Jason Ward’s Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Beware spoilers.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is not a perfect movie but Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a perfect Star Wars movie. I realize that statement is contradictory, but it really sums up my feeling on this film. Scholars of genre and film might insist that Star Wars is not a genre unto its own, but rather fallS into the “blockbuster” category, but I don’t feel that’s true. I apologize for the lack of articulation on this, but it is more of a feeling than anything. I think J.J. Abrams’ attempt at a Star Wars film was stellar and achieved its goals. I still won’t really know my exact thoughts and feelings on this movie until I’ve lived with it in my family’s home viewing repertoire for an extended period of time. Is this a review? Maybe an early impression.

There is a certain level of cognitive dissonance that occurs upon seeing a Star Wars movie for the first time. There’s so many opportunities for greatness and failure all at the same time. You can look at something and not like it but love the music happening at the very moment or a visual or whatever. There are so many layers to Star Wars films which is why we can enjoy them for so long. The Force Awakens is instantly enjoyable. I’ve seen it a few times now and each time I enjoyed it. In the first week of release, I’m not experiencing any diminishing returns in watching the film a second or third time.

I love the trio of new leads in this movie. Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron is instantly heroic and disarmingly cool. John Boyega’s Finn is hilarious, easy to identify with, and has a lot of heart. Our new main hero, Daisy Ridley’s Rey, is a perfect “Luke Skywalker.” The interaction between Rey and Finn and Finn and Poe is right on point. I love the moments like when Poe and Finn break out and decide they’re going to “do this.” There’s a certain camaraderie that clicks instantly and makes you root for them and want to follow them on their adventure. When Rey talks about going home to Jakku, you don’t want her to go; you want her to continue on the journey she is on. I cared about these characters in a way I haven’t cared about characters in Star Wars in a long time. The prequel trilogy (a trilogy I love) was very much about telling the galactic history of the Republic and Darth Vader’s fall and some intimacy was missing. This movie is purely intimate interactions between the characters. I really liked having this dimension of Star Wars back after so long.

In a very short amount of time, Abrams convinces us that Rey is a very solitary person. After we see her act like a grave robber in the Star Destroyer graveyard, we see her slide down a sandy hill, jump on her speeder and then start to scrub her materials for trade. There’s a moment where she looks up at an older woman and no words need to be said. She doesn’t want to become that old woman on Jakku, wasting her life away for the profit of a greedy slob. This film rarely takes a rest, but the subtle moments like Rey cooking her portion were both fascinating and insightful to her plight.

Rey frees BB-8 and her interactions with him were really solid. BB-8 has so much personality. While the design is genius, the filmmakers both managed to make him look excellent and use him in scenes in visually interesting ways. There’s a few moments I really liked such as when Rey and Finn are arguing about a tool she needs to stop a poisonous gas leak, BB-8 rolls over and points to the tool and Finn is able to assist Rey. Not far off from that moment, there’s a time when Finn is pretending to be a part of the Resistance and he basically gives Finn a thumbs up with his blowtorch tool. The film never lets The Force Awakens become the BB-8 show–it doesn’t cut to him unnecessarily, but it treats him with respect as a character, which allows us to love and depend on him, such as we do with R2-D2 in other films.

My biggest problem with the film revolved around the weirdness of the map and R2-D2. There’s a huge puzzle with a piece missing. They put the final piece in and they then know where Luke is. But you would think they could have figured out where that was just based on the piece missing (I’m sure there will be a crazy explanation down the line like it would have taken 1000 years to find him based on that piece of the puzzle). But visually, it could have been more interesting. My other issue is when R2-D2 wakes up. We see Chewbacca mourning, and then BB-8 walks up to R2 and he just wakes up after a long hibernation. Why? The film does not adequately explain that or promise there’s more to the mystery to look forward to.

Kylo Ren is interesting. The dude catches laser beams and holds them in place. No doubt a defensive technique he picked up during his time as a Jedi under the always-defensive Luke Skywalker? His character feels a tad “emo” in the Anakin Skywalker way. When he screams, it even reminds me of Hayden Christensen’s Anakin. He’s almost as if Attack of the Clones Anakin had become Darth Vader in Episode II. There is a moment where he thrashes a console in rage because of his frustration and anger. This dude totally throws controllers when he loses at Street Fighter and I loved it. I loved how scarily calm he could be.

I didn’t love every moment of the film. There’s a moment where Rey figures out how to Jedi Mind Trick a Stormtrooper. The scene felt appropriate for Star Wars Rebels and would have played really well in that environment but it didn’t feel up to the caliber of the rest of the film’s comedy or self discoveries of power and possibility. That said, I just left a screening where it played REALLY well compared to the other showings I have seen and while it didn’t make me happy, I saw it delight audiences tonight, which is proof you can’t please everyone all of the time.

The IMAX sequence of the Falcon flying through the Star Destroyer doesn’t hold my attention. All three times I’ve seen the movie, I find myself zoning out and pondering things that have come before or after. As one of the big moments of the film, it just works out okay for me. I don’t hate it. But I hoped it would have been a highlight and it really wasn’t.

Han Solo was really cool in this movie. It was probably the best goodbye to Han Solo a film could have given us. Harrison Ford’s performance was really cool as the aged Han Solo. I’ve heard people complain that Han Solo’s character regressed and I can’t disagree more. Yeah, Han went back to his old life and refuses to help the new heroes at first. But notice when he helps them this time, there’s no promise of reward. There’s no 17,000 credits to spice up the deal. Han Solo has changed but his life has been profoundly devastated by tragedy and loss. He lost his son and his wife and maybe more we don’t know about yet.

The interactions between Finn and Han were great. I love the comedic moments when Finn says he’s a big deal in the Resistance and Han proceeds then call Finn “Big Deal” for the rest of the film. Or when Finn reveals he wasn’t anything special at the Starkiller Base, but rather in sanitation. Ford and Boyega played well together and it showed. In fact, Boyega played well with everyone in every scene he was in. Casting him was a move of brilliance. But my favorite line in the movie is still Han Solo’s line of “You know you can’t trust those little freaks!” when referring to the Kanjiklub gang.

The Starkiller idea is really fascinating and literal. The Starkiller sucks the energy out of stars and shoots it at a location they want to hit. In this movie they use it on the Hosnian system, where the New Republic is stationed. I never liked the idea that the capital of the galaxy was not on Coruscant and I thought of Lor San Tekka’s words “this will begin to make things right.” I hope so anyways. I found the idea much more interesting than the second Death Star, yet derivative of the original concept. That said, its better than the last superweapon we saw in the previous episode and is a lot of fun.

Maz Kanata is a character that really worked well. Her opening moment where she asks where her boyfriend is was fantastic. I thought she was really fun. I was slightly disappointed by the amount of screen time she ended up having in the end. But the time she did have was important. She almost tacitly acts as Rey’s “Yoda” in this movie and tells her to acknowledge the Force around her, something that comes into play at the very end of the film and allows her to throw down on Kylo Ren straight prison style. It does slightly feel like Maz is being saved for future installments here. Perhaps she will join Luke Skywalker on his journey to rebuild the Jedi into the order they should be?

Maz’s castle was delightful. The statue of herself in front of the place was hilarious. The aliens were cool and even though I have seen the movie a couple of times, I don’t feel like I have had a great look at the players. I also enjoyed the reggae-type music playing inside the joint. While it was destroyed in this movie, I have a feeling Star Wars fans will have a lot of fun stories told to them about the 1000 years plus it was standing.

Maz and Snoke were clearly CGI. They were clearly two of the important players behind the scenes for good and evil. It only added to my resentment of the anti-CGI marketing we’ve had to endure about bullshit like “real deserts.” Speaking of Snoke, he’s interesting. I don’t love him yet. He just reminds me of Voldemort from Harry Potter. The film doesn’t tell us anything about him really. In this film, he really just serves to stand as a promise.

If I have any concerns about Star Wars: The Force Awakens it has to do with the promises it makes and the lack of knowing what those are exactly. What does Snoke really want? What does Kylo actually have to do? What was Luke doing at the first Jedi Temple on the island? Those things are really cool in this movie but ultimately the answers could really suck and if they do, this movie could be diminished by those answers sucking. Rey’s vision is really fascinating though and does tell us a lot. We see Rey fall into the set from Cloud City where Luke fought his father. We hear Luke scream “no” at Vader before attempting to end his life rather than join the dark side. We hear Obi-Wan say “Rey” and young Obi-Wan tell her she’s taking her first steps in a larger world, along with Yoda. What is interesting to me is that we see Rey confront Kylo and his gang. But she’s an adult and then we see her as a child being dropped off on Jakku. It makes me wonder if Rey was dropped off on Jakku by a Kylo Ren, when he was still more Ben than Ren, when he could not kill a child? (The novel has Kylo say something like “it is you!” during their end battle, for what that’s worth.)

Kylo’s struggle is like Luke’s struggle. But the struggle is totally inverted. Luke had to fight the dark side of the Force. Kylo Ren fights the light side of the Force. I love the visual poetry of having the sun near Starkiller Base lose all of its light as Kylo Ren embraces the darkness in himself and does the worst thing possible in murdering his father. I also loved that Han Solo fell into the light at the end. At the end of the film, the heroes win and the sun brings the light back as evil has failed and light has triumphed.

Han died trying to save his son, much like Anakin. The sequence was true. It was heartfelt. It packed an emotional punch and was so much more than a cliched moment of Han driving the Falcon into a reactor or something so dispassionate. Han Solo ultimately died a selfless death when selfishness was something he struggled with his entire life.

The final moments of the duel are such a perfect thing. When Rey takes the saber and holds it in her hands, the audience collectively goes nuts every time. Rey stops denying the power she has access to and she beats Kylo Ren down. I don’t think he’s been challenged by anyone in such a long time he doesn’t see it coming and he gets his ass handed to him. The fight is made better by the fact it is intercut with Poe flying into the Starkiller weapon oscillator and destroying it. The sequence with Poe is highly referential but at the same time the more I watch it, the more I enjoy it. The more things change, the more they stay the same. However, when we cut back to Rey and Kylo’s duel it is hard to not be overcome with childlike excitement as she punishes evil and shows her potential, branding Kylo’s face with a slash.

The end reveal of Luke Skywalker was so good. It was the right ending to the movie. Luke only having one real scene in the movie was the correct way to take this. When Rey presents the saber to Luke the looks on their faces tells a thousand stories worth of interpretation. The audience collectively lost their shit when this moment happened and I can’t think of a better ending to a Star Wars film (save for putting Han in carbonite, but even that isn’t the last thing in the movie). Star Wars: The Force Awakens ends with a crescendo and a damn powerful one.

I could write for days about this movie and I will no doubt revisit several aspects of this film on this blog while covering Star Wars: Rogue One and Star Wars: Episode VIII news in the future. Right now, I feel like Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi when the cruiser goes down and the Rebels are about to win and he slumps back in his chair. We made it to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and it was brilliant. Star Wars without George Lucas was brilliant once. That gives us hope. I have faith it will be brilliant again but if it doesn’t, it has been proven it can be and that means so much to me. I have loved every Star Wars movie, warts and all, but this movie barely has anything I’d classify as a wart really.

If I believed a 10 was achievable I would give this movie a 10. But I do not believe anything is perfect and will never give anything a 10.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a strong 9 from me. I have a feeling I will continue to enjoy this movie for the rest of my life. J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt, and the team at Lucasfilm/Bad Robot made something really special and I’m grateful for their love and care to a saga we all love so much. I cannot wait for Star Wars: Episode VIII! 

 

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Jason Ward (editor-in-chief)

Owner, Editor and content supervisor of MakingStarWars.net

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  • Secure

    The film definitely improved with the second viewing. A LOT. I keep hearing everyone say that too. I really like it.

  • Drew

    So glad I’m not a whiner! I have another great Star Wars movie to add to my list and all these whiners don’t! lol They are stuck watching the same 39 year old movies while I get to enjoy TFA along with my old favorites! So glad I’m not a whiner! lol

  • Matt Mitchell

    I loved the movie. There were some simularities to the OT, but to call it a re-hash is a stretch. It did an amazing job of setting up the new characters and giving just enough info on the last 30 years to leave some questions remaining to be answered for the next film. The acting was far superior to any of the previous movies. I love how Kylo is a bit unhinged. It felt like Star Wars and that is something I haven’t felt in a looooong time. I had flash backs to that excitement I felt in 1977 seeing it all for the first time.

  • Will

    It only added to my resentment of the anti-CGI marketing we’ve had to endure about bullshit like “real deserts.”

    Couldn’t agree more. This movie used as much, if not more, CGI as the prequels.

    • Indiana Blotto’s Last Crusade

      The difference is they didn’t use CGI in place of locations or sets when there was no need to do that.

  • newbiedm

    Man, you’re clever.

    • Paul

      No, just honest.

  • You GOT to be kidding. A 9?? You give a 9 to a movie that is a carbon-copy of Episode 4, has numerous absurd plotholes, too many conveniente deus ex machina moments (the earthquake, R2-D2 waking up, Poe Dameron appearing out of nowhere for no reason) and violates the rules of the Star Wars universe in every which way. And you don’t have a problem with Rey showing skills of a trained Padawan even though she doesn’t know ANYTHING about how to use the force.

    This is the worst Star Wars movie EVER. It shouldn’t even be called a Star Wars movie. It’s just rehash and lazy, corporate-enforced writing. No wonder George Lucas didn’t want anything to do with it. The Holiday Special AT LEAST had Boba Fett. This piece of trash has nothing to show for originality nor innovation.

    • Paul

      Ass

      • Yes, The Force Awakens smells like ass. It STINKS.

        • Paul

          No, you smell like your male lovers ass

    • When I first saw the movie in the theater on opening day, I was also pretty damn disappointed (IE: “nostalgia overload” and ESPECIALLY when Rey turned the tables on Kylo Ren and beat his ass to a pulp; it just didn’t make sense to me. And yes, I felt like Rey was indeed a “Mary Sue,” and TBH I still kinda feel this way; I’m hoping that Episodes 8/9 will tie everything together nicely and show us that Rey is “worthy” of the skills and competence she’s shown in TFA). With all that said (and after seeing the film like 5-6 times now), I’m starting to like TFA more and more. If I had to rate it, as of now I’d give it a 8.1 (and rising, lol). How many times have you seen TFA? Are you aware of the “backstory” to why R2-D2 woke up (because there is one, and probably more to come in Episode 8 & 9)? What was so wrong about the “earthquake” on Starkiller Base? I didn’t have a problem with it. It’s supposed to be a visual representation of the story (between Rey and Kylo Ren and/or more stuff we’ll prob find out in Episodes 8 & 9). I do understand where you are coming from, but you have to remember this: we haven’t even seen Episodes 8 & 9 yet! A lot of people thought that The Phantom Menace was awesome, but after seeing the final two episodes of the prequel trilogy most people changed their minds! :p I think that once Episode 8 comes out and we find out why/how Rey was able to beat on Kylo Ren with such ease and no Jedi training, we (and YOU) might have a change of heart. 😉 I have faith in J.J. Abrams/Rian Johnson and company that a lot of the things that are bugging both you and I about TFA will probably be answered well in the next two films (and possibly in the standalone films). Now, if the answers don’t come or just end up being predictable let-downs, then I’d be more inclined to agree with you. But, until TFA is released on Blu-ray AND Episodes 8/9 come out, it’s TOO SOON to draw such a harsh conclusion about TFA. Be patient and have hope… I’m confident that TFA and the next two films will tie in together nicely, be less heavy on the nostalgia and many fans will accept TFA as a great film much more than they do now!

