Finally, after thirty three years, George Lucas is dead, and a new Star Wars movie has been released as a direct and immediate result! There are some people – conspiratards, I call them – who will tell you that George Lucas is still alive and that he merely sold the rights to the Star Wars franchise to Disney, who immediately shat up an absurd amount of merchandising before the money had even transferred to their accounts.
And that last part is partially true, because who doesn’t need BB-8 flavored oranges?
These same crazy, conspiracy-obsessed fools will also tell you that there were three “prequels” which were released between 1999 and 2005. Obviously, that isn’t true. Everybody knows that when Lucas remastered and re-released A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi in the late 1990’s, that he was flooded with angry letters from disappointed fans, and retired in shame and went to live on Dagobah, where he ate sticks and grubs in hopes of atoning for his failures,
I guess some people just live in a different, much more horrible universe than us normal people.
In the very capable hands of J.J. Abrams – and also not having anything to do with Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, or Damon Lindelof, thankfully – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is everything that fans have wanted in a new Star Wars movie. There’s just enough surface level fan service to keep the casual audience happy as they transition into this new era in the Star Wars continuity, and for the real geeks, there’s loads of Easter Eggs, references, hints, and the like. I won’t mention any of them; half the fun is catching them on your own, and wondering at their relevance in future episodes.
There are some that complain that this movie is too tongue-in-cheek, or that it’s a crass money grab which is exploiting old ideas and an established franchise to reel in audiences, or that the character of Supreme Leader Snoke was almost totally CGI.
These people seem to forget that the original trilogy did the same damn thing.
These are the same people who would complain about a blowjob. YOU CAME, DIDN’T YOU? ON A GIRL’S FACE! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?!?
The fact of the matter is that this film is well-written, entertaining, and features complex, interesting characters that you actually give a damn about. Alright, so it’s not a Kubrick film, but what do you do expect? It’s a movie about fucking space wizards with laser swords. It’s not meant to be fine cinema, it’s meant to be a fun, exciting experience, and goddamn it does it hit the mark on every level.
Let’s talk about the principle antagonist for a moment, since he is without a doubt the most interesting character in the film, as well as one of the most complex villains I’ve seen outside of modern television dramas in recent history.
Adam Driver plays the role of Kylo Ren, whom I will refer to from this point forward as Darth Emo. Darth Emo, despite his scary presence and his crazy badass control of the Force, seems to have the soul of a manic depressive poet. He is introspective, soft spoken, and delivers his dialogue in a measured, thoughtful cadence that is both endearing and disarming, especially when he decides it’s time to go utterly apeshit and destroy Imperial property like it’s a goddamn game of Monopoly that has gone on far too long.
Darth Emo has the coolest looking light saber ever. Before you call it gimmicky, please understand that you’re talking about A LASER SWORD. It’s supposed to be gimmicky, and at least this one doesn’t look like a novelty dildo. I was skeptical about the hilt when the first teaser came out, just like almost everyone else, but it turns out to be a really cool weapon.
First of all, it’s vibrating like crazy, giving the impression that it’s more powerful. If you dig into the lore a little bit, though, you discover that this isn’t really the case; it was actually made inexpertly by Darth Emo using a damaged crystal, and is highly unstable. He has little formal training as a Sith – and is not, in fact, a Darth at all – and tried his best to follow the instructions from the copy of Lightsabers for Dummies he got off of Craig’s List, but I guess a page must have been missing.
The fact that it’s a product of shoddy workmanship actually works well, both in that it’s a reflection of Darth Emo’s relative lack of discipline and experience, and also the fact that it looks like a huge pain in the ass to wield. In final fight scene, despite being a physically fit guy, he is pouring sweat in the middle of a taiga forest, and you get the impression that using his lightsaber is like swinging a claymore around.
Speaking of lightsaber battles, holy shit is this an improvement from the absurd dance-fighting battles (which didn’t happen) of the prequels (which don’t exist). It looks like a real sword fight, and the combatants tire quickly, as one does when fighting to the death.
Let us, for a moment, pretend that the conspiratards are correct, and that the prequels really happened, and that J.J. Abrams considered them to be canon to the series. If that were true (which it’s obviously not), then there’s a certain elegance to it, isn’t there? In the era prior to the formation of the Empire, there were many Jedi all over the universe, existing in an established hierarchy. They were not freedom fighters, they were diplomats and emissaries of peace, doing battle only as a last resort. They spent hundreds and hundreds of hours learning different lightsaber techniques, as handed down from thousands of generations of highly accomplished masters. In the post-Empire universe, the Jedi have been decimated, and stylistic fighting has gone to the wayside, replaced by savage, life-or-death duels in which things like honor and flash are not considerations.
Speaking of elegance, there is a symmetry to this movie that jives with the others. In the past, Lucas has talked about poetry and repeating stanzas, and that’s something that has been observed well in this film. I don’t want to give anything away, but believe me when I say that you’ll know it when you see it.
Even if you’ve avoided social media entirely and have tried to avoid spoilers, you’ve probably heard rumors about a certain character having a direct familial relationship to an established character; and if not, you could have easily guessed that. But who could it be? Let’s examine the facts.
First we have Finn. Finn is black, and we all know how rare that is in the Star Wars universe. After all, the Empire are basically Nazis. In fact, it’s pretty goddamn overtly implied in this film; again, you’ll know it when you see it.
Could it be…
Hmmm, too obvious, and way too racist. Besides, their skin tones aren’t even close.
Next we have Darth Emo… let’s see, who does he look like?
The biggest flaw with this theory is that neither Andy Samberg, nor Bob Dylan, are in any Star Wars movies. I certainly can’t think of anyone else whose kid he could be. I mean, that’d be way, way too obvious, wouldn’t it?
Next, we have Rey. She’s attractive, resourceful, intelligent, and basically pretty well-rounded. Hell of a pilot, too. She also bears a passing resemblance to Kiera Knightley and/or Natalie Portman. I’m thinking that Obi-Wan and Padmé Amidala banged, had a kid on the sly, adopted the kid out, and that Rey is really Luke and Leia’s second cousin.
Maybe that’s the real reason Anakin hated Obi-Wan. Nothing pisses a Jedi off more than being cuckolded. Still, it doesn’t ring true.
Wait, I’ve got it!
BB-8, the adorable robot introduced in this movie is very obviously the love child of R2-D2 and some hanger slut Astromech droid. Can’t you just picture it? R2’s legs extend, lifting his body several feet above ground. A little hatch opens, and out pops this cute little guy:
Listen, I’m going to just come right out and say it: The Force Awakens is the best thing to happen since the inception of multicellular life on this planet, and if you disagree, I hope you die horribly in a vat of your own bile. Watch it today, or be prepared to have your butthole savaged by a feral Wookie on PCP.