If you haven’t already seen Star Wars then you’re either not going to or you honestly don’t give enough of a shit to warrant me giving a single batted eyelid as to whether or not I spoil it for you, that said however I will warn you. Spoilers of the most rotten and rancid nature lie ahead so if that’s a problem, piss off.
I’ll admit it, when it comes to Star Wars I’m full nerd. I’ve even dabbled with the EU or “books” as I believe we used to call them. From the moment I first watched A New Hope I was hooked. Nothing has made movie magic for me quite like it, the characters, the script, the cheesey screen wipes. It’s perfect. It’s both the most quotable film I know and the most rewatchable. It has a spark that has been imitated but never recaptured.
I like most of the world scoffed at the prequels. They had potential but it was mostly squandered. Whilst a decent attempt at exploring the setting and franchise further, they worked as Star Wars themed action movies that had delusions of grandeur and little more.
So with the announcement that Disney was going to be re-injecting life into that galaxy far far away this news was met with no small amount of excitement on my part. After all this was the studio that brought the Avengers to the big screen! What could possibly go wrong?
The truthful answer is nothing I guess. It was an… okay film. This is what hurt the most though I think. I was expecting to leave the cinema breathlessly exhausted from the excitement and erotic nerdgasms. This was sadly not the case and I refuse to believe it was just the age difference that meant when I finished watching A New Hope I was left completely starry-eyed, whilst The Force Awakens left me shivering and a little exploited.
The movie basically just constitutes JJ Abrams playing out the exact plot of the original from memory with bootlegged action figures. At no point does it surpass or even equal it’s legacy, I won’t go over the obvious similarities in character archetypes and storyline comparisons, you’re more than capable of making those connections yourselves.
Only the characters of Finn and Kylo Ren provide anything of real interest. With Finn being an entirely new set of eyes for us to view the universe through, the story of a disillusioned storm trooper is something I don’t think was fully utilised in this film. Kylo Ren is by far the most interesting though, his obvious and laughable weakness making him a believable and terrifying villain.
Rey’s force affinity is possibly the biggest and most frustrating bone of contention and the scene in which she without any training whatsoever performs a jedi mind trick makes a mockery of the established mythology of the universe. Harrison Ford’s return as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher’s performance both seemed a little forced and crooked and the fact that I couldn’t give less of a shit as I watched one of my favourite characters from any movie franchise murdered is possibly the strongest statement of all on how little this film grabbed my attention.
I won’t nitpick, perhaps I could return and expand upon this if I ever rewatch the movie. For now I will leave it here. There were genuine moments of humour dotted through the movie, a couple of the action scenes were fairly seat wetting and it was obviously visually stunning. It isn’t a bad movie, yet neither is it properly a good Star Wars movie in my opinion.
To be honest I think there is more of interest and oiginality in this fan made Darth Maul movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djo_91jN3Pk
What did you think of the latest Star Wars? Leave your own reactions in the comments below, happy to geek out and shout about it with you all.
Stay tuned for more Yack musings in the future.
Words by Matt Miles