      • Perhaps I did not make myself clear: No amount of repeat viewings is going to make The Force Awakens watchable.

        It’s not watchable because it has too many absurd plotholes, deus ex machina moments and impossible coincidences.

        And that’s not even the worst of the movie.

        The worst is the lazy, ridiculous treatment of the original characters. Example:

        Han Solo is a war hero pero apparently the Republic does not have a Veterans Affairs Office to give him a pension so he doesn’t have to go back to a life of crime as a smuggler.
        Luke Skywalker disobeyed Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi in order to go to Bespin to help Han and Leia and he went back to Tatooine to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt, but when his Jedi students get killed he simply runs away, leaving Leia essentially to fend for herself? Luke would’ve NEVER done that.
        Leia apparently was never trained in the force. Instead, she became a general that instead of using all of the resources of the Republic (IE: The REPUBLIC’S ARMY) to chase off whatever’s left from The Empire, dicides to only use a small group of clandestine X Wings? Please!

        The list goes on and on.

        Now, to respond to your questions:

        It doesn’t matter if the next movies explain Episode 7. It sucks SO MUCH no matter how much exposition we get in the other movies won’t be able to make up for it. Unless you want to admit that Jar-Jar Bink’s existance in The Phantom Menace is 100% justified because he proposes to give Palpatine special powers in Episode 2.
        No, I will not have a change of heart regarding Rey because the ONLY way it can explained why she suddenly has full use of the force is by claiming she lost her memory, which is the most disgustingly TRITE plot device you can use in a Star Wars movie considering Star Wars movies are about creativity and innovation.
        NOBODY said in 1999 “it’s too soon to declare Jar-Jar Binks sucks”. Be honest to yourself.
        No, there is no backstory IN THE MOVIE regarding why R2-D2 woke up out of the blue. No amount of novels, comic books or extended universe exposition can make up for lazy writing and contrived plot points in the movie. That is exactly why I always felt it was RIDICULOUS to say “well, Yoda didn’t keep on fighting the Emperor in the Senate because he thought violence only generates violence, read the Revenge of the Sith novel!” BULLCRAP! A movie script that doesn’t stand on its own and has to rely on “backsories” published somewhere else is a FAILURE.
        What’s wrong with the earthquake dividing Rey and Kylo Ren? It’s way too convenient and it happens right when she could finish him off (in itself a ridiculous point, as she had no formal training and all of the sudden she can beat a guy who could freeze laser blasts in mid air). That is exactly the definition of deus ex machina.

        All I want to know now is how long are the Star Wars fanboys going to keep on deluding themselves and pretend they were not ripped off by Disney with The Force Awakens.

        • Ravensboy5257

          Your logic for the treatment of the original characters is ridiculous. Did you even watch the movie??? Han did not go back to being a smuggler because he needed money he literally said to Leia that they both went back to do what they are good at and what they know after their son turned to the dark side. Regarding Luke, it has been 30 years since return of the jedi so you knowing very little about what happened in those years makes you an expert in what Luke would and wouldn’t do?? In the movie it also says that Luke went looking for the first Jedi temple which for all you know may be the only way Luke thinks he can help Leia. Regarding Leia, not everyone can be just trained in the force so there is that. Also, once again we have very little information regarding what has happened the past thirty years so we don’t know the exact reasons why Leia is not able to use the full resources of the republic.

        • You expect a lot from these writers. IMO, most of ur complaints are very minor ones and to call TFA a terrible movie for the reasons you’ve listed… I dunno, just doesn’t make sense to me! :p Still, to each their own. :p If you’re reasoning as to why TPM sucks is solely due to Jar Jar Binks, who I also hated, then c’mon man (TPM could’ve been a great movie and still had Jar Jar in it, if other stuff had been different. Now yes, Jar Jar would’ve still sucked, but I think that most people would’ve just overlooked Jar Jar if everything else was on point). In response to “point #3,” there is a HUGE difference on reviewing a film that is part of a trilogy and ONE CHARACTER that you didn’t like in TPM (Jar Jar Binks). As you stated yourself, “Be honest to yourself.” Moving on, I understand what you mean now about “the earthquake.” IMO, it’s going to be explained more in the next 2 SW films and I’m sure it’ll make sense once we know the whole story. The key words that a lot of TFA “crew” have been saying about that (mainly Harrison Ford, Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams) is that the scene where Rey & Kylo Ren are “torn apart” is a form of visual storytelling (maybe they were “torn apart” at birth somehow or torn apart and separated somehow back at Luke’s Jedi academy or something; we obviously won’t know until we see Episodes 8/9). Also, in the official TFA novel, she DID have a chance to finish him off but decided against it. I know we are talking about just the movie, but even in movies some stuff has to be left up to the audience to decide or “tease us” until the next SW films are released. There’s other stuff I could say about some of ur other points but I’m tired of typing, lol. Later man. :p

        • Dave Copsey

          I know, right? It’s as bad as if the whole movie had been based on some random Imperial officer deciding not to shoot down an escape pod with 2 droids in it. Stupid, right? And then those droids RANDOMLY bumping into the main hero of the movie? Kerrrazy.

          Still, good point on the pension for Han Solo – I hope one of the stand-alone films explores the financial workings of the Republic pensions system. I’ll totally be camping out for tickets for that one.

    • Will

      We don’t know Rey’s backstory. For all we know, she may have had some training before being dumped on Jakku.

    • Sean Drinkwater

      Earth disagrees; News at 11.

  • Randall Lionheart!

    I was disappointed by Kylo Ren being a pussy ultimately. Too much revealed too soon and he got beat already. What’s he going to do to create suspense in the future? Get beat again? Totally boring pair of villains that don’t seem remotely threatening.

    Snoke trained this little welp and he got destroyed by someone with no training. Snoke himself was a poor CGI joke. He’s scarred as well so obviously got his ass beat in the past. Both bad guys are non-threatening.

    • 999SickBoy666 .

      This is another example of the “videogame mentality”: the idea that “threatening” is only defined by how strong and powerful (in combat) a character is. This approach may work for Mortal Kombat (and, even there, is boring) but it doesn’t fit anything that has real, fleshed-out characters in a story that actually matters.

      Vader was threatening because he was a cold, ruthless and unforgiving enforce – NOT because of “how powerful/trained/strong he was”.

      The Emperor was threatening because he was a twisted, sadistic, despicable old bastard – NOT because “he can shoot lightning out of his hands”.

      What matters is the CHARACTER rather than its “statistics”.

      I found Kylo Ren to be both a great character and a threatening foe, because he is a deranged, out of control, impulsive sociopath – and because there is a “religious zealot” vibe to him – NOT because of “how powerful” he is (and, by the way, he is pretty strong, both in combat and in the Force – Rey defeats him because her ‘awakening’ throws him off-balance and he is already severely wounded).

      Same goes for Snoke: granted, we see very little of him, but the deeply scarred nature of his appearance and his somewhat unstable, lunatic and whimsical temperament make him way more menacing than his (apparent) size does.

      • Randall Lionheart!

        Since when is being a “fleshed-out character” a requirement to make one threatening? The shark in Jaws has zero personality besides a desire to consume humans and yet is an extremely powerful and terrifying force because of its ability to kill at will. Don’t tell me that skill, speed, strength and other basic physical abilities to do damage don’t factor in.

        Your comparison of Ren to Vader is flawed, because Vader was personally undefeated until Return Of The Jedi. Vader was threatening because in addition to being a powerful commanding figure with an army as his beck and call, he could mix it up SUCCESSFULLY in personal combat with the hero. So it was due to BOTH of those factors. You do not explain how a future duel between Kylo Ren and Rey will be suspenseful when it’s already established she’s better without training.

        Snoke is not only fuzzy, cartoonish CGI, but closely resembles the silly-looking “inquisitor” things from Star Wars Rebels, a kid’s cartoon. By “very little” we still see significantly more than we did of the consistently mysterious Emperor in the first 2 films of the OT. And he appears easily confused and thwarted. Not nearly as self-assured and quietly confident as Palpatine. No, I’m not saying he should just be another Emperor but he should be more mysterious and less emotional.

        • 999SickBoy666 .

          You can’t compare a “character” that is – basically – a “force of nature” with a Character who is supposed to be a person. If THAT is your definition of what “threatening” means, then why bother having “bad guys” in movies? Screenwriters could just use the biggest, meanest creatures their fantasy can come up with and problem solved.

          Except that no, it doesn’t work that way. Once again: SW is a character driven story so, I’ll tell you: “skill, speed, strength and other basic physical abilities” don’t factor in as much – this is NARRATIVE, not a tabletop RPG.

          As for your question about “how a future duel between Kylo Ren and Rey will be suspenseful when it’s already established she’s better without training”: I’m sorry to say, but it’s a really stupid question (I’m not saying – and I don’t think -that you’re stupid, mind it). Let me show you how and why

          First of all, you went to see this movie and, let’s not fool ouself, you knew the good guys were going to win. Just as you always know it with this kind of movies. So, why see it? How can any movie be suspensful when you already know that?
          Oh, but movies ARE suspensful, no matter if you know who is going to “win” or not, right? Weird…

          Second: how come that, in every competitive sport in the history of our world, people pay to see a rematch between two opponents who already met each other? Where’s the tension, how is it suspenful if they already had a previous match and one of the two defeated the other? It is going to happen again, right?
          Actually, how is it possible that a contender (be it a team or a single) who, on paper, has better stats (more training, more experience, more wins) than his opponent, can loose?

          See where I am going with this? Well, that’s the reason why the “stats” of a character matters next to nothing and what really defines him/her as more or less “threatening” (or “interesting” or “funny” or whatever else) depends entirely on how rounded and fleshed out that character is.

          • Randall Lionheart!

            I’m glad you brought up sports and rematches of that kind because it means you’re thinking about details. Obviously the most comparable to this 1 on 1 duel we’re discussing would be combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts and I can tell you as a knowledgable follower of such sports, highly anticipated rematches follow good, competitive fights. Fights where the outcome is controversial and/or debated, fights that conventional knowledge indicates a different result is possible. The fight in question, Kylo Ren didn’t land a blow on Rey (inexplicably) and as soon as she turned it on, had zero answers.

            Kylo Ren has been trained by a shadowy Sith Lord (or some such) while Rey has spent her life on a desert planet scrubbing off old engine parts. Post-fight, Kylo goes back to the guy who poorly prepared him for the first fight while Rey goes to receive training she’s never had before from Luke fuckin Skywalker. Back to the real world, that’s like calling for the rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Diego Corrales after the latter had been destroyed while simultaneously assuming Mayweather had only just started boxing and was about to begin formal training.

            You’re right, this is NARRATIVE and stats don’t necessarily matter, storytelling matters. But my criticism is based on the dramatic flow of the story. I’m not saying “Rey shouldn’t have BEEN ABLE to beat Kylo Ren”, I’m saying “Rey should not have so decisively beaten an opponent she will inevitably meet again for dramatic reasons.” It’s a storytelling flaw, not a logical one. The hero shouldn’t triumph over her foil in the first act.

            By the way, “you knew the good guys were going to win” is a silly statement. If anything, the likelihood would point the other direction. Obi Wan and Luke both lost their lightsaber duels with Vader in Parts 1 and 2 of the OT respectively. That’s a completely irrelevant point, not to mention false. Bottom line, you can’t have it both ways by using real life examples to attempt to illustrate an irrational fantasy film and explain it away as inevitable writing at the same time.

    • The whole movie is a huge disappointment. Not only it ripped off A New Hope, but it did so with blatant, preposterous plotholes that are impossible to justify.

      Do a search on YouTube for “The Force Awakens sucks” and there are a lot of reviews from Star Wars fans that point the exact same problems with the movie. That’s not a coincidence. That’s people realizing Disney bismirched George Lucas’s first modern myth.

      • Randall Lionheart!

        Okay, Star Wars has always had plot holes bro. I don’t give a shit as long as the movie moves me on an emotional level and it did. I’m not saying it’s bad, I thought it was decent. Just the villains are weak as fuck.

  • AuDiOsAnE

    Is Finn Jar Jar Binks 2.0?

    In a way, Finn kind of reminds me of Jar Jar Binks. He’s the comic relief character with heart who helps the main heroes on their journey and keeps needing to be saved while not being very useful at saving.

    Jar Jar needed to be saved from Sebulba by Anakin. Finn needed to be saved several times by Rey and once by Chewie. Both characters start off by being fearful but become brave by the end of the film and even assist in the climax. However, their bravery ultimately does not pay off personally as they both require the help of others to save them. Jar Jar needed Anakin to blow up the donut-shaped ship in order to deactivate the droids who had surrounded him, and Finn needed Rey to save him from Kylo Ren.

    Neither character is allowed to experience personal victory, unlike the true main leads. Anakin, Padme and Obi-Wan experienced personal victories in The Phantom Menace, and Rey and Poe achieved the same in The Force Awakens. No pattern here. Interestingly enough though, both characters are essential to help the main characters save the day. Jar Jar is needed to get the gungans to join the battle as a distraction, and Finn is needed to hold Rey’s lightsaber for her and to make sure the Falcon is ready to get her off Starkiller Base.

    A lot of the comedy is at the expense of these characters. Finn gets choked by Chewie (Lando reference), looks foolish as he asks Rey if she’s okay after he’s knocked unconscious by the air strike and gets zapped by BB-8 after Rey knocks him down with her stick for “stealing” Poe’s jacket. Jar Jar steps in poop, gets his hand caught in Anakin’s podracer and smells an animal’s fart.

    Well. At least Jar Jar’s not CGI anymore. What are your thoughts?

    • John DiLillo

      This is the most ridiculous comment on Finn that I have ever read. Congratulations, you have officially jumped the shark.

      • AuDiOsAnE

        Criticizing me means nothing. Anyone can criticize anything they want. If my observations are as foolish as you claim, then make your case against them.

        BTW – I’m not saying that Finn is 100% like Jar Jar Binks, but I am noticing a lot of similarities between these two characters.

        • Scott Turner

          Making the case against your comment legitimizes it. I think criticism was more appropriate.

          • AuDiOsAnE

            And why’s that?

    • Tom Devito

      “Im with the resistance yup, yup I’m definitely with the resistance, I am”
      “Well, This is what we look like”
      lololzzzz

    • 999SickBoy666 .

