Sunday, January 10, 2016

CRES Special: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review


Sorry for disappearing last week. I have a lot on my plate right now, namely with my Testing for my next Black Belt rank coming up, which includes writing several multi-page essays about various topics. However, this week I'm going to give you guys something different. See, I've just returned from watching Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and I figure I might as well put my thoughts out on the internet like everyone else. I know I'm late to this party, and I really don't care. But here is my impromptu review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens split into a Non-spoiler section and then a Spoiler section.


Did you see A New Hope? Well here is Another New Hope.
If you want my quick and dirty opinion about the movie is it this: This is an okay movie. It isn't an abomination like the entirety of the Prequel Trilogy, nor is it anywhere as good as the Original Trilogy that the film is trying SOOO hard to be. Because let's face it, the movie is pretty much A New Hope all over again. A droid (This time BB-8) is carrying Data that the evil force (This time a remnant of the Empire known as "The First Order" for no explained reason) and the good force ("The Resistance" who oppose The Order, I think). That droid ends up on a Desert planet, found by a youth living on said planet (This time Rey, who apparently can do anything even if it her first time attempting it) and ends up trying to get said droid back to the good force with the help of an old wise man (This time Han Solo) and there is a Super-Weapon (The "Star Killer") just for good measure. The only real difference is that the dashing Ace Pilot disappears early in the movie and doesn't finish the Kessel Run in 12 units of measurement.

Now if you view it as just an action film, it does it's job just fine. There is plenty of action and pretty cool set-pieces, and you won't find yourself bored for too long during it's duration. And there are several cute little moments between characters that are funny or charming that while don't really feel like it's Star Wars, isn't distracting enough to be counted as a negative. HOWEVER, once you finished watching the movie you will begin to reflect on things that where happening too fast to catch the first time around. And now that I'm slowly starting to piece things together the less this movie makes sense. The overall drive in the story is to find Luke Skywalker who went missing some time ago, and both the Order and the Resistance are trying to find him. Why? Never really explained. What else isn't really explained is the role the Resistance has. Is it a separate group from the New Republic? If so why? Why doesn't the New Republic just take action against The Order, especially since they just built this massive "Star Killer" that the movie states DWARFS the size of the Death Star. However, more problems exist within the Spoiler Section.

SPOILER SECTION

Okay, the first and most persistent problem with this movie is the contrivances. Now, BB-8 running into Rey, that's fine The Hero get's their call to action. Finn, having just crash landed his TIE fighter, ends up within a stone's throw from Rey and BB-8, that's a little TOO convenient, after all we are talking about a PLANET. Rey, Finn, and BB-8 runs into the Millennium Falcon, what an AMAZING coincidence that one of the most well known and RECOGNIZABLE vehicles in the Star Wars universe just so happens to be on a backwater desert planet where our heroes are. Then the Millennium Falcon runs into Han Solo and Chewy, that's even MORE amazing that the two War Heroes of the previous movies just so happens to be hanging out around here. And then after the entire gang makes a pit stop at the "Not the Mos Eisley Cantina" Rey finds Luke's Lightsaber. Okay, that is straight up BULLSHIT! How the HELL did Luke's Lightsaber end up here where Rey just so happens to find it. Not only that this is Luke's BLUE Lightsaber from A New Hope, you know the one he was holding onto when his HAND GOT CHOPPED OFF AND FELL DOWN THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF CLOUD CITY BACK ON BESPIN IN EMPIRE STRIKES BACK! HOW THE HELL DID ANYONE GET THAT LIGHTSABER! If it was Luke's old LightSaber shouldn't it be his Green Lightsaber from Return of the Jedi. HUGE FREAKIN' PLOT HOLE THERE!

