(BLOGGER’S NOTE: Occasionally, I just like throw random thoughts out there without worrying about putting them into a coherent article. When this occurs, I don the guise of…..The Rambler!)
In this particular edition, I FINALLY got around to watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. For a guy who grew up a Star Wars fanatic, surprisingly, I didn’t rush out to see The Force Awakens. I honestly can’t tell you why. Maybe it’s a hatred of crowds. Maybe it was the belief that the damn thing was going to be in theaters until I’m collecting Social Security. Maybe the lingering stench of the prequels dampened my enthusiasm for the whole franchise. Whatever the reason, I only recently sat down at Casa Davis and took in the latest installment on DVD. Here’s what I found:
So J.J. Abrams and company were given the keys to the kingdom and allowed to make their absolute dream movie, the thing their careers have been inexorably moving them toward since they were small children…and all they came up with was a half-assed remake of the first Star Wars movie?
Between what he’s done with Star Wars and Star Trek, do we need to reconsider this whole J.J. Abrams thing? Maybe he’s less Spielberg and more Michael Bay?
Let me see if I get this straight: Llewyn Davis, an alcoholic and a volleyball are the only things saving the galaxy from total collapse?
And what the hell is the political structure of this galaxy? Not that we have to get into trade union politics or anything, but a clear understanding of who the players are might not hurt. The original trilogy was easy: our good guys were a ragtag group of rebels and the bad guys were a bunch of space Nazis. Now we’ve got the First Order and the Republic AND the Resistance? Is the Resistance an arm of the Republic? Has the Republic been shattered? Has it not? What does the First Order control? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? Seriously, post-Saddam Iraq was easier to figure out.
Who the hell turns their back on the galaxy, all their friends, everything they ever loved…and leaves a map to where they’re going?
“Chewie, we’re home” was a nice moment in the trailer. In the movie, if he’d said, “Oh, HERE’S where we left the Millennium Falcon,” it would not have seemed any less contrived.
Hate to admit it: I found Daisy Ridley and John Boyega boring. Then again, I might have said the same thing about Mark Hamill if I’d been alive when the first movie came out.
Kylo Ren. Wow. One of the things that made Darth Vader great was just how unstoppable the dude seemed. After watching the first two movies, you knew he was going down, in some fashion, in the third. But admit it: you couldn’t really picture how it was going to happen. How were Luke or Han or Leia possibly going to destroy this unflappable killing machine? Calling him a bad ass was insult because he so far beyond that as a threat.
Kylo Ren spends the second half of the movie getting his ass routinely handed to him by two people who’ve never picked up a light saber before. How much is Ren’s eventual redemption (and you know it’s coming) going to mean when he’s not been established as much of a threat in the first place? The moment with Rey was particularly galling. She closes her eyes and says, “The Force…” in the same way I’d say, “Oh, THAT’S where I left my car keys.” Then she proceeds to lay waste to the movie’s villain. Seriously? The demolished Darth Vader helmet seemed more threatening.
A friend of mine said he was willing to forgive the film for that, since it makes clear that Ren’s training is not complete yet. Fair enough. But how good has his training been to this point when he gets his ass whupped by two people WHO HAVEN’T BEEN TRAINED AT ALL?! So far, all that Severus Snape-looking twit is good for is killing unarmed old guys.
So the Starkiller’s weakness is something called an oscillator. Really? That’s the best name they could come up with? The Death Star vulnerability was silly, but at least it involved flying through a trench. “Trench” has something of a disquieting feel about it. But an “oscillator”? That’s not a threat. That’s something my mechanic uses to gouge an extra fifty bucks out of me.
The first line of Episode 8 better be Luke saying, “Oh, you got my map.”
At this point, some sort of Jar-Jar Binks-related villainy or killing would not be out of line. (Maybe he’s actually Darth CGI or whoever the hell that dude was.)
All in all, I look forward to Episode VII: The First Order…Strikes…Back. (Dang.)