      You are wrong – plain and simple.

      1) FINN has moments of comic relief – like several other characters (mostly BB-8, Poe, Han, Chewie and – to a lesser degree – Rey) – but he is an overall well rounded character: there’s drama in him, there’s conflict in him and his interactions (with Poe, Rey, Han etc.) stem from a range of different feelings; JAR JAR only exists as comic relief – there’s no depth whatsoever to his character and every single thing he does is defined by his “comic relief nature”;

      2) FINN actually has a character arc: he’s good natured, has a “drive to do the right thing” but he also acts out of selfishness, at the beginning; he lies and, eventually, tries to run away before finally stepping up; JAR JAR does precisely nothing of that, there’s no evolution to him: he is a clumsy, obnoxious, goofy idiot when we first met him and – as far as the audience know – he still is the same clumsy, obnoxious, goofy idiot when he attends Padmé funeral.

      Even in the battle against the droid army, nothing of what he “accomplishes” is ACTIVELY done by him: it all happens as a result of his clumsiness, whereas FINN is proactive, he actually makes decisions as a character, and ACTS on those decisions.

      3) TPM is not about JAR-JAR – it’s about Qui-Gonn, Obi Wan, Padmé and Anakin, whereas TFA is about Rey, FINN, Han, Kylo and so on.

      So, in short: no, there isn’t any scenario in which Finn is even remotely “Jar Jar 2.0”.

      • AuDiOsAnE

        I never said Finn was only comic relief. None of your arguments reflect the specific ways I compared Finn to Jar Jar.

        • 999SickBoy666 .

          I think you need to reread you post, in order to see what of your arguments I addressed, and then to reread mine in order to see how it proves that Finn’s character has nothing to do with Jar Jar’s.

    • No. JJ Abrams is Jar-Jar Binks 2-0. Jar-Jar Abrams.

  • prone2think

    So after 3 times I find I have enjoyed it more with each
    viewing. Part of this is simply due to the fact that the movie accomplishes its
    task – to be a fun adventure in a galaxy far away. The other part was that it
    gave me time to let go of what I thought it was going to be (story wise) and
    start to ponder what it actually is. Sometimes it seems to me that Star Wars
    fans expect too much. If guys like JJ made the film that fans most want I
    suspect that it would be at the cost of a larger following. My 3 teenage kids
    think this is the best of all the Star Wars movies because it doesn’t require
    an exhaustive awareness of the Star Wars universe to enjoy it. It’s
    straightforward and hits the notes so that everyone can enjoy it. Not too
    gritty, not too insider SW, not too preachy and not too much need for explanation. Overall it
    gives you enough to let you wonder and speculate without leaving you lost
    altogether.

    Aside from this I like what I assume to be the direct parallels
    to WW2. Where as the former 2 trilogies were grounded in the Roman politics of
    a Senate manipulated into an Empire, this trilogy seems to be going straight
    into the idea of the French “Resistance” (all the way down to JJ using their
    uniform style) sitting of the boarder of the invasive German “First Order” with
    the Republic (and their briefly alluded to fleet) playing the role of the
    larger Allies further back from First Order territory (and perhaps still
    unwilling to embrace a full galactic confrontation with the Naz… uh… First
    Order). With this in mind the politics should be vastly different in that the
    First Order will be more outright brutal and invasive now that they have
    clearly crossed the Galactic Rhine. This also will keep us out of the political
    weeds as far as needing a lot of narrative in senate meetings and the like.
    There is no political mystery, just a straight up battle of ideologies where
    both sides are willing to die for their cause.

  • Alan Stowe

    “Maz and Snoke were clearly CGI. They were clearly two of the important players behind the scenes for good and evil. It only added to my resentment of the anti-CGI marketing we’ve had to endure about bullshit like “real deserts.” Speaking of Snoke, he’s interesting. I don’t love him yet. He just reminds me of Voldemort from Harry Potter. The film doesn’t tell us anything about him really. In this film, he really just serves to stand as a promise.”

    This this a thousand times this. I was so irritated by how animated Maz looked it snapped me right out of the movie. Snoke too. When Abrams did all that boasting about practical and puppets, I thought he’d have the balls to let a main character be a puppet, like ESB Yoda. That was all just them preying on a horribly misguided critique of Lucas for pure exploitation. Its really disgusting and insulting. There is definitely a list of things to critique Lucas for, but CG is one of the most misunderstood by far. And if you ARE going to prey on it, like Abrams did, you’d better come correct with some real animatronics. Not Maz who just looks like the Mon Cal from the B-Wing episode of Rebels and Emperor Voldemort.

    • What was it they said? That this movie was made with physical effects and props? Right….

  • Kale Dolfin

    Here’s my review:

    SPOILERS

    This film was awful fan-fic.

    This film had so many problems, that the Sequel Trilogy now has the potential to make the Prequel Trilogy look like the Original Trilogy.

    The Star Wars saga traditionally has had both a macro, and a micro story. The macro story is about the rise and fall of democracies and empires, while the micro story is about the Skywalker family’s journey into and out of darkness.

    The macro story here was perhaps the most disappointing. I was intensely interested to see what happened to the galaxy in the power vacuum that the decimated Empire left behind. Many will argue that just because the Emperor was dead, that the Empire wouldn’t necessarily die with him. But I’d argue that when you have any kind of centrally planned fascist government, when you take out the center, the rest caves in like a house of cards. This is particularly true with a fascist movement that is dependent on a kind of quasi-zealotry that is dedicated to a central figure, namely the Emperor. Once that figure dies, and is revealed to be a mortal man like any other, that zealotry fades.

    It’s highly unlikely that the average soldier would continue to fight in the name of a dead emperor. Far more unlikely, is the notion that any remaining soldiers and officers would stick around without an Imperial infrastructure intact to pay, feed, house, and clothe them. Remember, an “entire legion” of the Emperor’s best troops were decimated on Endor, along with massive amounts of hardware in the way of Star Destroyers, the flagship Super Star Destroyer, not to mention the second Death Star. This is quite a bit of capital for the Empire to lose, and be able to bounce back from. Plus, bringing back the Empire is just about as boring as bringing back Jason Vorhees after he dies in every movie.

    But we’re stuck with a remnant of the Empire 35 years later nonetheless, in the form of the First Order. What is their relationship to the Resistance, and the Republic? Apparently there’s a new Republic formed? If so, then how does this First Order operate so freely, and where and how does it raise the capital to build its ships and maintain troops? Why is the Resistance, presumably funded by the Republic, operating out of a tiny rec-room as though the good guys are still in hiding? Frankly the First Order and the Resistance sound like names given to similar themed entities in Star Wars knock-off films from the 1978 to 1985 era.

    The micro story about the Skywalker family, attempts to rekindle the same devastating twist/revelation with regards to who is related to whom that we all saw in the Original Trilogy, but it mostly falls flat here. We simply aren’t familiar enough with any of the new characters for it to have any real weight.

    The plot of this particular film is essentially the same plot from Episode IV, with some minor variations. There’s a new, bigger, badder Death Star, this time capable of destroying entire systems. Why on Earth didn’t the Republic deal with these people before they became a real threat? And why does the new superweapon have to be so derivative of the old super weapon in terms of design? Then you had all of these ridiculous convenient coincidences. Oh look, the Falcon just happens to be on Jakku, along with a droid who just happens
    to have a map that leads directly to Luke. You have a map that leads directly to you, don’t you? Oh by the way, I just happen to have Luke’s lightsaber right here too.

    The characters are mostly boring.

    Both Poe and Finn have a chance at developing some chemistry, and although they do the best they can with the material they’re given, there’s never enough interaction between them to fully realize that.

    Rey is dreadfully boring, with two primary facial expressions; deer in a headlight stare, and gritting teeth. The writers were so anxious to prove that girls can be “even more so” than men, that they’ve forgotten the first phase in the hero’s journey. When we first meet Luke, he’s a naive inexperienced farm boy, who complains about wanting to hang out with friends, and plays with Model T-16s, gets scolded by his Uncle, gets knocked unconscious by a Tusken Raider, gets pushed down in a bar by a drunkard, has to be defended by an elderly Jedi, and has his hand slapped by Han Solo when he points at the flashing light on the Falcon’s dashboard. Even in the second film, Luke gets mauled by a wampa and stuffed into a taun-taun carcass, and has his hand cut off in his first lightsaber fight.

    Not Rey though. She gets to skip this first phase of the hero’s journey because girl power, so hear her roar! Somehow, she can pilot the Millennium Falcon and use a lightsaber all without any training at all. Not only is she Han Solo, but she’s also Luke Skywalker too! Effectively fighting off a trained Knight of Ren, whatever that is, in her very first lightsaber battle. But don’t you dare question her girl power you misogynist, even though it doesn’t leave much left for Finn to shine with since Rey can apparently do it all. At least Kathleen Kennedy and Disney will be selling plenty of Cover Girl Star Wars make-up, as they rewrite the EU to appeal to teenage girls.

    Some folks have argued that Luke blew up the Death Star with no training or help, but that just isn’t the case. Luke had experience flying his T-16 through Beggar’s Canyon shooting womprats, which weren’t much bigger than the exhaust port on the Death Star, remember?
    Additionally, he had the aid of many wingmen who simultaneously drew fire away from him and fought next to him. Furthermore, Han Solo returned to take Darth Vader out of the fight, who would have likely picked off Luke otherwise. And finally, Luke was guided by the spirit of Obi-Wan. Contrast this with Rey, who although has some initial difficulty getting the Millenium Falcon off the ground, is soon evading fire from multiple TIE fighters and deftly flying through the tight interior spaces of shipwrecked Star Destroyers. I don’t have the stomach to brave this film a second time, but I’d like to see some other intrepid viewer track how much time is spent focusing on Rey piloting the Falcon. It felt like that was the entire first half of the movie.

    Luke didn’t use the Jedi mind trick until the third film in the original trilogy. But supergirl Rey
    uses it only a couple of days after finding out that the Jedi weren’t just a myth.

    There are good ways to introduce strong female characters. This just wasn’t it.

    The final lightsaber battle reeked of parental finger wagging, which seemed to dictate that each of the kids got to play with Luke’s lightsaber equally. So silly. As was the lightsaber battle between Finn and the Stormtrooper. Since when were rank and file Stormtroopers trained in the art of Jedi swordsmanship? And why would the First Order spend funds on
    arming Stormtroopers with lightsaber resistant weaponry? Are there really that many Jedi around at this time, because it doesn’t seem like there are.

    Han Solo was Han Solo. But nearly every line of dialogue was some Original Trilogy in-joke, and his interaction with an aged Leia was facilitated with painful on-the-nose dialogue.

    R2D2 and C3PO are absent nearly the entire film, replaced with BB-8 for no apparent reason other than to generate a new design for toys. They pop in at the end almost as if to say, “Hey, don’t forget to buy our action figures too!” BB-8 himself has no real character to it, and frankly looks very reminiscent of The Black Hole’s Vincent robot. Maybe Disney should sue itself.

    Captain Phasma seems intended to be the next BobaFett/Darth Maul, but doesn’t seem to have any real function in the storyline, except to hang around for when the shields need to be shut down, and to present a new piece of pop culture which frankly seems to be appropriated from 1978 Battlestar Galactica’s cylons.

    Lupita Nyong’o’s character was probably the most interesting new character, and criminally underdeveloped.

    Hux and Kylo; who would follow these kids, or obey their orders? Aren’t there any adults with more experience to lead this First Order? Kylo’s design reminded me of the many, many knock-off action figure designs of the 1970s and 1980s.

    Snoke looks like a rejected Grendel concept from Zemeckis’ Beowulf.

    George Lucas’ incredibly interesting art direction is sorely missed here. Most of the film felt like Star Wars went to TV series, with the feeling of a small contained-within-a-movie-set universe. Many of the sets reminded me of the Draconian sets from 1979’s Buck Rogers TV series. In fact, much of the art design had that Ralph McQuarrie leftovers feel which so much of late 1970s/early 1980s sci-fi television utilized. I love Ralph McQuarrie’s work, but I would rather see the story and design pushed forward in new directions to give each trilogy a different visual feel.

    John William’s score was so uncharacteristically underwhelming that I have to wonder if he too was uninspired by this horrible mess.

    At no point did this film feel like a genuine Star Wars movie. Ultimately this was cobbled together by people who think that stormtroopers, death stars, dudes in black robes, tie fighters, and x wings is all that Star Wars amounts to.

    Disney should consider giving Star Wars back to Lucas.

    SPOILERS ABOVE

    • Maude St. Nubbins

      Sorry, you lost me with “Lucas’ incredibly interesting art direction.” McQuarrie is dead, Joe Johnston isn’t involved and frankly I thought the prequel art direction felt almost nothing like the universe implied in the original trilogy, save a few callbacks (call forwards?)

      However, to each his own, I respect your take on it, I too was disappointed in the reuse of story beats, but I still believe this trilogy will ultimately make the prequels look even worse than they are, not better.

      • Kale Dolfin

        Lucas’ primary faults lie in screen writing. He’s not very good at writing dialogue and he himself has stated that he doesn’t really care for it. However, he’s great at coming up with foundational concepts, writing treatments and basic outlines, and with art direction. He knows how to combine the work of various artists to come up with interesting designs.

        The difference in design elements from the Prequel Trilogy to the Sequel trilogy were deliberate and appropriate. It’s essentially the difference between the Art Deco of 1930s America, and the heavy industrial design of 1940s Nazi Germany. Designs change in our world from decade to decade, so there’s not reason not to expect that design elements wouldn’t change over time in the Star Wars universe as well.

        It’s interesting that you mention Ralph McQuarrie here, because the bulk of the designs we’re seeing in The Force Awakens are actually unused McQuarrie designs that didn’t make the cut the first time around. We’re essentially being served warmed up McQuarrie leftovers here.

        https://www.google.com/search?q=Ralph+McQuarrie+The+Force+Awakens&biw=1600&bih=799&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjA0-Lr9PTJAhXMMSYKHT8xCbMQ_AUIBigB

        • Lets keep in mind the prequels take place in a time period that is up to 29 years BEFORE the original trilogy. That means the visual style of the time HAD to be the equvalent of 1948, 1958, and 1961 compared to the original trilogy’s 1977, 1980 and 1983. It HAD to be different.

          That’s another of the The Force Awaken’s many faults: there is NO DESIGN. Making the entrance to a hangar bay in a Star Destroyer a rhombus instead of a rectangle is NOT good design. Making the stormtrooper helmet and armor featureless is NOT good design. There is no sense of a culture, or a sense of an actual planet. It’s just rehash and poorly made rehash at that.

    • Cr38ive

      Your review is a little more detailed than mine but we agree on everything.

    • johntothepowerof10

      People like you will never be pleased. Also, stop talking about Disney, it’s not like the people who made Frozen made The Force Awakens.

      • I suppose the fanboys who have been crying over the prequels for 16 years are easy to please.

