does removing an unknown and source of fear from his interrogation help his cause? It makes no sense.
Also, if two people who've never held a lightsaber before can fend you off. You're just pathetic. I mean, come on. I always thought lightsabers were hard to fight with since there's no weight like a sword to feel where the blade is to help prevent you from stabbing yourself. It's why the Jedi had training with it, I suppose Luke's just a crap teacher or Ren was a really bad student.
The things I liked about the film.
- The light saber duel wasn't a flash piece of perfect coreography like episodes 1-3, they actually had raw emotional depth of the characters trying to kill each other.
- The humor in the film was pretty good, I felt like the very first bit was improper for the scene, but the rest of it was good.
- The shout outs to the older films, trash compactor, game of dejarik, were nice easter eggs for sure.
- The music was good, as was the cinematography.
- The scenes were easy to follow and not "dense" like episodes 1-3
- They seemed to actually use real special effects rather than green screen everything in a sterile environment, this also helped make the acting believable.
- The characters had personality.
And that's pretty much the only thing that stood out to me as particularly noteworthy and as improvements over the last trilogy they made. I'm interested to see where it goes and what episode 8 and 9 will bring. But I sure hope they get a bit more original. I mean, Luke & Leia, Ren & Rey? Anyone else think they know where this is going?comments powered by Disqus