It’s happenned. The day I have been both waiting for and fearing. After months of horrible questioning (Will it be good? Will I feel the Star Wars magic in this one too? What’s going to happen? Oh gosh I hope Disney won’t turn it in some sort of galactic musical. What is up with that Kylo Ren guy and his light-crucifix or whatnot? Basically just ohmygodohmygodohmygod…), on Wednesday, December 16th 2015, I went to see Star Wars episode VII: The Force Awakens. The strange thing is, I am completely unable to tell on a simple yes or no basis, whether I liked it or not.
Now just to be clear: there are some spoilers in this post. I would never want someone to take away from me the pleasure of discovering something I find THAT huge, so obviously I would never do that to you. I feel a great need of sharing my point of view on the movie, without making it less fun for anyone. If you haven’t seen it yet, please come back later and tell us what you think!
First things first: the opening. The music, the scrolled text, there’s everything you need to go back in time and be that kid again, with its mouth open and eyes filled with amazement in front of the screen, watching the breathtaking war between the Republic and the Empire.
Only there is no Empire. Well, they are still the bad guys, they look like the Empire, they even have their Death Star but a gazillion times bigger one, which by the way still keeps its vulnerable hole (this proves that no matter how great technologies they might invent, some things never change…). Now they’re called the First Order and their leader seems to be a mix of Voldemort, Gollum and E.T. who just wants to destroy all that is good in the galaxy. Luckily, the brave Resistance is still there to fight them. The story sounds really familiar, which is both good and bad at the same time. A huge bomb (in terms of reveal of the information) is dropped pretty early, and you kinda know already how everything is going to end from there.
The whole movie is just gorgeous: nice 3D, rather subtle green screen that runs really smooth, amazing space battle scenes, even some oldschool rubber costumes make it all look great. We all expected some fan service, but it’s like they were trying too hard to say « See, it’s still Star Wars, remember this or that? ». Come on J.J., bring something new to the table. And no, lifting poor Chewie’s face was not the greatest choice here, although I have to admit what happens to the scoundrel may bring a good deal of astonishment.
Also, I always appreciated a reasonable dose of humor in the former episodes, and here again my cola drink went up my nose several times. We have a new Jar Jar that will obviously appeal to younger viewers, and even if I found BB-8 funny and really feisty (the scene on the Millennium Falcon with Finn and Rey is just hilarious, and I love the way BB-8 rolls in a hurry), once again I have the feeling that someone wanted to copy the incomparable R2-D2 so that we maintain the same hero + fellow droid scheme. However, some moments that are an obvious gift for the Star Wars geeks made my heart melt. The love story of Han and Leia took a darker spin and made me adore them even more. Which is a weird thing to say, as they have already been my favorite fictional couple ever.
As far as casting goes: without any teeny tiniest doubt, Han Solo rules them all (again <3). Leia, on top of being a wise princess, is now also a kick-ass general. Rey is all right, the character of the alien lady Maz Kanata is quite refreshing, and although Finn seems very nice, instead of hoping to master the Force he’ll be the master of the friend zone for sure. Finally, there’s Kylo Ren. Impressive modified voice, you can feel rage and hatred in his every word and step. And yet, I just cannot understand the choice of his physical appearance knowing who is he related to (is it just me, or he could easily pass for Severus Snape’s brother?). Worse than that, I just want to slap that guy. He throws tantrums destroying everything around him like a spoiled little brat, seems to be going through some rough « nobody understands me » teenage phase, wanting to be the next Darth Vader cruel death machine just for the heck of it. Get over it, kid. Go get a haircut and, above all, a normal light saber. Because for me, his unstabilized light « sword » remains a WTF item number one.
Mixed feelings, huh? Told you, hard to say what I think of it in the end. A lot of things bugged me just as much others achieved to amaze me. Nothing new, and yet watching re-heated winning combo just didn’t seem enough. But hey, the first time I heard there was going to be an episode VII, my predictions were far more catastrophic compared to what I just have witnessed. So let me cut short the old, hardly ever satisfied hardcore fan inside me and just say that I felt like a kid again for those two hours in the dark, along with blaster shoots, light saber whooshes and wookie’s arrrreughs. Goose-bumps -all-over, eyes-wide-open-avid-of-every-second-on-the-screen, wanting-to-know-more, happy kid. After all, « Chewie, we’re home » and we like it.