THE FORCE AWAKENS: My spoilery thoughts

Went with my family to see the latest Star Wars installment last night. We couldn’t go over the weekend because we were doing holiday-ish things but, as it turns out, Monday night was the perfect night to see it. The theater was crowded but not super packed so there was room for our trough of popcorn, our ginormous boxes of candy and four giant sodas.

I’m worried that there hasn’t been enough coverage of this movie yet. That people may not be discussing it enough. And since my site is such an active hub of buzzy pop culture conversation, I figured this is what we should talk about today. 😀

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order. SPOILERS!!! (If you’re one of the only two people who haven’t seen THE FORCE AWAKENS, buy your tickets NOW!)

I LOVED IT!!! I went in with super high expectations and wasn’t disappointed. That’s a HIGH bar, which is almost never met. Loved everything everyone else has loved about it – the old characters, the new characters, its fresh yet familiar feel.

If I had one itty, bitty complaint, it was that I wasn’t expecting a plot that hued so close to the first Star Wars movie it almost felt like a remake. I’d expected that with Star Trek because that’s what it was billed as. But this wasn’t and so I went in expecting a more original story line. The movie sort of fell in this gray area between sequel and retelling. But you know what? Who cares? Because it was terrific.

The new leads, Rey and Finn were amazing. They were funny, charismatic, and easily characters I could root for. I loved their relationship and am eager to see where the filmmakers take it.

Han Solo’s death was horrible. I was putty in the filmmaker’s hands, desperately hoping with my heart that the scene wouldn’t end the way it did while my head kept telling me to get real. Storywise, had to happen, but that knowledge didn’t prevent me from imagining all sorts of implausible alternatives.

BB-8 was great! (His diminutive app-enabled doppelgänger will be making a reappearance under our Christmas tree. Whether it’s worth the hefty sticker price is less certain…)

I’m in the camp that wants Rey to be Luke’s daughter. I really do get those that say blood shouldn’t matter. That anyone can be a hero simply by acting heroic. That you don’t have to inherit the ability to save a world… or the galaxy. But this is Star Wars, folks. Total space opera. Luke’s the quintessential hero. Again, storywise, I feel like the entire three movie arc (Ep. VII-IX) has been established. Luke’s daughter must redeem Kylo Ren to make up for her father’s failing him. And if Rey turns out to be anything other than Luke’s daughter, all those awesome clues will be wasted. My favorite? The visual connections. Rey’s garb and speeder bike intentionally evoke young Luke. As for the camp that wants her to be Han and Leia’s daughter, this theory requires too many story machinations for me. I think the only reason it has so much traction is because brother versus sister is more epic than cousin versus cousin. But, if Rey turns out to be Luke’s daughter, then I view it as Luke’s daughter versus Leia’s son, which sounds pretty epic to me.

Worth noting that my younger daughter said this was the best movie she ever saw. That’s high praise coming from her. She’s my little SFF fan and she’s watched gobs of recent non-R-rated blockbusters. Rey definitely captured her attention. She told me she was glad they finally made a movie with a girl as the hero. Yeah, me too, kid. 🙂 [And, yes, I know there are plenty of stories with girl heroes, but none at this level of fandom].

So what about you? Did you see THE FORCE AWAKENS? What are your thoughts?

Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

12 thoughts on “THE FORCE AWAKENS: My spoilery thoughts

  1. I’m totally with your daughter about having a girl get to save the galaxy! 😀

    And I think you’re right that she’s Luke’s daughter because when she touched his lightsaber, she got the visions that included Luke, but also of when she was a little girl being left behind on the planet. Luke had to be the one leaving her there for safe keeping after her cousin went to the Dark Side, right?

    I guess we’ll see! 😀 We laughed and cried and LOVED the movie!!! 😀

    Can’t wait for the next one! 😀

    1. I can’t wait either. Had fun reading all the posts I’d been avoiding before seeing the movie. Wish we didn’t have to wait until May 2017! Although it’s worth it for a movie that’s as good as this one was. Very interested to see what new director Rian Johnson does with it.

      Happy holidays, Lisa! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!!

  2. Spoiler alert: Please do not read my comment if you have not seen the movie.

    I thought it was good, not great. There wasn’t much original in it. Many of the scenes were taken straight from the original movie and showed a lack of innovation and daring on the director’s part to make it fresh and recapture the magic which I think J.J. Abrams has the ability to do, but for some reason was afraid to. My grandson, who has never seen the original movies, is ten and he said he enjoyed it, but it was a bit predictable. (Note: He went with a group of his friends for a birthday party; not with me). We’ve pretty much already figured out who the heroine is and it was a touch hard to believe that Hans Solo and Princess/General Leia’s son wouldn’t be able to fight the dark side and kill his father considering that his grandfather found the ‘light’ at the very end and he had two great parents that were known to not take the easy route. I also found parts of the movie disjointed. Where it jumped from one scene to another without a decent connectivity and pulled me out of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I think it was good/entertaining, but it isn’t one I will rush out to see again or even buy when it comes out.

