I've got a bad feeling about this.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to make news, breaking all sorts of records. So far, the movie has made a gazillion dollars...I mean, literally, a gazillion. In fact, no one in the world has any money. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has all the money.
While SW:TFA (pronounced Swahtafa) remains very successful and very well liked, there are some bits and pieces that have elicited some criticism, some fairly and others most unfairly.
Rey is a Mary Sue. A "Mary Sue" is a derogatory term applied to a perfect protagonist. For more discussion on this type of character, click here. Much has been made of Rey's relative ease at using the Force compared to Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy. But it bears remembering that Luke has no concept of the Force when Ben Kenobi tells Luke about it; whereas Rey has heard of the legend of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo has told her that the stories of the Force are all true. It might be argued that Rey is an ascended fan girl, if you will. She has knowledge that Luke lacked and thus can use her imagination and will to apply that knowledge. And Rey has a different background, forced to survive on her own as opposed to Luke who had the love and protection of his aunt and uncle. If Rey is superior to Luke, its due to a unique perspective that Luke did not possess.
Kylo Ren is a whiny emo bastard. Actually, it's hard to argue with that one. But Ren, for all his posturing with the dark side of the Force and poncing about in a black helmet, is at this stage of his development more Anakin Skywalker than Darth Vader and Anakin was, to be blunt, a whiny emo bastard. When Kylo Ren removes his helmet in front of Rey to expose an unscarred face framed by cascading black hair, its clear that Ren is only a wannabe Darth Vader. The question then becomes, how far is he prepared to go to full on embrace the Darth Vader he aspires to be? When we first met Darth Vader in the original trilogy, Vader was fully formed by the tragedies and sacrifices he had made in pursuit of the dark side of the Force. Kylo Ren is very much still at the beginning of that journey and as such, is going to be a much different character.
The Force Awakens is a rehash of A New Hope. The parallels between the two films are fairly obvious and inescapable. But arguably, it is an important element to echo those original events to bring the Star Wars franchise to a new start and a new audience. The similarities are not perfect matches between the two movies so The Force Awakens was both new and familiar at the same time. That being said, Episode VIII better venture into more unexplored territory. I have four words as to why a lack of original direction would be a bad idea for the sequel:
And there are bit and pieces that some fans want to obsess over and pick apart but for the majority of the entire population of Earth that has seen this movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens holds up as an enjoyable movie and a great new beginning for the Star Wars franchise.
Rounding out today's post, here are some reheated Tweets from my Twitter account riffing on the Episode VII title.
Be back tomorrow for a new post on some damn thing or another. Until then, remember to be good to one another.