January 5, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and oh yeah, the new people

People love Star Wars. Like, spend a year of their lives building a replica Millenium Falcon out of LEGOS love it. Seeing as I waited until last week to watch the entire series for the first time, I am clearly not one of those people. So I'm not going to get all emotional about what this film was or wasn't in relation to the other six.

Was it eerily similar to the previous movies? Yes. Do those similarities extend beyond the plot into details like casting a Keira Knightly lookalike (you know, Keira Knightly being Natalie Portman's uncredited body double in the movies and all), putting a rebel in a leather jacket, and recycling every ship already created? Yes, yes, and yes. So it's not the most original movie out there. But for the sixth sequel in a series started almost 40 years ago, it was certainly entertaining enough.

I don't blame J.J. Abrams for the movie's shortcomings, like so many others have. Instead, I choose to focus the bulk of the movie's shortcomings on the casting of Adam Driver. He's terrible. Even with his face covered for the majority of the movie, just knowing it was his bad acting hulking underneath that black cloak was enough to annoy me. I dislike him so much I can't even watch him as a bad guy we're all hoping gets killed. Even Anakin Skywalker didn't annoy me this much, and I sat through 3 movies of his bitching. Ugh.

On the other hand, I know Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have been catching a lot of flack for how old they looked in the movie, but I'm glad they were there. If you're going to make a nostalgic throw-back to the original series, then it should include the original people (assuming they are A. alive, and B. not doing anything better). Without them, this story bridge into new, younger people would've felt sort of forced and unnatural. Like episodes I-III. And kudos for Carrie Fisher responding to the trolls on Twitter who criticized how hold she looked because honestly people, let's see how great you look in 40 years. Sheesh.

In the end, the movie is probably exactly what people wanted, no matter what they say about it. Stray too far from the original (like I don't know, casting a person of color in a main role?!?) and people lose their sh*t; follow the original too closely and people complain it's not different enough. Personally, I love seeing someone--anyone--not related to the freaking Skywalker family incorporated into the movie, but I suppose then Disney couldn't merchandise them quite as well.

TL;DR You can't win 'em all.

Final word: Some new technology beyond BB-8 and a souped up light saber would've been nice, but entertaining nevertheless.

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