Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The time has come. Decades in the making. Star Wars has returned!

Mixed feelings swarm my heart when it comes to Star Wars in theaters. While unquestionably the entire f-ing series is a pop culture powerhouse, there’s always one question when a franchise returns to theaters: IS IT WORTH IT? One slip and you’ve ruined the entire experience. (I’m talking to you Terminator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Saw, The Matrix, Spider-Man, several X-Men movies, Planet of the Apes, Superman, Alien….geeze…this list never ends. But let’s especially not forget Star Wars the prequel trilogy!)

Could Mickey Mouse further destroy one of the best creations of mankind!?

Star Wars: The Force AwakensCould Star Wars further be ruined by…themselves? I love Star Wars to no end. My wife and I included several Yoda quotes into our vows. We were introduced to the public for the first time as Mr & Mrs to the Imperial March. I mean, come on! IT’S STAR WARS! But could it happen again? Could Mickey Mouse further destroy one of the best creations of mankind!? (Forget fire, flight, and all that other stupid crap. Useless.) I was excited from the get-go with J.J. Abrams. I trust him to create something solid and always above average. So the test of time came. My wife and I went to go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Force AwakensI need to set the scene. It’s Christmas Eve, exactly 2 years to the day when I proposed to her. (Yes, I did plan it that way.) She’s like 38 weeks pregnant and extremely uncomfortable. We get to the theater early, find our seats at the end of the isle. She hits the restroom twice just during the trailers. We use our heavy winter jackets to prop her up so she can muscle it through the movie. (And yes, she lasted. I married a devoted nerd.) The man on the other side of me eats all of his popcorn before trailer #2 and passes out. THEN HE SLEEPS THROUGH THE ENTIRE MOVIE! What an idiot. The lights darken and boom. The real movie we’ve all been waiting for since 1983 begins.

Star Wars: The Force AwakensCredits roll. (Quick movie!) And we sit there 5 minutes till midnight wishing each other Merry Christmas and discussing the movie. What just happened? Much like Joss Whedon had to juggle the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Abrams had to juggle an entirely different galaxy. I loved the movie. It did justice. It began a whole new trilogy separate but cohesive to the original. And every moment kept it’s suspension of disbelief (unlike a specific child actor we met in 1999). But it followed the very typical Hollywood outline for a successful movie. Every moment was…predictable.

I want another Luke staring into a dual sunset…

No worries JayJay. I got your back. There’s no way you could have reinvented the series while appeasing so many executives and generations of fans. I will add this movie to my collection and I will watch it with my son when he’s old enough to respect and enjoy the phenomenon. But it was very predictable. If this were a game of chess, you would have lost.

Star Wars: The Force AwakensI whole heartedly enjoy the parallels to A New Hope. The subtle nuances and audio cameos made by Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi did not go unnoticed. You did a great job. I don’t know if anyone could have done better. But my mind hasn’t changed.

SPOILER ALERT.

Star Wars: The Force AwakensHan died. Someone had to in order to make this movie worth while and to reinvest the audience into another trilogy. It’s like when you pop popcorn, what are you really expecting to happen? So when Han Solo walked out to confront his son (with better hair than Daisy Ridley) right over a 10 inch wide bridge, what are you really expecting to happen? I’ll tell you what I wasn’t expecting, Daisy Ridley looking like Kiera Knightley’s younger sister. Or Carrie Fisher to talk so much without opening her mouth. You know what else I wasn’t expecting? To actually enjoy BB-8. YOU CAN’T REPLACE R2-D2 BUT WE STILL LOVE YOU!

Star Wars: The Force AwakensOther things I was expecting: C-3P0 to still be annoying (but nice teaser with his red arm!) and the movie as a whole to be so much faster paced. I’ve talked about this in so many other posts. But it comes boiled down to new generations of movie viewers getting bored quicker so movies have to be faster paced and cut. No time to breath. I missed that in this movie. Just one shot that lasted a little longer with Rey would have won me over. I want another Luke staring into a dual sunset in the desert allowing the character and the audience to dwell in the moment. Just one! But I can’t fight it. I mean, this is the fastest movie to reach 1 billion dollars in the box office. 12 days to be exact. While outstanding, that race is becoming more political and a corporate wash of numbers. I’ll rest that one for another time.

In the end, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is exactly what the mass audience needed. Maybe not the niche audience that the fan base is so strongly revolving around but still a wonderful movie. Oh! One last note! Andy Serkis is becoming a more well known villain than Darth Vader! Am I right? AMIRIGHT? AMIRITE!!??

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