Star Wars Episode 7 - The Force Awakens

Star Wars Episode 7 - The Force Awakens

We've been anxiously waiting for the right time to post our review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We decided to wait until the movie had been released on iTunes and DVD and give everyone about a month to see it before we wrote our post. It worked out perfectly because we watched it on May the 4th which has come to be known as Star Wars Day!

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This is where we have to warn about spoilers and we are not kidding! We don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen the film. Even if you don't think you are a Star Wars fan or even if you haven't seen all the other movies, we think you will still enjoy this film. So quit reading if you haven't watched! 

I knew when I heard that J.J. Abrams was heading up this movie that it would be a good one. I was a big fan of LOST and even though I never really was much of a Trekkie, I like what he did with the Star Trek film series. I was also relieved that George Lucas wasn't involved in this movie. I feel bad saying that since it's his baby, but the prequels prove that he needed to let someone else take over the reigns. 

It was so much fun to watch all of the old movies and prepare for this new chapter. I was careful to not read anything online about it and I even stayed off of Facebook for a few days to protect myself from spoilers. As I was browsing through LEGO photos on Instagram, some jerk posted THE great big spoiler from the movie right there in his caption two days before the film even opened. I was so mad! Why do people have to ruin it like that? So lame!

With all that out of the way, I have to say that I completely enjoyed The Force Awakens. I guess time will tell how it all fits into the Star Wars universe, but I loved the characters (old and new) and it was filled with amazing action. The first trilogy from the 1970s was something special even without all the great technology of today. But it sure was fun to see a Star Wars story illustrated in the most dynamic way possible (so far)! Thankfully, the film didn't have to just rely on the effects. The plot and actors were great as well. And I can't stress this enough... Harrison Ford has still got it, even after all of these years!

I genuinely liked Rey and Finn and I hated Kylo Ren so I know the movie magic worked on me. I would have liked a little more of the older characters, but I also understand that they have to turn over the franchise to the younger folks. Han and Chewie are classics though and it felt so good to have them back for a time. I loved the small bits of humor woven into the film; Han snarking at Chewie "Oh, YOU'RE cold?" The Stormtroopers turning back down a hallway when they heard Kylo Ren throwing a fit in the other room, and Han telling the kids to "escape now, hug later." 

My only complaints? The Snoke character (image below) seems ripped off from Lord of the Rings or something. He seemed a bit out of place in the Star Wars world. And I'm a big Han Solo fan so you can imagine that I'm having a hard time accepting his fate. That one hurt! Even so, I give this movie high marks. I'm giving it 9 out of 10 stars. Well done!

Now on to Alex's review...

May Four Stars Be With Us: Episode VII: The Franchise Awakens.

So this is a newer film, and the spoiler warning still applies. I know I sound like a broken record, so basically, don’t read if you haven’t seen. Cool?

This film is really difficult to review on a continuity level, but we have a very good beginning set up in this episode. Given Abrams’ tendencies, that’s a good thing. (Why is the water in the temple brown, and how did it affect Sayid?)

The Character arcs for our protagonists are neatly written, and executed. Some people will complain about Rey being overly powerful, but don’t forget, she’s a novice at this stuff, and she’s not as aware of this type of thing as others.

Finn stands out, mainly because he’s terrified out of his gourd at the beginning, and grows into a more courageous individual as the film goes on. That’s the definition of heroism, right there. Being afraid and doing it anyway.

And Poe Dameron is an awesome pilot, and totally attractive, not to mention a genuinely likeable character. This is how one introduces the plotline, right here.

The whole thing boils down to It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World IN SPACE, but to be honest, that’s not a problem. Getting too complex was what bogged the prequels down, after all. And the simple plot allows for character establishment for the heroes and villains.

General Hux manages to sell the idea that a high ranking official in the First order can be intimidating and intelligent, something that even Grand Moff Tarkin struggled to accomplish.

The Stormtroopers have gained levels of skill as well, becoming accurate enough to hunt down many people, and in one instance, skilled enough to fight, and almost beat, a guy with a lightsaber!

But it’s Kylo Ren who manages to show the power of the dark side. He’s not trained as a sith, but he can freeze people and blaster bolts in place, and also read the minds of others! One wonders how such a person would turn out under full training.

Han Solo also turns out a good performance, but we don’t focus on him for long. He’s got a son, who he eventually confronts. This is Kylo Ren, AKA Ben Solo.

And I will be totally honest, the legacy characters aren’t utilized as much, mainly because they’re getting too old. But Han and Chewie are still good. Han even gets a touching moment with his son, where he manages to show a side of him we haven’t seen.

And then we see his death, because Kylo has just killed him with his lightsaber in an act of faked emotion. What a lowdown move! Rewatching this, my mom didn’t want to witness this action, it unnerved her. Finally, this generation gets its “I am your father” moment.

Cue epic lightsaber duel with Rey and Kylo. Oh, and this is taking place on a giant battle station, that’s basically the death star supercharged, in the middle of a dog fight to take the place down. I grew up on Star wars, and this still excited me! (~_~)

I can’t wait to see what happens next, but that’s later, and right now, we have to PREPARE TO WATCH ROGUE ONE, YOU GUYS! THERE’S ANOTHER MOVIE RELEASING DECEMBER THIS YEAR! Not going to lie, I am stoked!

 

The Force is Strong With:

  • BB-8. The character seemed shoehorned in during the marketing blitz, but they pulled him off correctly! Great job, Disney! Gold Medal!
  • The Starkiller Base Sequence is deftly choreographed, to the point that I counted off the time in movie for when the weapon would fire, and it was accurate to the point of being somewhat creepy. (Start timing when you hear “weapon charged in 15 minutes” and count how many times the dialogue in the film syncs up.)
  • Also, the piloting in this film sets a new standard for Star Wars piloting. Super sweet!
  • Rey is the type of role model we should be seeing in action films, and has an excellent backstory that makes her sympathetic. You kind of want to hug her after all she’s been through.
  • Finn is an even better character, and also incredible. The only issue he has in battle is being put up against even more skilled opponents. But it’s not for lack of trying. As for his character, how many of us can relate to what he’s going through?

If I listed more, we’d be here until December. Whatever’s not on Dark Side goes here.

The Dark Side Lurks Within:

  • Leia hugs Rey, a complete stranger, while Chewbacca is left to grieve Han’s death alone.
  • Phasma is wasted in her appearances, so I guess we’ll have to wait for episode 8 to see her in action.
  • Speaking of which, does Snoke do anything other than look menacing and holographic?
  • Per the Abrams formula, there are more questions than answers. We even get brushed off when someone explicitly asks how someone got Luke’s old lightsaber.
  • R2-D2 just seems to resume at complete random. It’s weird. You couldn’t have booted up before all the action happened?
  • New mercenaries that might be a threat to Han Solo are introduced, then killed in debut moment. What a waste of characters!
  • Leia isn’t leading the resistance as much as I’d like. And I know Carrie Fisher is old, but no mentions of other battles or anything?
  • Really vague ending. What is happening in that last scene?

The Jedi Says:

{Luke stares at you, battered by the elements of age. He has trained many, and watched many fall. In his eyes, there remains the faintest of light, surrounded by uncertainty. The look is one that has crossed your face as you’ve anticipated this movie. But you know him, and you know that light will overcome. You look upon the past leader, aged to maturity in the force, and you sense your own light returning.}

THE CALL OF THE LIGHT (8/10)

“As long as there’s a Comment Section, there’s hope!”

 

The Jungle Book - Disney Films Project

The Jungle Book - Disney Films Project

May the 4th Be With You!

May the 4th Be With You!