Sunday, January 03, 2016

Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Pro's and Cons - Spoiler Alert

If you're a well-read, or well-watched, sci-fi person, Star Wars is the lightweight of the genre. There is no getting around that. ,

It has had much more impact than other offerings because it was able to find an audience larger than any of them before it, and even since, maintains it's own type of loyalty. George Lucas will tell you it it is because it is a widely appealing action romance that just happens to be in space. This is what allows it to overcome some serious shortcomings in plot development, and twists.

The Force Awakens demonstrates this, both with it's popularity now, already becoming the highest grossing film in history, and it's content.

To judge it as a shrewd sci-fi fan is not fair, it was born into a world, nay, CREATED the worlds in which we compare star fighters for their performance, and alien species dialects. Star Trek dragged a cart down this road, Star Wars put it in hyper/warp speed.

Star Wars lives on it's entertainment value.
That's what I am writing towards, after letting it all settle in for a couple weeks.
  • New characters
    • Poe, Ray - these are good characters, good young actors, and hold some promise.  - Pro
    • Fin - I really like Fin, and he is a good addition to this story and theme, but why did they have to be so lazy bring him in. I cover this in further detail below, but realized as I edit that I forgot to mention him as a character. 
    • Kylo Ren/ Ben Solo, not sold yet. The character premise itself bothers me because he very much feels like he's been dropped in, and a thought I had in the theater seat was 'Wow, they could actually pull two films out of his training and turn just like they did for Anakin in Episodes 1-3. ' The actor, I had to look it up after the movie to make sure he wasn't Nick SImmons, son of Gene Simmons, except that he looked a lot like Nick back when they were doing the show, ten years ago. I am not sure how I feel about how awkward looking he is, the actor, but I suppose he does have some chops, so in my edit I am calling this a half-Con, still not buying in 100%.  - half -Con
  • Technology, used correctly, polish this up very nicely. I will probably go back to see it again soon, and looking forward to just enjoying the visuals, which they took full advantage of. - Pro.
  • Han Solo getting killed -
    If any actor and character deserve to do a victory lap, and just enjoy playing a character they know well, on film, Harrison Ford and Han Solo do, and this was what this felt like to me.

    There were clear times where he seemed to be just reveling in the fact that there he was shooting off his laser, fighting in spaceships, at his age, after all these years. You see other actors that do it, The Lethal Weapon movies after 2, Oceans 11+, Rocky and Rambo, and maybe a little in Indiana Jones.
  • If they are following in the form of Obiwan for Han, that is fine for me, it was surprising, and made me gasp out loud. The death was not convincing. He could have gone into a vent, like Luke did, or survived in any number of other ways, which is also fine with me. - Pro
  • Parallel's to Stars Wars (aka A New Hope)
    • It starts on the same world, with a cute but different droid than R2D2. They work their way through the galaxy, and in the first big scene, Obiwan/Han dies. It's been long enough since the first offering that this seems both an homage and offering up slightly better chops to keep us guessing. - Pro
  • Just happening to bump into Han out in space? Yeah, what can you say, it's a small universe, right? - Indifferent - Trekkie level concerns. Some happenstance is necessary for plots.
  • The switch of Fin - 
    • Let's get this straight, he is a lifelong storm trooper, then his buddy gets shot and dies, leaving a red Monster Logo on his helmet so we can track him, and this makes him despise fighting so much he goes to the other side with the very guy that killed his buddy, to whom he professes love not 30 movie minute later? Lazy effort that falls short of even below trekkie level attention - Con
  • Ray's sudden knowledge of the force -
    • Accepting that her brief flashback reveals that Luke was her father and that she has the lineage, how did she immediately adopt the mind control rhythm when never showing it before? - I can accept it.

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