        The Force Awakens is GARBAGE. It is not even a Star Wars movie. But Disney wanted to make money off the fanboys. The result? A fan-fic movie that SUCKS.

        Next to to The Force Awakens, the Prequels ARE far better films.

        • Get a life. Please.

        • Ravensboy5257

          Thats a good joke…. you are kidding right??

        • johntothepowerof10

          Nonsense. The prequels are a total misunderstanding of what the spirit of the original trilogy was. The dialogue was mediocre, the characters uninteresting, and the beautiful CGI (at the time) couldn’t make it up for the lack of emotional involvement. There were a few good moments, and the music was incredible, but that’s it. It was overall a painful and very disappointing experience.

          The Force Awakens had flaws (lack of truly original story & too much deus ex machina if you ask me) but all its qualities (acting, writing, cinematography, music) made it a good to very good movie to me.

          Also, you must take into consideration the fact that this is a first episode to a new trilogy, and that it needed to have a “reboot” feel to it, in addition to being a sequel, because its primary goal was mainly to introduce new characters and raise new questions. This movie just got released, you only saw 1/3 of the new trilogy, you have no hindsight on this…

          And as I already said, this movie was made by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, the man behind The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was not made by Chris Buck, did not feature Elton John music. The hate on Disney is ridiculous.

        • newbiedm

          What a mistake for Disney it was to make this film.
          A pure mistake.

          1 billion dollars. Fastest in history.
          What a mistake.

    • I agree 100%. This movie is just a rerun of Episode 4 with no originality or innovation in it. It was clearly made at a Disney corporate board meeting and it was intended to please the fanboys who complained about the prequels too much.

      But guess what? You can “Phantom Edit” the prequels and they work. There is NO WAY you can do a Phantom Edit to The Force Awakens and make it work because its plotholes are so huge there’s no way to cut around them,

      If Disney wanted to make money off the fanboys they should’ve made an animated series, not this horrible fan fiction farse with a big budget.

      • Paul

        Put down the crack pipe

  • Spencer Jenkins

    I’ve seen it three times now, enjoyed it each time. the coincidences don’t bother me much as that’s what New Hope was built on as well. People forget that the plots of the those movies were often a little convoluted. It doesn’t matter when the characters are engaging, the highs are high, the lows are low, and overall we have a fun time with the adventure. I’d say Force Awakens hits all those points and more.

    A great movie, and probably the third best in the series right behind ANH and ESB.

    • What “coincidences” in A New Hope?

      Leia was part of a rebellion that his adoptive father, Bail Organa, started.

      Leia sent R2-D2 to Tatooine because that’s where Obi-Wan Kenobi was living.

      Obi-Wan was living in Tatooine because he was looking after Luke.

      Luke was in Tatooine because Obi-Wan took him to his grandmother’s homestead.

      So unless you want to make an argument about the “coincidence” of Leia and Luke bumping on each other (also a weak argument as they don’t just “bump” on each other and they don’t interact with each other for the entire first act) I simply don’t see the coincidences in Episode 4.

      The Force Awakens, on the other hand, has WAY too many coincidences and they are preposterous.

      And the contradictions! Finn defects the First Order because he’s impressed with his friend’s death. But then he has no problem shooting other storm troopers AND putting Phasma into a garbage compactor. So much for the objections against senseless death.

  • Brian Hull

    WTF Spoiler:
    How the HELL do they blow up an entire system and nobody gives a crap? Literally it is never mentioned. No mourning, no rage, no sadness, and not even clarification on exactly which planets were destroyed. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here I cannot believe they just glossed over that like it never happened. Even alderaan got at least one line from kinobi.

    The New Republic blows up and even the bad guys never mention it, as though they accomplished nothing. Huge hole in the plot for me, it was the biggest event in the movie and nobody cared.

    • Maude St. Nubbins

      Did you ever see anyone acknowledge Alderaan in the films, except for “when we heard about Alderaan we feared the worst.” at the Rebel base? There isn’t a lot of time spent dwelling on either atrocity.

      In TFA, Hux makes it very clear that they’re destroying the seat of the New Republic, from a narrative point that’s all that matters, though I agree that it looked enough like Coruscant to make me Google it.

      That said, it is mentioned again at the rebel base, you should rewatch the film. But to quote Leia’s response– “We have no time for sorrows, Commander.” In both cases they had to blow up that base before it could fire again.

      • Brian Hull

        Not the same, Alderaan was reacted to by Obiwan when it happened and also Leia. This time it is SEVERAL planets and they don’t even tell us for sure what happened. It’s because kids watch and they don’t want to dwell on the tragedy but death on that scale needs to at least be mentioned it was ridiculous that it wasn’t.

      • Wrong. Obi-Want sensed the destruction of Alderaan an said it was as if millions of voices screamed in terror. We also saw how it affected Leia. We could not have seen how it affected the Yavin base because the base wasn’t shown at that point in the timeline. But there was much more emotion shown for Alderaan than for 5 Republic planets that were blown by Death Star 3.0.

    • Also, Han Solo dies and Leia -who sensed his death through the force- doesn’t go straight to Chewbacca to mourn with him. No; she goes straight to Rey, some chick she didn’t even know.

      • Brian Hull

        She does acknowledge it though, we see it in her face she knows immediately when he dies. They blow up 6 republic capital planets and zero people react lol.

  • Handerlei

    Soooooooooooooooooooooo the leaked plot/script WAS REAL!!
    ahahhah i cant wait to read the leaked one of episode 8

    • The leaks were mostly true. I have the theory Disney ordered several minor changes to the movie once the plot was leaked in a desperate attempt at trying to convice people the movie was not going to suck. But it sucked anyway.

      • Handerlei

        YES, and you know what was the MAIN THING that disney said “hey this thing leaked already so dont make it a big deal”.

        Pay attention. Kylo is the son of Han. that leaked, right?
        this was supposed to be said in the end of the movie.
        BUT it is said in the first half hour. They scape Jakku. Snoke appears an he says “HEY KYLO, THE DROID IS WITH YOUR FATHER HAN SOLO”…

        i bet all the money that they changed to pretend it was not a big deal

  • cristian wulf

    TFA All The best, but only One thing real bad SNOKE, similar to voldemore OMG!!!! serkis is really crying for make this caracter so worst than vader or palpatine, The real bad asses!!! But must wait to E.VIII mabe hope is not lost!!!

  • Aurum

    Although I enjoyed the film in general, what bothers me the most is the way they treat the old big three. I mean, it is too harsh to give them miserable lives (Han lost his son, left Leia and got killed by Kylo; Leia basically lost all her family again after Alderaan; Luke lost all his students and run from everything) considering what they had accomplished in IV-VI.

    • And that’s the LEAST of the problems. Lets see:

      Han Solo is a war hero but goes back to being a smuggler. Didn’t the Republic have a Veterans’ Affairs office that could give Han a pension so he could retire instead of going back to a life of crime?
      Luke loses his students and runs away. Right. So he was willing to die inside the Death Star in Return of the Jedi (“soon I’ll be dead, and you with me”) in order to defeat The Emperor even though Yoda had EXPLICITLY asked him to “pass on what you have learned” but he runs away when he has AN ENTIRE REPUBLIC backing him up.
      Leia never learns to use the force even though she was the first person Luke should’ve trained. Also, instead of using her military experience to build a stronger Republic Army, she goes to some underground “resistance” that, by being part of the Republic, can’t really be called “resistance.”

      The plotholes go on and on. That much The Force Awakens SUCKS.

      • Paul

        You suck egghead

        • I also thought The Force Awakens sucks eggs and head.

          • Paul

            Silly virgin

      • newbiedm

        Veterans Affair Office.

        Yeah, Han in a white picket fence home with Leia raising grandkids would make for a very exciting character.

  • Roddy

    I’m curious if Jason got apology notes from people who said he was lying about the plot. The synopsis was pretty much a lot of what happened in movie. We just had to fill out the blanks with our imagination.

    • Handerlei

      I doubt it, i shared this leaked plot in my sites as i could, and after they saw the movie most of them called me names and said that “i wasnt completely right”,

  • Arthur Zepeda

    Why would they leave out Ren saying, ” It IS you.” when she overpowers him for Luke’s lightsaber. If its in the novelization, it seems that it is important enough to include it in the movie. Thoughts?

    • Maude St. Nubbins

      The original cut of the film was over three hours, and the novelization is based on it, much like the novelizations for the original trilogy. It’s just a change in the editing room, where the filmmakers decided to withhold that information for now.

      You should check out the OT novels. There’s all sorts of fun stuff, such as Kenobi mentioned that Uncle Owen is his brother, not Anakin’s cousin, in the RotJ novel. Oops.

  • The Constitutionalist

    R2’s posession of part of the map and his reactivation upon the arrival of BB-8 with the other portion make perfect sense to me. Luke gave him the map and told him to do nothing but wait. The seemingly random scene where Luke reaches for R2 sinches it for me. He gave part of the map to R2 for the resistance and left the other part on Jakku where he also dropped Rey who was one of the trainees he was training ( she’s wearing padawan attire in the drop off flash back).

    • Kermit

      Thanks. I’ve seen the film once now. I couldn’t figure it out directly.

  • Kent Kaliber

    And I don’t get your resentment Jason — as “real deserts”, “real stormtroopers”, and “practical effects” made for a FAR BETTER Star Wars experience —— you resent better special FX? Strange……..

    • Alan Stowe

      There were real deserts in the Prequels and Original Trilogy. What he’s talking about is Abrams made it sound like he was going back to the days of ESB Yoda and ROTJ Jabba: PUPPETS. Real animatronics. Not barely Pixar quality CG characters dropped into real scenes.

      • Kent Kaliber

        There were plenty of PUPPETS & Real Animatronics in the film. Maz and Snoke were CG but the rest was real. In the Prequel Trilogy, EVERY Clonetrooper is a clone and it looks like CG-rubbish

        • Question: so in that big scene where they shoot the Starkiller base for the first time, where all of the storm troopers were lined up. EVERY SINGLE STORMTROOPER was real?

          No. they were CGI.

          Also may I remind you LucasFilm, when it was owned by George Lucas, was an independent studio with a limited amount of money at its disposal, so finding ways to make the production cheaper was paramount. Making the clones CGI was the obvious solution for saving money. So was making Jar-Jar Binks 100% CGI instead of just replacing Ahmed Best’s head, as they had originally planned.

  • Kent Kaliber

    I was disappointed to see Han Solo killed off already. There is literally NO WAY this should not have been held off for Ep 8 or 9 —- would have been even MORE dramatic then. Robbing us of Han Solo for at least one more movie is a move I will always RESENT here. Otherwise, I did love the movie and it outranks all Prequels in every merit possible.

    • Kermit

      I think that was okay. Because we all like Han and the film builds up attachment every minute he is in it. And then destroys it as climax. The death of main characters is a big part in all SW films. A side-effect is that we possibly also never see Chewie again. Or Rey becomes first captain on the Falcon. But that’s unlikely during her jedi training.

    • The Star Wars Dad

      I doubt they had a choice. I’m pretty sure a Han Solo death in this film was a major stipulation to get Harrison Ford back. He has been vocal about wanting Han to die since ROTJ. I don’t think Ford wanted to do anymore than one movie. It was have Han die now, or not get Harrison Ford at all.

  • Drew

    Seen it twice now and it was great the first time…..even better the second. I think this movie is on par with Empire.

    • No. It is NOT. It is a rerun of Episode 4 and it SUCKS.

      • Drew

        cry me a river douche bag lol

        • Oh, like all the crying about the prequels?

          Admit it: The Force Awakens sucks and, to quote Darth Vader, “you know it to be true.”

          • newbiedm

            It was better than the prequels because you cannot burn ashes.
            And the prequels left SW in ashes.
            By virtue of simply existing, it’s already better than the prequels.

          • Drew

            The movie is awesome! I’m so happy! But you are sad….a sad cry baby. Boo hoo waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh lol

      • Paul

        You suck donkey dicks!!

  • Jacobus

    That was a good read, Jason.

    I loved Episode VII and echo most of your sentiments on the film.

    Episode VIII can’t come soon enough for me.

    I’d get over it whatever way it goes, but I’ll be disappointed if Rey is not a Solo/Skywalker or Skywalker, and we didn’t just witness the first brother/sister duel or duel of cousins in the saga. We shall see …

    I’ve enjoyed the information you and your network have come across in the years leading up to this film (and can’t wait for information about Episode VIII). The advanced info did not ruin my viewing experience one bit. In spite of the crap you get from people in some corners of the internet, most of what you posted was true. It feels as if you put out any information in good faith that you think it could be true rather than you know it isn’t and deliberately put it out anyway.
    Thank you for that.
    I look forward to reading both whatever you uncover for future films and your insights on all things Star Wars.

  • TurboPGT

    Luke only having one real scene in the movie was the correct way to take this.

    It worked for the movie. But no, it wasn’t. As much as I enjoyed what they put together and how, I still think it was a mistake and a disappointment. In my top 10 list of potential plots and storylines for 30 years after ROTJ…this would be rank 5th or 6th. Superseded by plots that don’t do so much disservice to the OT characters.

  • murphquake

    that was not a BB-8 thumbs up… that was BB-8 giving Finn the finger!

  • mossga

    Actually got quite emotional at the end of that… great that our expectations were met…. Have a great Christmas from Captain Mauser.

  • G2145caliber

    (The novel has Kylo say something like “it is you!” during their end battle, for what that’s worth.)

    i think this means that kylo just then realized rey was force sensitive/jedi.

  • Paul Dameron

    Great review

  • Tom Devito

    “Star Wars without George Lucas was brilliant once. ” No
    Nope nope nope

    • Cr38ive

      Before episode 7, my opinion of George Lucas was at an all time low. I will be the first to admit there seems to be something he really does bring that is of value. I honestly wish there was a way he could have co-directed this with JJ or been more involved. I especially think he could have gotten a better soundtrack out of John Williams.

      • Tom Devito

        Would be more interested to see now the original ideas for the new trilogy.

      • Marco

        You’re right. I also feel like some of that Lucas magic was missing in this film. It’s all pretty and flashy and reminiscent of the original trilogy, but it’s missing a certain something…. not quite sure how to word it. The first half of the film is great, but the second half kinda goes nuts story wise, I feel.

        • CosmicDolphin

          I would have liked to have known Lucas’ story..I thought the story this movie told was a bit of a let down, at least everything else was good

        • Jahngo

          I agree but as he said he didn’t want to “interfere with an ex-wife”. I’d like a lot if he had been involved anyway but he prefered to step away from the production…

      • Travis Ice

        I’d like to see Abrams direct and Lucas edit. There’s no way Lucas gets as good of a performance out of the new stars as Abrams did. Imagine how awkward Rey’s interrogation would have been if Lucas directed it like he directed Hayden and Natalie in the PT.

