So today is May the 4th so May the 4th be with you. Today is usually a day to celebrate the Star Wars franchise but I feel we just did that this last December 18th. We can take a little time to reflect on the film series and its most recent entry. I promise we’ll get to celebrating Star Wars later in the day.
First off, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was very enjoyable. It was well made, well acted, and never boring (which is more than the prequels could say). But what is it everything I ever wanted? Was it flawless? No, absolutely not. There were a number of problems, many of which I couldn’t get past. Here are some of them: (Spoilers will Follow)
Too Little Backstory
I know that no one wants to be spoon fed basic plot. The audience doesn’t want to be treated like idiots. We can figure things out for ourselves through context most of the time. But we could have use more backstory in this case. Yes, this movie was the start of a new trilogy but it was also a sequel to a movie that took place 30 years in the past. I’m not asking for everything that happened in those 30 years, but we needed more than we got. What happened to the Empire? How long did it take to finish them off? Who’s the New Republic and The Resistance? How are they different? How big is The First Order compared to The New Republic? All these major players were new to us and we weren’t told much about how they came to be.
Too Many Callbacks
A couple minutes into the movie Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron says “We have company” calling back to Han Solo’s line from the original movie “Luke, we’re gonna have company”. I groaned. It was so cheesy and out of place. How would Poe Dameron know what Han Solo said almost 40 years earlier? Are we supposed to think it was just a coincidence? I shouldn’t haven’t been thinking about it all. That kind of shit takes me out of the movie.
I didn’t have a problem with the movie mirroring the plot of the original. History repeating itself, symmetry, it all made sense. But it was too close. Secret document carried by droid, in the desert, wanted by guy in a black mask, escape involving Han Solo, girl is held on enemy base, enemy base blows up planets, old man confronts bad guy at enemy base, base is blown up by X Wing attack. We all wanted a movie closer to the original trilogy but we didn’t want a remake which is what The Force Awakens was dangerously close to being.
Our Heroes Didn’t Get a Happy Ending
In Return of the Jedi, our heroes Leia, Luke and Han Solo pulled off a great victory. They had defeated the dark side and saved the galaxy. They all deserved a happy ending. And we all assumed they got one. The Force Awakens took that all away from us. Han and Leia did get together and started a family but their son turned out to be a murderous asshole. Luke attempted and completely failed at restoring the Jedi. Even C-3PO lost an arm. We all loved these characters and I don’t think I’m the only one who was unhappy that their lives all went to shit after taking down the Empire.
They Killed Han Solo and Luke Skywalker Didn’t Speak
When Disney first bought the franchise and announced Episode 7, I wasn’t sure I wanted it. But after the old stars signed on, I did as well. I definitely wanted to see what the old heroes of the galaxy were up to and I wouldn’t mind watching them saving the galaxy again. This was the main selling point to me, another movie with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. However, Luke didn’t even show up until the last 10 seconds and Han Solo is now dead. He won’t be in Episode 8 or 9. He’s fucking dead! I never wanted to see that happen. Why did you do that to me J.J.