Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Spoiler-Filled Review

Dec 21, 2015
the force awakens spoilers

SPOILERS AHEAD… If you haven’t seen ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, please leave this post and come again after you’ve watched it as I talk about major plot details and big revelations about the film.

There’s a 90% chance the entire movie-going population has either seen ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ or lining up to watch the movie. Directed by JJ Abrams, it is the highly-anticipated continuation of the classic Star Wars trilogy propelled by George Lucas in the ‘70s. This is not a prequel to Darth Vader or any previous characters, but a direct follow-up story to Luke, Han, and Leia’s, so the excitement is undeniably there. Sure enough, the opening crawl immediately states that “Luke Skywalker has vanished.” The very first line in the movie says something about what happened to the lead character of the original trilogy. Right on, you already feel like you’re back again to this universe—yet you know nothing really as to what actually happened to them. Has Luke turned into the dark side which explains why he vanished? Is he going full-Yoda and Obi-Wan undercover because he did something? 

the force awakens spoilers

Max Von Sydow having the map of Luke’s whereabouts gives a plenty of hint on Rey’s connection with the Jedi. Luke Skywalker have the likely chance to become Rey’s missing daughter, but from whom? Doesn’t matter really. This would give an explanation to Rey possessing the power of the force, owning that old X-wing helmet she wore in Jakku, having Luke’s map specifically in Jakku, and Luke’s old ally, Von Sydow, living in the same planet makes all sense. In the end of the movie, Luke has this uneasy look to Rey. Rey also gave the same look to him while handing his lightsaber. A punch of sadness can be seen in Luke’s eyes, as if he saw something familiar within her. 

the force awakens spoilers

But Rey said early on in the movie that she believed that “Luke Skywalker is nothing but a myth, a legend.” This is (possibly) because everyone that’s around her wants to give her a presumption that no Jedi existed, distancing her to the real identity of her father. She even pointed out that Han Solo was a famous smuggler, and not for his contribution to the galaxy. Daisy Ridley easily gave the best performance in this movie, by having Rey as the most relatable character in the entire movie. This is someone who, like Luke in Star Wars, is a learner of the force coming from a family she has no clear memory of. Her patience and trying to not give up on finding her family easily makes Rey the best candidate as the new Jedi. And I can’t wait to see Luke eventually become Mr. Miyagi training Rey in Episode VIII.

the force awakens spoilers

Finn is a different story though. He knows how to fight the lightsaber but him learning the real capabilities of the force is a long-shot. Aside from being a Jedi, and as awesome as it sounds, him becoming a resistance fighter, flying his X-wing, is a better suit for the character’s future development.

the force awakens spoilers

There’s a nice dynamic also between the new trilogy’s trio—Rey, Finn and Poe with the original trilogy—Luke, Leia and Han. Rey is obviously the next Jedi passing on Luke Skywalker’s legacy; Finn’s strategic capabilities and competence similar to Leia’s; and Poe Dameron, quoted as the “best pilot in the resistance” resembles Han Solo’s piloting skills, and they’re both charismatic and talky. 

the force awakens spoilers

I personally love the villain Kylo Ren here more than I actually liked Darth Vader in A New Hope. Not only we get to see him do amazing baddie duties here, the writers actually gave him a terrific character to deal with. We never only see him as a high officer in the First Order, but a son to Han and Leia known as Ben Solo. Ben is still a learner of the dark side, and set to complete his training as a Sith lord. We can even give a sense of it even while he is wearing a mask, looking at Darth Vader’s burned helmet with the doubt of not being as good as him. He clearly wants to live up with Vader’s standards as shown on Rey also “mind-forcing” later on in the movie. Adam Driver manages to pull emotions even while wearing the Kylo Ren mask, showing the character as someone who’s very ill-motivated, believable and confused between choosing the light and dark side. Him killing his father Han Solo is perhaps the most shocking bit in the entire movie, and a real bummer for a lot of fans (like me) not likely seeing Harrison Ford again as the character, but it was the best sacrifice Ben can do to progress on his Sith-training. Supreme Leader Snoke initially mentioned this as the best option he could do to become Kylo Ren. 

the force awakens spoilers

Speaking of Snoke, I overheard this in the entire movie that someone described him as “wise.” Palpatine talked with Anakin in Return of the Jedi about how Darth Plageuis is a wise leader, thus being named as “Darth Plageuis, the Wise”. So is Snoke actually a re-formed Darth Plageuis? Just a theory, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they will go in this direction.

The lightsaber fight scenes here is already better than the entirety of the prequel films. Here, we finally get on how these battle sequences should be made: confrontational. Just look at every lightsaber fights feel like in the original trilogy. On A New Hope, Obi-Wan and Darth Vader finally meet each other after a very long time. Not seeing as master and apprentice but as Jedi and Sith added more depth in the whole sequence. The Empire Strikes Back has the iconic Darth Vader-Luke Skywalker “I am your father moment”. And in Return of the Jedi, a confused Luke goes head-to-head with the Emperor and his father who is torn between family and the dark side. In The Force Awakens, there’s no family or master/ apprentice duel going on here, as Rey and Ben Solo fought as an apprentice fighting another apprentice of the force. There’s no one in the higher ground (wink, wink) here, but two persons still learning for their real, full potential. And don’t deny it, those flashy lightsabers looked sick!

What ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ needs is to slow down on its emotional moments. For a film that is paced swiftly, having the Death of Han Solo for instance could’ve been done in a way where it’s more affecting. Harrison Ford was set-up here as someone who literally just came home only to find out the trip will not last long—like the film actually turned out, clocking in at a convenient 2 hour run-time. I want to see more of Leia’s reaction after the loss of her former love, but the film felt like they need to rush in and give R2-D2 some sense here. But either way, it is still great movie over-all. Having seen the film multiple times, here’s my more comfortable ranking of all seven Star Wars films:

1) Empire Strikes Back

2) Star Wars
3) The Force Awakens
4) Return of the Jedi
5) Revenge of the Sith
6) The Phantom Menace
7) Attack of the Clones

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is now showing in cinemas nationwide!

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