        But what Lucas does better than anyone is telling a visual story. The way Lucas intercuts the climax of ROTJ is a thing of beauty. He bounced between three battles and different character points of view during those battles. Yet the tales are balanced and chronologically coherent. The way Abrams edited the climax of TFA wasn’t bad, but some shots stretched the pace and were chronologically unbalanced.

        • Ian Hamilton

          Director and editor are completely different jobs. ROTJ was edited by Sean Barton, Duwayne Dunham, and Marcia Lucas. TFA was edited by Mary Jo Markey and Maryann Brandon.

  • Tom Devito

    My favorite scenes were where the StormTroopers who had the resistance in custody, the wanted people who had the droid, LET THEM GO to turn around so they could SHOOT AT XWings going by at 600MPH. TO let them escape.

    Also when Kylo Kills Han, and Chewie waits 30 seconds to shoot him to then shoot him only once before leaving. Just 1 shot after all that.

    Great flick.

    • Marco

      You’re being sarcastic, yes? if so…. you are correct. That second half of the film makes no sense story-wise.

  • Cr38ive

    Like Kylo Ren, my feelings about this film are tortured. Great new cast, amazing first half. Then things get ugly quick. Allow me to point out what most aren’t willing to say. There are some real honest, objective criticisms to be made. Carrie Fisher…you single-handedly took me out of the film and crushed it like a cheap tin can under your gruff 90-year old voice. All she had to do was act her real age. Female Yoda…what a waste and she is on the Poster??? Many underused characters…Phasma! Heavily marketed yet barely used, and basically gave up right away. SMH. Starkiller. Guys, let’s think this one through shall we? The Empire at it’s height couldn’t even build one of these, but somehow the First Order can? Sure. The so-called Resistance and their 2 minute battle plan to blow it up? Sure. It sounds like I hate it but they sprinkle in lots of good stuff along the way. It seems like JJ has no concept of space travel or how to represent it in film…all he had to do was put in a cut scene when they went into hyperspace. Having them pop over to Starkiller without a journey was jarring. People say they loved the mystery. Ok…up to a point, then it becomes a real problem not knowing the basic names of Planets, how big the First Order and Resistance are, why the five blown up planets should matter to us, and who the eff Snoke is. Even Jason hints at it in his review, if the answers suck then TFA will be reduced even more. Oh and since it’s becoming a rant, I should also throw in how the soundtrack was weak, oddly used. George Lucas once said we are not watching Star Wars, we are listening to it. I cannot say that about TFA. Maybe if John Williams’ orchestra didn’t show up to work in pajamas and gave it more respect, who knows? Maybe he is tired of it and uninspired, maybe he couldn’t see the film to respond to it emotionally. It seems like the secrecy was not justified, they took the easiest path for this film from start to finish. We got some great new characters, but what else?

    • Adam F

      I agree. It was disappointing. But the villagers online are about to get out their pitchforks out and chase you. Apparently, no one is allowed to say anything negative about this film.

      • Cr38ive

        lol yes I see them coming up the hill with torch-fire. All I can say is I wanted to love this as much as anyone! But let’s be honest, a little new creativity would have made this thing soar.

        • Adam F

          Again, I totally agree with you.

        • Marco

          Totally agree as well. It’s beat by beat A New Hope. And Rey’s sudden ability in the Force is very poorly explained and feels not earned. They better explain this well in the next film.

      • Jeero

        Apparently no one is allowed to say anything positive either.

        • Cr38ive

          Are you kidding me? This has 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and elsewhere. And it does have a lot going for it, and I did like at least half the film. The second half is where my complaints are focused. Everyone acknowledges the issues, but are glossing over them and I think it is important to be critical where it;s due. The criticisms will get back to production, little by little, and they can make choices that might give us a more solid film.

    • Steven Irizarry

      you have no taste prequel lover

      • Cr38ive

        Except I hate the Prequels. Try again.

      • Paul

        Douche

    • Dennis C

      Yeah, I was disappointed. Also, the best music cue in the film is when Rey picks up Luke’s light saber and it was lifted from Episode IV when Luke discovers his Aunt and Uncle. It also sounded like the original track recorded for back in 1977 for A New Hope. Best guess is that it was used as a temporary track when the rough cut was assembled and they decided it worked and they kept it in.

    • Tom Devito

      Well said.

    • bhak

      I agree for the most part but I think you’re a little too hard on it. I definitely agree with the second half being weaker than the first and that Carrie Fisher did not feel like Leia. Still the second half wasn’t terrible by a long shot. I do think too many questions were left; some questions are good but it was a little too much IMO. Despite all of that, I did like it. The thought crossed my mind that the perfect Star Wars film would be directed and castes by Abrams from a treatment by Lucss.

      • Cr38ive

        Bingo. I actually “awakened” to the fact that George Lucas does bring something of value to the table, and if he had co-directed or been involved more, we would have gotten something we can love rather than like.

        • Josh Doyle

          I think enough people love it tbh.

    • Jahngo

      For me the biggest dissapointment was the fact that I wasn’t aware that the planets destroyed by Starkiller Base were the core of the New Republic. And I didn’t feel the drama there. I think JJ tried to make the same George did in A New Hope when Empire destroyed Alderaan, but the thing there was that the parents, friends, etc. of Leia Organa were there… In his obsession to slap George face with this film and not be over expositive with political stuff he forgot to get spectators involved with this New Republic.

      Now we have again a Resistance and an Empire but I don’t like the way JJ and Kasdan have chosen to arrive to this “status quo” in the new trilogy. It would be nice to show people something about the New Republic, new Senate, new Chancellor, new government to get us more involved…

      But the film is -as Kasdan and JJ pretended- “delightful”.

      • Cr38ive

        OMG yes….not knowing anything about the New Republic, any sense of scale, names of planets, ect. Basically they killed the New Republic, the thing the OT fought for, off-screen. I was totally not invested in the destruction of those planets, I actually thought it was Corruscant. Then the issue of five planets exploding at the same time? And visible on Planet Resistance? Holy hell. I think JJ could not watch the film he made objectively, so it could be fixed. Meaning, he knew the answers and he had all that backstory made up in his head, so it made sense to him as he watched it. I think he forgot about everyone else along the way. We shouldn’t have to read books, comics, whatever, to fill in movie plot, as much as they may want us to all be buying it. The whole “delightful” comment feels like a slap in the face in hindsight. They broke our favorite characters to give us new politically correct fanservice ones. I liked the new characters, I liked a lot of things, but I ultimately know in my gut this is not a complete film, it’s an exercise in branding.

        • AuDiOsAnE

          Reminded me of Spock Prime watching Vulcan blow up from that snow planet in JJ’s first Star Trek movie.

  • Nelly Pringle

    I’ve seen it once and feel I can only give it a 6/10, for all it did have some lovely moments. I’m just not convinced it was substantial or necessary enough to make revisiting the franchise worthwhile. Credit to the new leads and characters though, they were great.

    Meanwhile, two things that seemed to make no sense at all about Starkiller Base:
    1) By draining all the energy out of the sun, surely that would cause everyone on the base to freeze to death?
    2) They already fired it once already. How many suns do they have around the base to drain?!

    • Nelly Pringle

      (My kids loved it though. It may be the one they look back on most fondly as it was our first Star Wars film together at the cinema 😄)

      William F. Pringle (Age 7) 10/10
      Anna M. Pringle (Age 5) 13/10

      If I could still watch movies as innocently, acceptingly and happily as my children, I’m certain I would give it 10 too.

    • Ian Hamilton

      whatever sun happens to be near where the base currently flew to?

      • Nelly Pringle

        A planet that travels from star system to star system? Really?

        Ah, who cares!

        • ianhamilton_

          Yeah, it’s not really much less believable than the moon that travelled between systems in the original films 🙂 best not to try to apply too much logic to star wars, it is high fantasy after all

  • JRbeach

    Great review Mr.Ward! Spot on!! Hope you can get some early info on 8!!

  • Dennis C

    This movie missed the target for me in a big way. It dd exactly what it needed to do in regard to delivering for the studio from a business perspective and for many fans by revisiting the familiar but far too much of it was TOO familiar. It was essentially a reimagining of Star Wars as much as it was a sequel, both visually in style and in story. Also, by the time we learn that Luke’s Jedi were slaughtered and see the Starkiller base destroy five worlds of the New Republic it becomes apparent that the events of Episodes I – VI carry absolutely no weight since the carnage that follows erases everything that had been accomplished by the end of Episode VI.

    So, yes, many fans are happy but fans were essentially presented with an update of previously existing material. In the end maybe that’s all they ever really wanted but it will be interesting to see how they look back on this movie in the coming years after the initial excitement has worn off and they’ve had a chance to watch this movie back-to-back with the original trilogy.

    • Steven Irizarry

      your a prequel lover with no taste

      • Dennis C

        It’s an opinion, not a petty attack on other fans. I’m a longtime Star Wars fan. This one just didn’t do it for me.

    • Marco

      Let’s wait until this “honeymoon” phases passes. I’m hoping in a month or so, people are going to start seeing things more objectively. It seems to me people REALLY wanted to love this film, and might still be in denial about it really not being as great as we tell ourselves. It was good, but nothing more.

      • Josh Doyle

        My second time watching it was even better than the first. I think a lot of the people with problems with this movie are scarred by the fact that they loved the prequels at the time then look back on them now and don’t, so think that is gonna happen this time and are trying to stop themselves “looking dumb”. Geez, give it up and enjoy a great damn movie.

        • Dennis C

          I’m an older fan, saw all six when they were released, accepted them for their strengths and weaknesses and enjoyed each for what they were. I was excited when the movie started but as it progressed so much of it seemed like a missed opportunity and a little too safe and maybe a bit too manufactured. I remember leaving Star Trek Into Darkness with the same feeling. Both presented a blank slate to take the franchise in a completely different direction that would allow each to stand on its own but instead settled for the familiar. So, yeah, this movie didn’t work for me. Holding out hope for Rogue One,

        • Paul

          I’ve enjoyed great Star Wars films.

  • J C

    I was not at all disappointed in Leia’s role; in fact, she had such poor screen presence that any more of her would have made the film seem gratuitous in her screen time.

    Carrie Fisher has so utterly destroyed herself with coke, drink, and who knows what else that she in no way resembles the character she once was, and I’m not just talking her looks. She came across as a doddering old lady and in no way exuded anything resembling authority in her “General” capacity.

    If any of the original characters had to go, I would have preferred it were hers

    • mckak

      no. I’m sure “doddering old lady” has nothing to do with her looks.

      • J C

        It really didn’t, to me anyway. She could have looked like Jabba but if she had any sense of authority or commanded any respect at all it would have been better.

        All she did was slur through her lines and try to act like she had something to do other than fill screen time. Maybe the original scene of her getting Luke’s lightsaber had something to it but, since we didn’t see it, we don’t know.

        She used to be a key part of the rebellion, now she seems to just be hanging around for some reason. Hopefully Ep 8 and 9 will do her justice?

    • Mathew

      I honestly think that if Carrie Fisher had been in halfway decent shape, the plot of this movie would be very different. It could have been Leia, a jedi, going out on the ledge to talk to Kylo and getting killed. But she looked like she could barely walk, let alone wield a lightsabre or challenge someone. In my opinion, they should have recast her. Or written her out, saying that Kylo had killed her already.

      • J C

        Agree – unless she plays a MAJOR ROLE in future episodes (and if the acting is crap as it was this go around) they should just mention her and what she’s doing because she added nothing to this movie other than looking sad when Han died.

  • mckak

    Wow. Could you even mention the name Leia, or refer to her in some way other than the “lost wife” of a male character?

  • Drew Norman

    Jason your review is right on man. I felt the sun sucking to power up the Starkiller weapon is really the only flaw in the movie. I love how we get the hint that Rey could be Lukes daughter. Which I hope that in EP8 we get to learn more back story on Rey and Ben Solos past. My guess is Luke is not going to just start teaching Rey the ways of the force so easily like Obi Wan did with Anakin. Love your blog man. Keep doing your thing

    • Tom Devito

      My favorite scenes were where the StormTroopers who had the resistance in custody, the most wanted people who had the droid, LET THEM GO to turn around so they could SHOOT AT XWings going by at 600MPH. TO let them escape.

      Also when Kylo Kills Han, and Chewie waits 30 seconds to shoot him to then shoot him only once before leaving. Just 1 shot after all that.

      Also if you think Rey being looks daughter and everything they hit us int he fake with, is only a HINT, then you are stupid.

    • She maybe not want to, if he reveals to her that he is Father she could feel so betrayed and just leave, so many possibilities and that’s what makes the ending so Great

  • newbiedm

    “This will begin to make things right.”

    Opening line.

    A message from the filmmakers about SW’s place after those dreaded prequels?

    I choose to believe so.

    • Felipe Ernesto

      Immediately followed by a PT reference, bringing balance to the force. Nice try.

    • Edison

      1/10

      At least you tried.

      • Tom Devito

        A faggot child-wookie lover. No need to hear anymore of your spewing shit.

        • Edison

          Lol, what

    • Adam F

      I enjoyed the prequels. They were not as good as the originals but still enjoyable.

      • Dennis C

        And I’m still a staunch defender of III. It’s a solid Star Wars entry.

  • Wooo! Yeah!

  • Ham Salad 1978

    My biggest gripe/nitpick is that there was NOT a reunion scene with the Big 3: Han, Luke and Leia. That bummed out the “10-year-old me” that still dwells in my head. I hope I can get over that and enjoy the movie when I see it again.

    In Episode VIII, I hope we see Leia use the Force. We only see her use the Force once in “Awakens” when she feels/senses Han’s death.

  • Josh Doyle

    I don’t think there is a movie out there that is a “perfect” film. Perfection is entirely impossible because we all bring our subjective experiences to the film. There were – amazingly – people that didn’t like Shawkshank redemption (too dark) or The Godfather (too violent). I just don’t think its worth mentioning that its not “perfect”, if its pretty damn entertaining!

  • Jason Loves Politics

    Once again another review that completely NEGLECTS LEIA, who I felt Carrie Fisher played amazingly well and he reaction to Han’s death was a true punch in the gut. We now have two legacy characters left both Luke and Leia. And while I am definitely interested in Luke’s new journey, I am excited to see what happens to Leia as well. She is still a key player, and Kylo’s mother.

    • Josh Doyle

      So many great performances, Leia was one.

  • Josh Doyle

    Enjoyed your review, Jason, and love the great job you do on here. We bring so much baggage into these movies, everything we want to happen and we want to see. I think the way to experience The Force Awakens is by going in with a clean slate and just enjoying the ride. That is how “Star Wars: A New Hope” exploded, people were transported into another universe of Science Fantasy and were enthralled by the experience.

    Both showings I have seen were punctuated by applause, gasps, laughter unlike anything I have seen FOR YEARS at the theatre. Didn’t get that reaction for Avatar! (This film deserves to beat the pants off of Avatar at the box office).

