Monday, April 11, 2016

Once. Twice. Three Times a Jedi.

I have a long and complicated history with STAR WARS.  For example, when I was a kid I loved Ewoks, but now not so much.  Yet, Jar Jar Binks was so unbelievably annoying that he has made me appreciate those furballs from the moon of Endor.  I guess I could say that if the wretched prequels did anything right, it was to make Return of the Jedi, with its many flaws, look brilliant.  Well, that and Christopher Lee, especially during his lightsaber duel with Yoda.  That was a fantastic moment from Attack of the Clones.  

Believe me, I could blog on and on about the original trilogy and the prequels, and maybe I will someday, but right now I want to touch upon The Force Awakens.  Even though the film's twists and turns are probably public knowledge by now, I will try not to fall down the galactic spoiler hole for the sake of those handful of people who want to see it, but haven't yet.  Of course, as we fans know...there is no try.

The library's copy

I saw The Force Awakens, with my sister, the day after its opening.  All I expected was for it to be better than the prequels, which it succeeded.  A week or so later, I caught a matinee just so I could absorb the film more completely.  It held up to a second viewing.  Now, several months later, I borrowed a copy from the library for a third viewing.  It surprised me how much it held up on the small screen.

I got happy, feel-like-a-kid-again butterflies in my stomach when Rey first piloted the Millennium Falcon on Jakku, beautifully zigging and zagging over the desert landscape.  The enduring friendship of Han Solo and Chewbacca still brought a silly grin to my face, especially when Chewie hands Han the winter gear he, Han, had quickly discarded.  Even Snoke's obvious CGI appearance looked a little better on the small screen, though his ridiculous name continued to make me chuckle painfully, not that I should be too judgmental about character names -cough, Dinkel.  Oh, and I am very pleased that it appears BB-8 and R2-D2 are friends instead of having them be equally adorable droid rivals.

Now, I've heard the big complaint that The Force Awakens is simply a remake of A New Hope.  While I agree that it does borrow heavily from the original, it does have its own plot threads.  Yet, if you are as maladjusted of Star Wars geek as me, you would see Awakens borrows elements from The Empire Strikes Back (a father/son confrontation from a perilous height) and Jedi (knocking out the shield from the ground).  Not to mention that Jedi borrows heavily from Hope, so what goes around comes around.

All that being said, I want to take a moment and complain about a few things that bug me about Episode Seven...

1.)  I really miss the epic intro of the 20th Century Fox fanfare, but at least we weren't subjected to the Disney castle and Tinkerbell before, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

2.)  The insta-friendship between Finn and Poe feels forced, no pun intended, and therefore is based solely on plot, not character development.

3.)  Everyone is going around talking about the "Light Side" of the Force, which sounds silly and seems like a way to dumb down the concept.  Not so long ago, Luke felt there was still good in his father, not that there was still "light" in him.  

4.)  Leia and Rey hugging near the end doesn't make a lick of sense.  They have never met, as far as we know at this point, and Chewbacca just strolls by, blatantly ignoring the grieving princess, er, general.  Chewie hugging Leia would have made much more sense and had a deeper emotional impact.  

5.)  Where's Lando?

6.)  Where's Wedge?

Not Luke and R2

Ultimately, these are just my thoughts and opinions.  I could be wrong, but I could be right because, as Obi-Wan Kenobi was overly fond of saying, it's true from a certain point of view.

Freak Out, 

P.S.  I watched The Force Awakens with English subtitles and noticed that during Rey's lightsaber hallucination, Obi-Wan says her name.  

Very interesting...


  1. Nice job, John! You gave me a lot to chew on, next time I watch The Force Awakens. Like you, I've had a long, conflicted relationship with the Star Wars films.

    I was a huge fan of the original trilogy, but after the prequels and Star Wars "overload," I went on a 10-year moratorium of the movies. The Force Awakens, while far from perfect, helped rekindle that relationship. Hopefully, Episode VIII will fix a few things, while keeping the new momentum going.

    1. Thanks, Barry! II think the prequels and the special editions made it complicated for most fans.

  2. Now I definitely have to buy the movie and watch a third time.

  3. Now I definitely have to buy the movie and watch a third time.

  4. Excellent Blog, John! I really enjoyed it, and will have a different perspective when I see it for a second time. You're a master at this, John!

  5. I've seen some of the STAR WARS movies, but am more a STAR TREK person, myself because STAR TREK is real life and I love how the Klingons physical appearance evolves so quickly from film to film. They got some jazzed up DNA!

    1. I have the rare exception of equally enjoying both Star Wars and Star Trek, Billy, but I know what you mean. Plus, you are totally right about the Klingons!!! LOL!