Great movie, but it could have had a better title
than “The Force Awakens” – perhaps Déjà vu?
George Lucas created something great back in 1977 with Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and then the following episodes of V: Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi were each good movies. The prequels each fell short as they had a completely different look and feel to everything along with the very poor choice of introducing the character Jar Jar Binks. It was almost as though George Lucas himself didn’t actually understand the universe he had created. Before even being released, it has created an air of excitement Lucas was basically out and that J. J. Abrams would be steering the new ship under Disney.
When Episode VI was being made, there was talk of calling the movie “Revenge of the Jedi” but they went with “Return of the Jedi” as a true Jedi should not be seeking revenge. Well you can argue all you like as to whether a Jedi “should” seek revenge, but the better question would be; “could” a Jedi seek revenge? The answer would be yes a Jedi could seek revenge but not without opening himself up to the dark side. Falling short of what one should do and dealing with the consequences would have been a better storyline and would have better laid the groundwork for a future struggle (Episode VII) as there is always going to be a future struggle.
*SPOILER ALERT * SPOILER ALERT * SPOILER ALERT * SPOILER ALERT *
If you are still reading and you have not seen the movie, I would urge you not to go any further…
Which now brings us to that future struggle and it is genuinely difficult for me to say any bad about this movie except that the title just doesn’t sit well with me. The Force Awakens? Seriously? Did it go to sleep? It did seem a bit bizarre that the two main characters (Finn and Rey) have no training whatsoever and Finn goes from space station janitor to wielding a light-saber as though he was a master. The Force is strong with Rey and I’m guessing she is also going to be blood relative… perhaps Luke’s daughter? But how does she go from being a scavenger to understanding how to utilize Jedi mind control? Other than the Force awaking in the one Character of Rey, there’s not much evidence of an awakening otherwise.
One of the things which did make this a great movie to watch, is that it went back to the feeling of Episode IV but at times all most too much so. We begin with someone of importance being captured by the Empire but just prior to doing so, places their important information in a droid they send off (sound familiar). When the Empire learns of the droid down on the planet they go searching for it (familiar again) and as our main characters go on the run, they escape the planet on the Millennium Falcon (familiar again). The chess set gets turned on briefly… there is a bar scene much like the one in Episode IV… Han Solo doesn’t really want to get involved but he’s just been cornered by someone looking to collect on a deal he’s cheated them on (familiar again). Oh yeah… and there’s a new and improved Death Star and X-Wing Fighters have one spot they have to make certain they blow up in order to destroy it (familiar again).
In Episode IV we really didn’t realize how much the character Obi Wan Kenobi mattered – had episodes been created in order we would have all felt a much greater loss of the character… so… a main character dies in Episode IV and… this is where I have to say that perhaps the name should have been:
Star Wars VII – Way Worse than Glenn (Walking Dead fans will get this)
There were so many cheers in the theater tonight… but there was that moment… you could anticipate it as you instinctively knew it was coming… and the theater couldn’t have become any more silent only to have the silence broken by the heartbreaking scream of a Wookiee…
With all I read about Harrison Ford being the most difficult to cooperate in regards to reuniting the original cast, I was actually expecting them to give him a way out. I was thinking they would just write up a scenario of a graceful exit just in case he didn’t want to return for another episode, but the moment Han began walking out on that bridge to meet his son, I said to myself; “oh no… they are going to kill him off!”
Perhaps the best thing about the movie was that it didn’t seem to end. If J. J. Abrams and Disney intended to just make one box office smash, they would have included Luke Skywalker. For the character of Luke to not have a single word of dialog in the movie and to end with him just being found… there is no way there will not be an Episode VIII. Hopefully they will give it a more appropriate title.