    Daisy Ridley as Rey was phenomenal. My second viewing gave me time to look around a little more and really observe things like John Williams’ score, individual performances, attention to dialogue to answer mysteries…. Incredible to think Daisy had only previously done a couple small TV roles. She doesn’t put a foot wrong in this movie. Everything, right up close on a giant screen, filled with emotion, same with Finn, they are right there in the moment, terrific acting and great roles written for them.

    Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, what a great conflicted character, being tempted by the light side of the force, what a concept. Brilliant writing all round, there were none of the cringeworthy dialogue moments or acting that plagued the PT.

    I actually didn’t mind the parallels with “A New Hope”. In fact, you could say that same thing about ROTJ’S similarities with ANH, though the lightsaber battle/space battle happening at the same time is more in line with ROTJ and TPM than ANH. This movie had enough “new” in it for me and if it played it safe, so did “A New Hope” with the good guys winning etc, that never stopped me enjoying ANH.

    Nitpickers of this movie, you’re just probably afraid to give yourself fully to it because you defended the PT and now look back with less than fond feelings towards it. This one is gonna go down in history very differently.

    SPOILERS:
    Four moments I think are going to go down in history as among the greatest Star Wars moments:

    Finn and Rey finding the Falcon (got a huge ovation in both showings I saw).
    Death Of Han. My God, who else had their hands over their mouths in disbelief?
    When Rey and Kylo fight, starting with her force pull of the saber moment.
    Reveal of Luke.

    • Adam F

      I think you just kissed everyone’s ass that you could possibly think of.

      • Tom Devito

        yip

      • Josh Doyle

        No, get out there off the hater message boards once in a while, there are a lot of people who enjoyed the movie like I did.

  • SGSJason

    Don’t blame JJ for Han’s death as I don’t think he had a choice. I am sure it was probably in Harrison’s contract for him to agree to come back. Even if it wasn’t there was no way they could launch Rey and Finn as the primary stars of this trilogy if Han was in all three films. Harrison Ford has too much charisma and star power. They had to take him out.

    • Adam F

      JJ gave an interview that has been posted everywhere today. Michael Arndt did not kill Han in his story. Abrams revised it and killed Solo. It was his decision. Ford certainly did not have this in his contract.

  • Well said.

  • Mark

    Han is dispatched pathetically, given little more mourning than Kirk in Star Trek: Generations. You should be embarrassed at yourself for enjoying this terrible film.

    • Josh Doyle

      Yeah and 95% of rotten tomato critics should be too embarrassed, right? And the AFI film board (Top 10 film of the year)… and all these fans… btw we saw how they all responded to Han’s death, Chewie went ballistic, shooting anybody and everything, setting off the detonators before Rey and Finn were even ready, Leia felt it in the force then cried with Rey…. Finn was unconscious, the rest of the resistance probably hardly knew Han because he wasn’t resistance…

      • Adam F

        I like how you continue to tell us all how to think. Guess what? We are all entitled to our own opinion. It’s entirely OK if we disagree with you.

        • Jeero

          It’s not OK to be told that you should be embarrassed for having an opinion, though – the original comment for this thread. It works both ways.

        • Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi

          Remember this next time someone says something good about the prequels.

      • Remy Verhoeve

        I enjoyed TFA but claiming that it is good because most people like it is a logical fallacy.

    • Adam F

      I TOTALLY agree with you Mark. The Kirk death scene in Generations is a perfect analogy to Han’s death in the Force Awakens.

    • Dennis C

      Leia should have reached out to Chewie but instead opts to comfort Rey. I mean, sure, who wouldn’t but, you know, Chewie just lost his best pal and all.

    • Dennis O’Keefe

      Mark,

      Please cite the film and television credits you claim to have.

  • Chris Cline

    While I loved seeing Skywalker I think the movie could have ended much like Empire with Ray and Chewie heading off to find Luke, jump into hyperspace and end it right there.

    • irondarwin

      Man, that scene with Luke and Rey was so good though. Why even question that?

    • Guillermo González Castillo

      I thought the same thing. Certainly from the point of view of the fan … it was better to see Luke doing something or do not appear at all… “Do or do not. There is not try”.

      • AuDiOsAnE

        Plus, the music was gorgeous as she climbed the steps! xD

      • irondarwin

        I can’t believe you’re actually suggesting the movie would have been better without Luke at the end lol.

    • Kenny Ritchie

      The plot of the movie was the race to find Luke Skywalker, Luke had to be in it. Personally, I thought the ending was majestic, really emotional, no need for any dialogue, the expressions said it all. It’s set up episode VIII nicely.

    • Paul

      That’s stupid.

  • Lotus Eleven

    Nice review. Really enjoyed the movie. My main issue was I wanted more of a mourning period for Han back at the base. It seemed a bit glossed over.

    • J C

      I suspect, if the next film starts right after the events in Episode VII, that we will see how much of an impact Han’s death has on the lead characters

      • Paul Dameron

        I agree…this was after all the same day or next day…

  • Kylo Ren’s conflict was brilliant.

    I’m so glad you draw the parallel to Anakin here. Ben is VERY much Anakin’s grandson – he has all the emotional turmoil, conflict, and fear that were so present in Anakin.

  • tribbleorlfl

    Great review, and I agree with much of what you said.

    I want to thank you for being such a regular, reliable source of news and rumors during TFA’s production and leading up to its release. To that end, now that we’ve seen it, I would LOVE some sort of “postmortem” article outlining the rumors that either didn’t make it into the film or ended up being significantly different on screen. Much of what you reported ended up being accurate, so it fascinates me how other items you seemed to be sure on didn’t come to pass. Why? Were they from a prior script? Were alternate scenes filmed and selected during editing? Chief examples would be:

    A villager on Jakku finding the Lightsabre, the sabre being what was hidden in BB8 and what Kylo was looking for
    The Resistance being idependantly and clandestinely formed by Leia bc the new republic couldn’t (or wouldn’t) protect itself from TFO
    The Resistance creating its own sulerwdapon (Sledgehammer)
    Super Stardestroyer using an “array” to wipe out a majority of Reistance Xwings and their own ties, necessitating an atmospheric assault

    • Dan Myers

      Yeah, I was kinda confused while watching the movie because I was expecting to see a “Sledgehammer” superweapon from the Resistance. The spoilers made me expect too much!

    • Ian Hamilton

      Take a look at the art of star wars book, there was concept art in there of the sledgehammer ship. Much of the early info came from concept art, but movies aren’t planned out completely in advance, they evolve throughout production and more still through editing.

  • David Delk

    Listen to the audiobook of TFA. It is canon; it is entertaining, and it fills in and answers many plot gaps from the movie.

  • JayandHelen

    Jason, word up, awesome review. I pretty much agree with everything you said.

    The stand out characters for me were Kylo Ren, Rey, and Han Solo, but there were no stupid or forgettable ones that I didn’t care about. Finn was engaging, and had a bit of a neat background, and Poe was funny, charismatic, and a complete team player.

    While both of us knew the basic story going in (you did more than I, I’m sure lol), seeing the execution of the events, is what matters.

    Hopefully VIII is awesome as well. I too would score it 9/10 or an A- letter grade. Excellent with a few minor flaws.

    • Jason Loves Politics

      It saddens me Leia has been so woefully neglected in all of the reviews and I felt Carrie Fisher pulled out a great performance. People should realize she is still a key player as Kylo’s mother, so I am interested to see what trajectory they put her on for Episode VIII and IX.

  • Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi

    Is Kylo Ren not the son of both Han and Leia?

    • ummm….

    • Jason Loves Politics

      It’s because the reviews keep leaving her out. Not sure why as Carrie Fisher was brilliant.

  • Heath Hiatt

    Great review. But Snoke is definitely Plaguis. Proof is that Kylo calls him “wise”.

    • JayandHelen

      I’m not sure that calling him wise means he’s the character you think he is.

    • Dennis C

      That would be cool but because there were so few real surprises in this movie I suspect that the reveal will be that he’s little more than what he appears to be. And was using CG necessary for Snoke?

    • irondarwin

      We call that evidence for speculation, not proof.

      • Mathew

        Agreed. Another piece of evidence though is that Snoke’s theme sounds extraordinarily similar to the music played in Episode III when Palpatine is telling Anakin about Darth Plagueis.

        • irondarwin

          That has nothing to do with Jar Jar though.

    • Speednet21

      I would generally agree, and I hope Snoke is Darth Plagueis, but unfortunately Snoke has a human nose, not a Muun nose. Maybe it will explained away, who knows.

      • Paul

        He was a Munn in the expanding universe which is now non-canon.

  • Chris Freeman

    Why are most giving Starkiller Base a pass. I understand it’s fantasy but wouldn’t sucking the star be one shot? Not to mention it would render the planet lifeless? Does the planet ‘move around’? How? Did I miss something? And destroying planets from far away reminded me of bug farts from Starship Troopers. Terrible idea.

    • SGSJason

      I had the same problem with it. The only justification is that they knew that taking out the republic with one shot and the resistance with the other was all it was needed for. It wasn’t for keeping the rest of the galaxy in line. It was just for eliminating their enemies.

      • Chris Freeman

        Strategy wise that’s logical. But if u suck the energy of a star you could not be on the planet’s surface anymore. They did mention it being a ‘hyperspace weapon’ but it would have made more sense to show a Babylon 5-type gate that propels the energy instead of the blasts traversing the galaxy in mere seconds.

        • mjayace

          I agree you had to seriously suspend disbelief more than normal for starkiller, but one thing I noted was it seemed like the base was sealed like for space travel. Maybe the intent was to move through space? Also it would take a bit of time for the atmosphere to cool.

  • Chris77

    I really loved the movies and especially the new cast. Daisy was awesome. My only complains (or rather nitpickings) are:

    -the portrayal of Phasma as a rather incompetent trooper, when she was hyped to heavens beforehand.
    -getting Parkour masters (Anderson, Chong) and not using their abiilities
    -getting the Raid guys and not using their abilities
    -getting Syrio “fuxxing” Forrel and not using his abilities
    – setting Greg Grundberg (aka Temmin “Snap” Wexxley) up to be the new Wedge and not reall using him or the other pilots as anything more than background action and Cannon fodder (Asty)
    -where was Zuvio, why did they create such elaborate creatures like Bobbajoe and use it for less than second, even his Force for change moment was longer. Same goes for Sark Plank.
    -the editing after arriving at the resistance base was rather hectic and could have used a little more room to breathe

    I think that this movie would benefit greatly from an extended edition, like the LOTR films. We know that a lot of scenes were cut and it feels like the flow of the film would be better if the movie was a little less hectic. The same could be said for John Williams music. It is very hectic and misses the crescendos and epic flowing motifs of the past soundtracks. Apart from Rey’s theme and the original themes there is no hummable music and especially worthy theme for the FO or Kylo.

    But all said I would rate the films: V, IV, VII, III, VI, I, II

    • JayandHelen

      I think some of the dialogue and the appearance of certain minor characters was affected when they had to cut some scenes to reduce running time.

  • Speednet21

    My favorite “small moment”: When BB-8 is finally reunited with Poe, and charges head-first, bumping past Finn, to reach his master. And Poe being equally excited to see him.

    Favorite chuckle: When Rey and Finn meet Han and Chewie for the first time and they are trying to decide what he’s known for. War hero? General? Smuggler? And Chewie just shrugs. As far as I’m concerned, this movie used Chewbacca better than any other Star Wars movie.

    Most delightful moment: When Rey slides down the giant sand mound holding the wrecked Star Destroyer. The music during that scene (Rey’s Theme) was just perfect. It put a smile on my face.

    • mjayace

      Agree 100% on the Chewbacca comment! He was awesome in this.

    • Kenny Ritchie

      The track playing during that moment was ‘The Scavanger’. Very similar to ‘Rey’s Theme’, but I agree it was a delightful moment.

      • Speednet21

        I understand on the soundtrack that The Scavanger is the name of the track that plays during the entire sequence (before, during, and after the part I wrote about), but it is Rey’s Theme you hear as she slides down the sand. In Star Wars soundtracks, there are character themes that are interjected into various parts of the Soundtrack. Just like how Leia’s Theme and the Force Theme make appearances on various tracks.

    • Ian Hamilton

      100% agree about chewbacca, he had some of the best lines in the movie. My favourite scene in the whole movie was when he was in the medical bay with the nurse.

  • Björn Aspernäs

    My take on Rey’s parents?
    I am totally fine with her being a total nobody, not related to anyone in the Skywalker family. In fact I would prefer it, I think.

    Why? Because of the way I think the story is going. The OT was about Luke being a diamond in the rough, a farmboy destined to redeem and fulfill the destiny of his father.

    We don’t need another trilogy about bloodlines and power through heritage. TFA already sets up Kylo Ren who believes he is the righteous heir to the power of the Skywalker legacy. It would be great if Rey is simply given the power out of virtue of her character, her heart. It sets up a conflict between rights of blood vs rights of character, something we haven’t seen yet in Star Wars.

    But with her being a Skywalker, the story could go in a Cain&Abel direction, which would be cool too.

    We’ll find out eventually.

    • JayandHelen

      Bjorn if she is not Luke’s daughter, who do you think her parents might be?

      The wife and I agree that her parents were hidden from us for a reason. They are significant and not just a couple of nobodies.

      • Björn Aspernäs

        Maybe you’re right.

        Her arc was to go from wanting to wait around for her folks to accept the adventure in front of her. Maz makes a big point of her having to let go. “The “belonging you seek is in in your future.” It’s ambiguous but is made to make you think her parents are gone. As in Owen&Beru.

        Who else?
        It could by someone significant but not Skywalker. Then they have to be setup abd explained later. From a story pov, this will be awkward.

        It could be Skywalker. Most likely alternative. It would be ok but i just feel we don’t need it for a good story.

        Ockham’s razor says she is a nobody, and the Force needed a hero with a good heart and it woke her up.

        Just my idea.. i am as excited as everyone else to find out. I am so glad the movie sets up these mysteries. It’s what makes SW alive again.

      • Papist00000001

        I know she’s the daughter of Ezra and Sabine!!!!

    • Jason Loves Politics

      I am interested to see how Leia factors into Episode VIII and IX. She is still the leader of the resistance and without the back up of the now destroyed Republic and her son gone completely apeshit, you have to wonder what is going to happen.

      • Björn Aspernäs

        If Leia were in her 30-40s played by Lena Headey, I would totally agree with you.

        As it stands, I think the next stories will not feature Leia much or at all, and I am fine with that.

        That doesn’t take away from Carrie Fisher her performance in this film. She did great.

  • Corran Horn

    “Our new main hero, Daisy Ridley’s Rey is a perfect “Luke Skywalker.”” I really liked the character and Ridley’s portrayal, but let’s hope she isn’t the perfect Luke Skywalker, or exactly like him anyway. Because if she is she’ll probably have her own apprentice go bad and wipe out her new Jedi Order in between 9 and 10. It’s bad enough that Luke, who at the end of ROTJ was supposed to have succeeded where Obi Wan and Yoda did not, turned out to be a failure. Hopefully Rey at least gets a happy ending.