    1. Maybe Abrams was hamstrung by either Disney and/or the rabid fan base. Although I too wished for a little more innovation, there’s probably only so much change you can foist on fans of such a juggernaut series. That said, I’m already debating seeing it again in the theater — something I almost never do. (Although I watch beloved movies again and again at home).

      Thanks for the visit, Susan! Happy holidays!!

  3. My spoilery thoughts are that I hated that Han and Leia had been bitterly separated. I wanted them to at least have been having an HEA all those years, fighting the good fight together. Yes, the reunion was emotional, but I don’t see a good plot reason for them to have been estranged. AND I wanted a damn kiss!

    I also wondered why no one thought to slap a coat of paint on BB-8, so maybe not *everyone* in the galaxy could spot it from half a mile away.

    Otherwise, yeah, high expectations, very much met.

    1. hahaha about BB-8. I didn’t think of that but, yes, of course! Some other post I read (sorry, can’t remember who or where) pointed out that with all their high tech gadgetry, why didn’t the First Order have security cameras? 😀

      I hear you about Han and Leia. I gathered that their separation occurred when Ben became Kylo Ren and who knows how that all went down. I imagine lots will be revealed in the next episode.

      Happy holidays, Jeffe! Thanks for the comment!

  4. I also enjoyed it, as well as your thoughts, Jill. The movie followed a similar plot which made the call-backs to ‘Star Wars’ (Ok, A New Hope) very fun. I loved the shake up of character roles with Rey & Finn. Very appropriate change for the times. I just re-watched the original 3, which makes Han and Leia’s separation all the more bitter. They were so much in love at the end of “The Return of the Jedi”, so I have to agree with Jeffe: What was the reason for losing that???

    1. Yeah, I get the plot reasons for the separation, but not the authorial choice. I’m cynically taking the position that Hollywood thinks there can be no happy long term relationships. I don’t think it added appreciably to the conflict. It might have if they’d been together all that time and THEN fought over emo Ben, but…

    2. “Hollywood thinks there can be no happy long term relationships”
      Maybe it’s a matter of “write what you know”
      How much experience does Hollywood really have with happy long term relationships? hahaha. How’s that for cynicism? 😉

      I did, however, get the impression that Han and Leia’s break up occurred over Ben’s turning to the dark side. Leia tells Han that she “lost them both” when she let Ben leave to go train with Luke. So that means they were happy until then.

      Great to hear from you, Laurel!

  5. 12/31/15 UPDATE:
    I saw it again night before last. Went to the non-3D show. Was happy to see it in 3D the first time but sometimes 3D bugs me bc the picture is so dark.

    Took my daughters and two of their friends, who had never seen ANY of the Star Wars movies. Felt a little nervous, was worried they may not like it. But they loved it!! (How could I have doubted?) The older girls came home after and watched the first one, which I thought was awesome. Nothing like creating new fans!

    I still remember seeing Star Wars for the first time with my brother. Can remember exactly where we sat in the theater. How weird, wild, and wonderful is that?

    Best wishes for a fun and safe New Year’s Eve, all!!

  6. Hi Jill! Glad you enjoyed The Force Awakens. I did, too. I was certain that Kylo Ren was really Jar Jar Binks, come back for revenge, but I’m sure we’ll see Dearth Binks in the next movie.

    I was also surprised that they did not reveal the truth about BB-8. That is, that the loveable BB-8 is the child of R2D2 and C3PO. Again, I expect such a revelation in a subsequent film.

    I failed to see the headstone Luke was standing in front of during the final scene, but suspicions are that it is the grave of Rey’s mother.

    I’m sure you have heard by now that Michael Giacchino made an appearance in the film as the stormtrooper who throws a captured Poe at the feet of Kylo Ren early in the movie. It was amazing to see someone we grew up with on screen! Daniel Craig’s cameo was memorable as well.

    As a final note, I will point out that someone wrote a book on how to speak Wookie, and now is a perfect time to start practicing.

    1. Jar Jar Binks–ugh! I actually forgot about that character (I know, how could I have, right?) until I watched Ep. 1-3 with E.

      Funny about BB-8. 😀
      And sad about the headstone. I missed that too.

      I didn’t know that about Michael! Will have to tell Craig and look for him the next time I watch. I didn’t know about Daniel Craig the first time I saw it but did the next, which made that scene even better.

      I’m still learning Dothraki so Wookie will have to wait.

      Thanks for the visit, Shamus!

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