Wednesday, December 23, 2015

STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS

Star Wars: the Force Awakens was perhaps the greatest time I've ever had in a movie theater. I watched in in full luxury recliner, my 9 year old on one side of me, my 12 year old on the other. I started embarrassing them as I clapped during the opening trailers when Wonder Woman came on the screen. My excitement only got better once the movie started, or worse, depending if you are a 12 year old who is slightly embarrassed by their dad geeking out in public.

Maybe I'm full of hyperbole this year, because seeing Mad Max: Fury Road, was also of the greatest times I've had in a theater.

The Force Awakens did what seemed could not be done. It summoned up the best of what we loved about Star Wars, and added some depth and some new characters. New heroes, some of them reluctant, some of them surprising.

Kylo Ren was an incredible bad guy. A worshiper of Darth Vader, with bad-ass powers, but still in training.  The moments where he showed his face you could feel the fragility. He was full of angst and his tantrums were perfect. I've always loved Adam Driver in HBO's Girls, and I hope he has a couple more Star Wars movies left in him.



Rey was a clone of Luke; same kinda planet, same kind of tough tenderness, same kind of backstory; both longing for family. Rey a bit more reluctant to embrace her true self, but the similarities were obvious. It was the way in which Force Awakens wasn't afraid to plagiarize itself that made me feel I was safely back home in the Star Wars universe. For 2 hours plus I sat with my daughters watching an incredible role model.

Finn was even more convincing than Rey as reluctant hero, and like many heroes from Star Wars past, was motivated as much by friendship and interpersonal ties than something larger.
 
All of the old heroes had a remarkable entrance, and they were more than just cameos. My only regret is I wanted Leia to say to Han "I love you," and for Han to answer, "I know." But this is a Han who's a bit more mature. The Force Awakens is a movie that is more mature as well. It has depth, while keeping its childlike Sci-Fi qualities. The fact that it does this by plagiarizing older Star Wars movies is A-Okay with me.
 
Seeing it again day after Christmas.
 
 

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