Almost two weeks after its release (a release I drove two hours to see in IMAX at 10:00 pm on a week night), I finally have the time and mindset to give what I hope is a review that will bring balance to the fans, because while several love the film like the Jedi love the light side, the dark side has some pretty strong (and at times valid) complaints. Beware though, reading leads to spoilers, which will in all likelihood lead to hate and suffering.
Now, I’ll start first by repeating something I sent in a text to a friend who asked for a non-spoilery review which wouldn’t over-hype the film:
I’d regret giving you false expectations let’s just say that the force is strong with this one and being frozen in carbonite is the only excuse not to see it in the theater.
I still feel the same way. I don’t want to over sell this because any time a movie has been (in my estimation) over sold by fans I’m left with buyers remorse. That being said, even if you’re going to find fault with Episode VII (and you can in some places) with all of the practical effects creating CGI-free cinema magic, there’s no practical reason to wait for it to be on DVD.
Now let’s start with some of the best bits before we get to some of the not-so-best bits. First up, Luke Skywalker! If Disney did anything right it was the marketing (of the movie… not every frakkin cross promotion that was on my TV screen every other commercial). The posters and trailers all had fans asking where was Luke? It perfectly prepped us to watch as GENERAL Leia (love that she’s a general), Han Solo and the Resistance searched for him.
Speaking of the Resistance everyone’s swooning over Poe Dameron or sighing every time BB-8 (or as I like to call him R2-FIFA) rolls onscreen. And who can blame them? I might not be an Oscar Isaac fan, but I can definitely see the attraction.
I can also see the attraction to a certain patricidal former padawan. Yep, that’s right, I get why fan girls think that Kylo’s hot! Why you ask? Is it because he’s like a Sith version of Loki with a mask instead of a golden helmet (basically power, ambition and daddy issues)? Maybe.
But I like to think that it might just be because watching him stop a laser blast in mid-air with the force on Jakku is bad ass. I’d find little fault with him if it weren’t for his scene with Rey giving off a creepy mental rape vibe, until she turns the tables on him.
Speaking of bad ass, and Rey, let’s talk about how awesome she is… how ridiculously awesome. She can fend for herself, fly the Millennium Falcon and handle herself with a Sith who (despite some temper issues) has epic control of the force. A lot of people are complaining that she’s TOO powerful, and others are complaining that they don’t know who her parents are.
A lot of people think that maybe with her quick skills in the Falcon’s cockpit along with a couple warm fuzzy moments that she’s Kylo’s twin. However, neither Leia nor Han acted like this was likely. Others think that with all her power, and Luke’s lightsaber calling to her that she must be a Skywalker and not a Solo. Finally, others, like myself, hope that she’s not of the Skywalker lineage. After all if wielding the force is all about who your family is then that’s not much of an awakening. If she’s from someone else’s family (or even like Anakin without a father), then it feels like more people can use the force, rather than it potentially dying out if Rey and Kylo never find someone and procreate. Honestly I’ll accept either explanation as I’m sure any of them end with her being left on Jakku for her own safety after Kylo decided that the dark side was more fun, completing his journey by killing his father.
Continuing with the complaints I can’t tell how I feel about Han’s death scene. In some ways I loved that I could feel it coming. As soon as he separated from Chewie in Star Killer base I somehow knew it was all over, and yet knowing it was coming took some of the emotion out of it.
Also… could we have gotten less “Nazis in Space” and more Captain Phasma?!?! Everyone made a big deal about a black stormtrooper, but a woman as a stormtrooper, equally awesome!
On that note, while most of this happened WAY before the movie came out, I hope any and all that complained about having a black stormtrooper have gotten over it after seeing how awesome Finn was defecting the way he did.
Though, I have one complaint about the fans themselves, everyone keeps wanting to draw paralels to Finn with his blood smeared helmet to Simba… but all I wanted to scream in the theater was WILSON!!!!!!!!
Now, I’m not turning to the dark side. Overall I think that the movie was well put together, was amazing to watch (again and again) and certainly redeems the series from the prequels. I can once again be excited to show my future padawans something more than the “original” trilogy (and by original I mean as close as I can get until Disney does some special non-edited release). However I hope that questions of Rey’s lineage can be wrapped up in Episode VIII, so that episode IX can focus on the fate of the galaxy, not someone’s father.
What were your thoughts on Episode VII? Let us know in the comments!