Also, way way WAY too much of this movie is just "Here is something from the Original Trilogy." I already said that the story is pretty much A New Hope, but the similarities don't end there. Our Old Mentor, Han Solo, gets killed by our new villain, Kylo Ren, (HEY! I did say this was the Spoiler Section) and our massive Super-Weapon get's taken out by a handful of X-Wings that where doing a trench run to blow up the one Magical Weak spot of the PLANET SIZE WEAPON! Yes, a PLANET SIZE WEAPON! I know the Death Star was ridiculously huge being the size of a small Moon, but the Star Killer being an entire planet is some Gurren Lagann shit right there. What are they going to use in the next movie and entire SOLAR SYSTEM! How did the Order build that? And why did the Republic do nothing about it during it MASSIVE construction?

And they aren't just ripping things from A New Hope. Early in the movie we have Rey piloting the Millennium Falcon through a wreaked Star Destroyer in much the same way that the Millennium Falcon was flying through the Death Star at the end of Jedi. Over the course of the movie we visit "Not Tatooine," "Not Hoth," "Not Mos Eisley Cantina," "Not Yavin," and then "Not Hoth" again. At least "Not Degobah" at the end of the movie is the Scotland Highlands rather than a Swamp. And finally we have our protagonist and antagonist, Rey and Kylo Ren.

Rey... Rey is a Mary Sue. She has no character to her, no motivations, no arc, and no real drive for her character. She spends most of the movie just wanting to go back to her dust ball of a planet where she is working for barely any food for the junk she scavenges off of wreaked Imperial ships. Why does she want to go back? I mean, every other character in the movie is stunned that her first chance to get off of that planet and she wants to go back to that bare bones existence. But what is worse is that she seems almost TOO capable at everything she does. She's a excellent pilot, she can understand droid and Wookie, she is an excellent fighter, engineer, marksman, and when she discovers she is Force sensitive immediately picks up on how to do Mind Tricks on people like it's the simplest thing in the world.

And then you have Kylo Ren. When I first saw him I thought he was a poor man's Darth Vader and was trying WAY too hard to be cool and threatening. Yes, him stopping Blaster Bolts in mid air for long periods of time and paralyzing his foes with the Force and even do some Mind Reading while his at it does make him seem powerful. But both as a character and as an idea, he just feels like a Darth Vader fanboy trying to emulate his hero (or villain in this case). It is definitely a new take on a villain, but as the movie went on I just felt less intimated by him, which is not what I should feel especially if he is suppose to be the villain for the entire Trilogy. I mean, it's kind of pathetic that our main villain gets beaten by two people who have NEVER used a lightsaber before in their life, especially since he is suppose to be this trained Jedi warrior before turning to the Dark Side. I've heard some argue that he was injury and that's why he didn't kick their asses, but that just makes him sound even WEAKER, that a simple injury could stop him like that. Also, he could stop Blaster Bolts in mid air, and paralyze his enemies. He can Force Pull someone into a choke and Force Push them hurdling hundreds of feet backwards. YET HE DID NOTHING DURING EITHER OF HIS LIGHTSABER DUELS!? SERIOUSLY!?

Conclusion

As I said, the Force Awakens isn't a terrible movie, but it isn't a good movie per-say. It is okay as an action flick and if you let your mind ponder too much on it, the quality begins to degrade as the flaws become too numerous to over look. I'm sure the Force Awakens will have something similar to what happened to the Prequel Trilogy. When those movies first made their rounds in theaters everyone was hyped to hell and couldn't stop their praises of the movies. They cried "Star Wars is back and better then ever." And then slowly as the dust settled everyone started to realize just how flawed those movies where and how they where just down right terrible in many regards. The Force Awakens is still new, and everyone is on their Star Wars high. But maybe after a few months the more careful deconstructions will begin and the movie will drop in people's opinions. I for one will try to gauge people's attitudes towards this movie in the months to come.

Until Then.

-CRES, this Lightsaber is still stupid.

2 comments:

  1. You can be labelling as misogynistic for saying Rey is Mary Sue

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    1. I'm already going to be labeled as misogynistic for reviewing Senran Kagura. Calling a Feminist self-insert Fan-fic character a Mary Sue isn't going to change anything.

      Actually know that I think about it, the entirety of The Force Awakens reads like a half assed Fan-fic.

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