    Surely treating Luke this way, ignoring the end of ROTJ, was not the only way to write the story. I wish there was some middle ground where Luke, still fighting the good fight, needed to find Rey to help him rebuild his Jedi Order, thus demonstrating her importance as a character while not making Luke into an exiled rehash of Obi-Wan/Yoda. At least those two characters were necessary for Luke to become a Jedi, whereas Rey seems to be the only character, good or bad, in Star Wars who can do most of this on her own. Why does she need Luke? The filmmakers assert this but so far there’s no proof they need him. Kylo Ren was beaten and the Starkiller Base destroyed without him. I’m hopeful they will explain all this and vindicate Luke for going into exile in the next one.

    • Speednet21

      Kasdan said that every draft he wrote in which he used Luke earlier in the film, Luke would take over and suddenly the audience would not be worried about the new characters any more. I think every Star Wars fan wants to see more Luke and whatever his powers are right now, but I have nothing but respect for the [correct] decision JJ and Kasdan made in the movie — in service of the story.

      • Spurple

        It was Arndt who said that, not Kasdan.

      • Adam F

        I’m still not worried about the new characters. Give me Luke.

  • JRoberts

    So at first I totally thought she was Kylo’s twin – because I figured Luke wouldn’t have had a wife, or a baby, since that’s what sent his father down the path to the dark side.

    But after thinking about it, I think that’s too derivative.

    Sooooo …

    Rey is Luke’s daughter. She was a baby when Ben/Kylo lost his shit and Luke went into hiding.

    Han left Leia and took Rey to Jakku, where he left her with the “one quarter portion” guy. He gave that guy the Falcon as payment for watching over Rey (ala Kenobi in ANH). The guy is stiffing Rey on her payments to try to keep her there (to protect her, and also because he’s shady). He recognizes the droid is going to get her in trouble and that’s why he wants BB-8.

    Rey scratches on the wall to keep track of time. She even has a handmade Luke Skywalker doll and a Luke-style fighter helmet. She also lives in a fallen AT-AT (like the one Luke destroyed in Empire).

    But fate is a powerful force. It comes to her, she answers it unknowingly and is thrust into her life.

    Han and Chewie have been hanging out in that sector to protect her. When she blasts off from Jakku in the Falcon they immediately are alerted. The Falcon had been sabotaged so it could not go far – in case this happened, which sent her right into Han’s waiting arms.

    Han knows who she is. He offers her a job (just like he did for Luke) he says “Chewie kind of likes you,” just like he did to Luke.

    The saber calls to her.
    Maz asks Han who she is, and the camera cuts away.

    Also, when she finally ends up at the rebel base Leia acts like she knows her. She hugs her tenderly in almost a “welcome home” embrace.

    And then she sends her to bring her father home – knowing that Rey is the only thing that can convince Luke to come out of hiding.

    • SGSJason

      The junk dealer wanted BB-8 for the same reason as the Guavvian Gang: because the First Order was offering a reward for it.

  • Mad Ben: Dune Warrior

    Great review and congrats on calling a lot of the things in this movie.

  • xyzzy-plugh

    “What does Kylo actually have to do?”

    He had to kill his father.

    • DarthZach

      Because it mirrors Luke’s journey in a twisted way.

  • Björn Aspernäs

    Thanks for a good review and a good job with the site.

    The Force Awakens was a great Star Wars movie. My first impression was that is was good and entertaining but a little too “safe” and repetitive to be truly great. After some reconsideration I think it’s amazing and here’s why.

    It essentially reboots the whole OT, hitting the spots of what has happened so far, while setting up the chess board for the next stories with characters that are fresh, likable, in their prime and ready to dive in. And it does this in a way that gives delighted pleasure to fans of the OT that came before. At the end of TFA, you basically have what you had at the end of ROTJ except with new heroes and villains and an excitement o where this story is going to go.

    If you are willing to accept it as a reboot in disguise, it’s an amazing achievement and really the best thing that we ever could have wished for but didn’t.

    There is so much promise in these characters and story setups. It was wise to keep every major character alive at the end except for the one who wasn’t. I hope the story threads do not dissapoint but i have a feeling they know where they are going.

    I’m renewing my fan-membership with a smile this year.

  • BusterK

    Have only seen the movie once, so my mind may change, but I thought it was very good, though not ANH or ESB great. In my opinion, TFA needed more editing work. It seemed like there was about ten or fifteen minutes of story missing, but the filmmakers had to keep things under a certain time or just felt pressure to keep the story moving because they were afraid of boring the audience. There were far too many gaps both emotionally and story-wise — no beat to honor Solo, no real BB-8 in final battle, etc. There was also a general lack of imagination design-wise. The movie needed some strange planets, ships, etc., instead of everything deriving from the OT. For instance, the smuggling scene was fun, but the ship, monster, and costume designs could have come from any sic-fi movie. I really hope Lucas decides to stick his nose into the productions a little more in the future, especially when it comes to editing and design sense, two areas where he excels. That said, the new characters are terrific and the acting is very strong especially from Ridley and Driver, (Boyega and Isaacs are great, too) and so a big tip of the hat to JJ for that. The dialog was fun. Looking forward to seeing TFA again and future episodes…

    • Spurple

      George is never coming back. Disney showed him the door, and he took his leave.

      • BusterK

        Well, from everything I’ve read he chose to step away when he realized they wanted to change some stuff and he felt he would just get in the way. Kathleen Kennedy said he can be as involved as he wants to be going forward and I’m sure that is the case. Difficult to see, the future is…

        • Ian Hamilton

          right… and the huge bucketload of cash they gave him to go away had nothing to do with it at all.

          • John Page

            Since he gave it all away to charity I have to doubt your cynicism.

  • The Force Awakens barrels back into Lucas’ ‘lived-in’ universe with inextinguishable energy and boundless joie de vivre.

  • TexD

    This rendition was great and what Star Wars needed. The new actors were phenomenal…all of them, except Phasma. With that said, it does have flaws. I’ll talk about these, then go back to the good. Phasma was probably the worst character and her utilization was extremely poor. She starts off as expected, taking orders and killing like a staunch leiutenant. But when she speaks, it’s like a warped version of an 80s electro voice changer. But ok…I can live with that…but the end scene with her is awful…the trailer of her walking in Starkiller base makes you think of Vader having to suit up and get in the action for ANH trench run. But, she walks right into a trap, and then gives up the shield generator codes without a fight. “Can you give us the codes?” “Ok, but my bosses are going to be really bad at me, but you have a blaster…so, I guess it’s ok.” This makes no sense when earlier she was toting her conditioning programs of the storm troopers. I didn’t like the Chewie scene with Leia at the end. Chewie has a life debt with Han and didn’t fulfill it. Leia knows this…and they walk right by each other? I do like his rampage after he sees Hans death though. Luke should have said something at the end or at least force grabbed the sabre, but it does set up 8 as another SW most anticipated…perhaps bigger than than 7. Next, this is really bad, but I didn’t realize how much I would miss the 20th century fox intro…without it, the anticipation doesn’t build and it just kind of starts. Nothing you could do, but Disney could have opened with something similar or created a new intro just for Star Wars. lastly, Snoke could have been better realized…an alien or anything other than a cross among Voldemort, gollum, and vihktor in underworld. My only thought is he is recovering from the dead and is still transforming, or severely injured/burned in the past. Maybe gravely wounded by Luke but the Knights of Ren saved him or distracted Luke long enough for him to escape. Could make sense b/c of Snokes apparent fondness to this group and its master. Now to the good…this movie is like a well marianated steak…the questions it raises makes this hard to stop thinking about, which, if anything Star Wars tells, does eventually answer all the questions it raises. This is exciting, especially Rey’s parents, which looking back on the movie, has to be Luke as her father. The duality of Jedi and (Sith)/dark side training of masters and apprentices in 8 is going to be incredible. They are at the first Jedi temple, and Snoke is compelled to finish Rens training (on the Siths home world?). In addition, what about the conflict brewing between Leia and Luke. Luke lost her son who killed Han. His exile may redeem him, but not if he will be training his daughter or even a Rey random to take her son down. She thinks he still has light in him. Luke will not fall for a betrayal of Ren again knowing he killed Han and destroyed his academy. Everyone is talking about the possible family feud btw Ren and Rey, but Leia and Luke to me is much more complex. Seeing a tie fighter fight from the pilots perspective was awesome. This was a huge check of “I always wanted to know this.” The banter, BB8, and well placed humor tied this movie together beautifully. I could go on and on, but the strength of this movie are the vast amounts of intriguing questions that will be answered in 8 & 9. (Hopefully)

  • VIP

    Hearty review and endorsement. TFA was a goid SW movie

  • sepiajack

    The rant about CGI, citing Snoke and Maz seems weird to me, as the CGI was pretty subpar for both, they were 2 of the only moments I was taken out of the movie. I could see Max needing to be CG, but don’t understand at all why Snoke was, it was a pretty uninspired design, I figured if they had to use CGI he was going to be a cool looking alien, but he ended up just looking like a weird human anyways.

    • mjayace

      We don’t know yet who the wizard is behind the curtain. It could be a completely fake image mades by whoever or whatever Snoke is…. I think it was meant to be more mystery than finality.

      • sepiajack

        Agreed. I actually think there is a good possibility he’s like 3 inches tall.

        I was thinking an evil yoda would be kind of neat. But after all the hype and secrecy around Snoke it seemed really unnecessary. There was nothing about him that needed to be kept secret.

        On the other hand, the fact that Kylo Ren just has a normal face and wears a mask purely to look tough as his troops would not take him seriously otherwise WAS a great reveal and I’m glad they kept that a secret

        • mjayace

          A three inch snoke could massively fail or be the most awesome and ballsy thing ever! I can just picture him with this tooth pick like lightsaber. “Hey guys! I’m down here!”

          • Lotus Eleven

            Screw 3″ Snoke. I want Ant-Man Snoke.

        • SGSJason

          Actually they revealed his face in the Vanity Fair photo shoot. They got away with it because nobody believed it was really how he would look in the film.

    • Marco Calrissian

      I think they chose to do Snoke in CGI also because of the next movies, maybe in the next movie they need him to be CGI because he’ll move more, and so they chose to go this way in this movie too

      • Dudley Dippingbrior

        Voldemort moved just fine being based on a human….

    • Lotus Eleven

      Ironically, the earlier drafts of Snoke were way better. Especially the gaunt old shriveled man version. That was original and creepy as hell imo.

  • mjayace

    I thought the film was wonderful overall. My biggest problem with the film was one no one mentioned. With the exception of Poe, when the movie cut to all the various xwing pilots it reminded me far too much of the Episode I pilots vs the Episode iv pilots. There was no Wedge or Biggs…. Just a bunch of no name generics. Biggs death meant something, hell, you even felt for Porkins and Red Leader.

    • Philip Szajna

      They were no names back then too

      • mjayace

        Well duh, except there were four or five out of the two dozen that were given a name…

  • DailyPlunge

    “What does Snoke really want?” He says this during the movie.

  • Spurple

    The Phasma scene was when the film completely lost me. We were promised a badass warrior like Boba Fett, but instead, she was degraded to the butt of a single joke. What was all that talk about “strong female characters” for? Insulting.

    • Dudley Dippingbrior

      yes! everything about Phasma was weird- in fact it felt like it wasn’t even intended to be a female character- and they plugged in GC’s voice in post. Her voice acting was absolutely terrible btw.

      • sepiajack

        That’s because she wasn’t. The chrometrooper design was originally what Kylo Ren would have looked like, they changed the design but wanted to keep the chrometrooper so added another character, JJ is a Game of Thrones fan so wanted to cast Christie. I think the script must have been more or less locked at that point, she was cast after the other lead characters, so I assume her lines were just taken from random other troopers and imperial officers

        • Dudley Dippingbrior

          yeah, i knew that- but it definitely seemed like a post decision, not even one that was made close to primary photography.

          • sepiajack

            I agree. I think most likely she’ll be better utilized in the next one, I think with this one they ended up not having a way to use her better without major rewrites, I could be wrong but it is what it is

      • Spurple

        Yeah, the voice acting was atrocious. I’ve seen the film three times now, and every time I cringe at how she pronounces “blaster” (blaaastah). And you’re right about her being weird. What was the idea in that scene when she suddenly appears behind Finn when he takes off his helmet? Was it supposed to be funny, or a mild jumpscare? It just seems like she teleports out of nowhere, and it comes off as incredibly awkward. It’s good they started pumping out all that merch before the film was released, ’cause they won’t be selling a single Phasma action figure after people see it.

  • Clint Randall

    I really was wondering if all the added action figures from the Bespin timeframe were on purpose. Bespin Luke, Vader and Boba, plus the Bespin steps on the SDCC poster. Makes sense!

  • Adam F

    I thought it was COMPLETELY absurd that Rey was able to master the force in the span of ten minutes. She didn’t even know what the force was until that day yet suddenly she could do Jedi mind tricks, wield a lightsaber, and easily defeat Ren in battle. It was absurd to the point of insulting.

    • DailyPlunge

      I agree. If they’re going to have some kind of “awakening” in the the force they should mention it in the movie and maybe in the title as well.

      • Josh Doyle

        hahahaha exactly

    • Jeff

      “She didn’t even know what the force was until that day yet suddenly she could do Jedi mind tricks”

      How do you know this? I think based on many peoples reactions to Rey while interacting with her (namely Han and Leia) that there is more to who she is than this movie tells us.

      • sepiajack

        Luke didn’t know about the force either. The only difference is he used it in a space battle instead of a saber duel.

        But the force just makes people strong with it awesome at whatever they apply themselves to. Being a jedi has nothing to do with actual sword training, it’s not a martial arts technique, they are just super intuitive and can anticipate their opponents

        • Corran Horn

          That’s not exactly true is it? Luke had Obi Wan helping him and guiding him. Whereas Rey just said “the force” and meditated for a few seconds and then kicked Kylo’s ass. Why does she even need Luke at this point? What could he possibly teach her that lazy writing couldn’t make her achieve on her own? Everyone both good and bad needs training except for Rey, that was unfortunate I thought because otherwise I really liked the character and Ridley’s acting.

          • sepiajack

            But Rey had Kylo (inadvertantly) guiding her. She learned the basics from him and then turned it against him.

          • Adam F

            Well said.

    • Dudley Dippingbrior

      and maybe she had training- but the jedi mind trick would be absurd if any character had done that in any star wars movie.

      • DailyPlunge

        “there’s been an awakening in the force…”

    • sepiajack

      How is that any different from Luke in ANH or the start of ESB before he meets yoda?

      Luke destroys the deathstar even though he’s never flown a space ship before. Takes out trained stormtroopers on the deathstar.

      In ESB he moves his lightsaber with the force in the wampa cave even though this is something that Ben never even mentions is possible, or ever does anywhere in ANH.

      She learned the mind trick because Kylo was using it on her, and she’s a lot more powerful than he is. She learned to use it against him, and that opened her mind to using it on the trooper.

      We see her fighting with a staff throughout the movie, and Luke never had any sword training at all. The force had awaken in her, just like it did in Luke and you can watch her improve her saber moves as she fights and becomes more confident.

    • Robotpoop

      She didn’t “master the force.” She tried doing a Jedi mind trick, failed, then tried again. And in the duel, her instincts took over and the Force guided her. The implication there if anything was that Kylo was less skilled than he (or we) thought until that point, which had already been hinted at when Rey was able able to flip things around during his mind probe.

    • mckak

      Rey did have experience fighting with her staff, so i think that played into her ability to wield the lightsaber.

      • Mathew

        Finn had a “lifetime” of weapons training, and that didn’t help him much.

        • mckak

          Weight, shape, heft, motions with a staff are much more similar to a light saber than a blaster would be, rendering skills more readily and unconsciously transferable.

    • Philip Szajna

      She did not master the force in ten minutes everything she did was clumsy. I could pick up a cutlass and swing it at someone but it doe not mean I am a buccaneer.

  • If it’s too much like the original movies, fans complain. If it’s too different than the originals (like the prequels) fans complain. Not sure what the people complaining really want or if they can be pleased…a couple minor gripes aside, movie was solid.

    • Philip Szajna

      Maybe we will find out later guys this is the first movie. Of three maybe all would have been happier if they released a 10 hour movie

  • Dudley Dippingbrior

    On Snoke “He just reminds me of Voldemort from Harry Potter.” and the problem is that they didn’t start with an actor being filmed on film as the base layer and relied 100% of mocap. It feels like a very poor imitation of Voldemort. Also Snoke really added nothing to the movie- having Ren consult Vader multiple times would have given us more insight into his frailty.

    Hux, Phasma, Snoke: all mediocre-not much else to say about them.

    Hans Death: very clunky…. He gets stabbed and then about 20 seconds later they decided to start shooting at Kylo. It is a really weird sequence. Why did they only send 3 people to battle on the surface at StarKiller? Clunky, weird, decisions.

    Finn: He basically felt like a watered down version of Shia Lebeouf from really anything he has been in but closest to Shia from Transformers 1. He and Rey felt like 2 obsessed comic con fans who get to meet their favorite celebrity but don’t know what to say to them when they finally meet them. Maybe that type of character is appropriate for the times we live with how celebrity-ism is at an all time high thanks to fluff like Fallon. But I guess to encapsulate my feelings on Finn… He feels like someone from our Universe and not the Star Wars Universe.

    Maz: total fail on everyone involved part not giving her the dialogue to explain where she got the lightsaber from. total fail. there were too many questions already to have that just hanging out there.

    Leia: aside from 1 or 2 brief instances she was mishandled. she was given some terrible dialogue to push the movie forward. She just didn’t work. At the end all they can do to show her loss is to hug someone she just meet in an awkward and overlong way? weird choice.

    Space travel: prior to landing on Maz’s planet, Han is giving some exposition and then he wraps it up by saying “we’re here”…. This isn’t a new problem to the recent star wars movies- but think how long it took to get from tatooine to alderaan or from hoth to cloud city? or even how long it took luke to get from dagobah to cloud city…. In the later 2 prequels and this movie, they just get there as soon as they run out of dialogue…. its weak writing. JJ had the same problem in both Trek films. The last 3 movies just jumped from landing platform to landing platform.

    I enjoyed the first hour of the movie for sure. Around when Maz came in the movie really fell apart- How weak was that Cantina scene redux? Yes, cool creatures but they didn’t help the story along at all… It felt like a lot was cut from that sequence. And where did all those creatures go when the place started to get blown up? It would have been funny and star wars-ish to have seen some of those big guys try to escape….

    Han was all about dumping them despite them saying the name Luke Skywalker and then he did a 180 and helped them till his death? ok, if that were the only problem, i could deal with it but it wasn’t the only problem.

    It really just feels like the best Star Wars fan film ever made- mainly because it is a star wars fan film at its heart… isn’t it? That being said… Its a Star Wars fan film but one that was afraid to really nerd out and be a star wars fan film… Thats something that most aren’t afraid to do. Its like JJ was afraid to lose the box office money from people who would get weirded out by the movie being too sci-fi. “Han Solo is cool… talking about the force isn’t cool… Okay we won’t explain things that have to do with the force, we will just say it exist….” its funny but that also sounds like present day america where people have to go to rock and roll church to convince themselves that church is cool…..

    I’d give it a low 6 if I had to rate it today.

    • DailyPlunge

      A survey of film-goers found 96% thought this movie either met or exceeded their expectations. Sorry you fall in the 4%. It might never get any better.

      • Dudley Dippingbrior

        I gave it a 6- its not like it was of Jurassic World fail proportions- which also scored well with the public.

        The thing about general movie goers… they walk in, watch it, leave… never think about it again. Maybe I would feel the same way if I were able to disconnect my brain? sometimes I wish I could. shame.

        Do I have to give this a 9 or a 10 just because it exists? am I not allowed to have an opinion?? You loved it… great. I’m happy for you. Above are some of my concerns, my opinions. In the words of Michelle Tanner… “How Rude”

        • sepiajack

          This movie was far and away better than Jurassic World though. that movie was terrible. Force Awakens has a couple of awkward story beats, but is a lot of fun and captures the feel of star wars, something JW failed to do with its predecessor. I agree with your take on Snoke, but disagree about the others. I think Finn, Rey, Ren, Hux and Poe were all great

          • Dudley Dippingbrior

            glad you liked it~

        • DailyPlunge

          You don’t have to do anything but think your opinion is superiors to the 96% of people who enjoyed the film.

          • Dudley Dippingbrior

            again- I gave it a 6- that is on the side of enjoyment- and again does everyone need to give it a 9 or a 10 just because it exist.

            I just not going to respond to you anymore- have a great day!

        • At first, I had given this a 4.3 out of 5, and I thought I loved the film. But reading your comments has made me realize that I WAS just giving it a high rating because it exists. All the enjoyment I felt at the movie was simply because there were space ships and laser swords on the screen, and nothing more. I realized that I didn’t really like any of the characters. That Rey and Finn and Poe weren’t actually worthy of carrying forward the legacy of Star Wars as I had thought when exited the theater that first night. What was I thinking? I guess I was thinking, “What does the rest of the mass public think of this movie? THAT will also be my opinion.”

          Ha ha. Just kidding. This movie was great. I respect that you have a dissenting opinion, but you’re on the wrong side of history on this one, but you know that already, and are just here for the troll cookies. Eat up!

          • Josh Doyle

            Yup. This is the real deal.

          • Dudley Dippingbrior

            na, in a long enough timeline, it will even out to be a fairly mediocre movie as it is.

    • SGSJason

      Han went to his death out of love for his son. He didn’t do it for Rey or Finn.

      To me the only big flaw was the whole concept of the Starkiller base. Common sense would indicate that if you have a planetary weapon that needs to consume an entire sun for EACH SHOT you wouldn’t be consuming the suns that keep said planet habitable and in orbit. If the Resistance hadn’t destroyed the planet the laws of physics would have.

      Snoke seemed more like a mummified Gollum than Voldemort to me.

      All I can say is what did Mark Hammil actually do at that first group script read? Did he read the scene descriptions between the dialogue?

  • Kai

    Regarding R2´s awakening: There is that one moment during the Kylo-Ren-vs.-Rey-duel when Rey closes her eyes. I suspect that´s the point when Luke feels that his daughter (?) is in danger and gives her advice just like Obi Wan did (and isn´t that the same music playing on the soundtrack?). She gets new strength from whatever he says to her and nearly kills Kylo Ren. Luke finally decides to get back into action, and it´s also the reason why he clearly waits for her in the final scene on the island. He wakes up R2D2 (via the force?): He knows Rey is ready to be a Jedi herself and shows her the way to find him.

    • Dudley Dippingbrior

      you are thinking into it way more than anyone involved in the movie did. they were thinking “crap, what are we going to do with 3 droids in this movie… OKAY got it…. Make R2D2 depressed… GREAT….”

      • Kai

        Maybe. But at least it could be the explanation. And if you re-watch it with that in mind the ending works quite perfectly. 🙂

      • Corran Horn

        JJ is doing the interview circuit trying to explain this stuff, when he should have focused on explaining it in the film or making it all a lot less complicated. Ren says they have the rest of the map from the Imperial Archives. Why not have a short scene where Finn says, “Hey I just found the rest of the map when we were taking down the shields and now we can actually, truly, finally find Luke Skywalker!” It would have been very convenient, like many things in this film, but less horrible than having Threepio mislead the audience about Artoo.

  • Ratpack223

    After 20 minutes into the movie I wasn’t blown away, but I thought this could work…then the movie fell completely apart.

    • Adam F

      I felt the EXACT same way.

    • Josh Doyle

      ?? You sure you didnt walk into Alvin and the chipmunks instead? I swear to God its like watching people give a new hope bad reviews. I havent met one person in real life that didnt love this movie, just invisible people online. This was such a great movie.

  • Ryan

    Mostly agree with the review. I actually didn’t find Kylo Ren that intriguing until he interrogated Rey and took his helmet off. I’ve read plenty of complaints calling him too whiny and acting like a “girl”, getting beat up by Rey, etc. Ignoring the blatant sexism and toxicity of those points, I found his imperfections, outbursts, frustrations, fear, regret, and sense of superiority really interesting and, as the sun goes dark over Starkiller base, quite intimidating as well. He came off as very unhinged and I became pretty concerned for our heroes. I actually felt for him during that conversation with Han. I’m sure he’ll come back angrier and crazier than ever.

    Another thing was the physics regarding Starkiller base and the locations of the planets. I don’t much care to analyze the science of these movies because it’s all nonsense anyway, but it’s weird that the folks on D’Qar could see the destruction of all 5 (it was 5, right?) targets of the base. According to the map, they’re not quite next door to Hosnian Prime.

    And then the R2-D2 thing was weird. They explain it as BB-8 communicating that he’s got the missing piece of the map and requesting the rest, while a hibernating Artoo hears this request and takes a bit of time to process. It’s a take it or leave it situation. Convenient, maybe, but I always believed that stumbling upon the sister/princess (whole family get-together on the Death Star, really) in ANH was awfully convenient. It tends to happen in Star Wars.

    • mjayace

      I think R2 awakening was tired to Rey somehow. She wasn’t there before.

      • Dudley Dippingbrior

        It did seem like that- they just did a really really bad job of connecting the dots.

        But wouldn’t the obvious solution be to put a new power source in him?

        • mjayace

          No, they made the point that he shut himself down, of his own volition. Not that he simply, run out of juice. I mean they could have just completely reprogrammed him, but we know artoo and threepio are family to the big three.

  • Charles Smith

    To copy virtually the entire plot of Episode IV is not “brilliant.” JJ took no risks and has no originality. He’s a competent hack.

    I enjoyed the movie but it was not “brilliant” by any stretch.

    • Adam F

      Everyone is bending over backwards to kiss JJ Abram’s ass. I don’t know why. It’s as if people are desperate to love this film.

      • Jeff

        From the perspective of someone who enjoyed the film, and most of the stuff that has been released as of late, it seems to me that you and others of your ilk are just looking for reasons to hate it. Please do tell: why do you even bother anymore?

        • sepiajack

          I get that impression also

        • Philip Szajna

          I agree most of these people that complain were not even around when the originals came out and will complain because they themselves wanted something in the movie that did not show so the movie sucked. They will always find something to bitch about and there’s no way to make them happy. The main reason that I think that the previous 1-3 did not work was there was no familiarity to the you in your heart wanted to see the originals in your subconscious so you would never be happy. Get over it folks it’s a movie and a good one at that

          • Adam F

            I was in the theater in 1977. Not that I need to explain myself to you…

          • Philip Szajna

            Never said you did just hate hearing people complain about little things that will probably be explained in the next movies.

        • Charles Smith

          If I’m not bitching about movies, what else am I supposed to do? Feed the poor? Volunteer at an old folks home? Sorry that’s just not for me.

          • Jeff

            That would be why, if you look at my comment, it was in response to NOT you…..

    • sepiajack

      Well this one was just about restoring the public’s faith in the franchise after 3 disasters. If this one had been bad, then the SW series would have more bad entries than good, and the future of the franchise would be in real trouble, and Disney would have wasted $4 billion.

      Just the fact that they were able to get people excited again for a new SW movie after the prequels at all is the achievement. Now that the foundation is laid and the franchises future is secure they can take more creative risks with the next few

  • Kenny Ritchie

    I believe they needed the missing piece of the map to pinpoint Luke’s exact location, otherwise they would have had to search numerous planets and systems.

    Your review very much mirror’s my thoughts on this wonderful movie. Will be seeing it for a forth time today.

  • Kenny Kraly Jr

    Balancing the old with The Original Trilogy nods and also setting things up for the future of Star Wars that is what The Force Awakens did. The new Cast Daisy Ridley , John Boyega , Oscar Isaac , Lupita Nyong’o , Adam Driver , Andy Serkis , Domhnall Gleeson , Max von Sydow and Gwendoline Christie fit right in with returning favorites of The Original Trilogy Cast of Harrison Ford , Mark Hamil , Carrie Fisher , Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew. The Special Effects by ILM amazing , The Sounds Effects by Ben Burtt , Matthew Wood and David Acord awesome , The Costume Designs by Micheal Kaplan breathtaking , The Cinematography by Daniel Mindel great and The Musical Score by John Williams the oxygen is back. This film is a great film and not only one of the best Star Wars Films but also one of the best of 2015. This film honored The Past of Star Wars and also setting things up for this new era of that Galaxy Far Far Away. Overall I give Star Wars (Episode VII) The Force Awakens a 9.5/10 a great Star Wars Film and I can’t wait for more. MTFBWY Always!!!

  • Kangawookie

    Regarding the map, that’s an entire sector the of galaxy to check, let alone use technology to detect one person, Which even Imperial Probes droids could not do. And it’s safe to assume that Leia has been looking for him and even Han knows about “first Jedi Temple”. Obi-wan found Kamino only because the person who deleted the data from the Jedi Archives left too much supplemental data for him to deduce that there should be a planet there. Here we have entire systems pulled out. Also you should be more nice to your wife/ladies on the podcast, they are no more wrong about speculating than you guys are… let them finish and have their say instead of interrupting before they even finish a sentence with SHUT UP.

  • JJ has said R2 woke up when he had finished slowly processing the data that BB-8 had given him when he first bumped in to him. If that’s the case I think they completely failed to show that. There are any number of ways you could have made that work.
    http://www.ew.com/article/2015/12/20/jj-abrams-answers-burning-question-about-r2-d2-star-wars-force-awakens

    • mosfet74

      It’s just NFC. You’re smartphone can do it. :o)~

  • bargal20

    No way am I going to complain about Rey using Jedi mind tricks to make 007 drop his weapon.