Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was released in 1977 which was nine years before I was born. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was released in 1983, three years before my birth. My point in explaining this is simply that Star Wars has been around since before me, meaning I do not know a day before Star Wars. At 29-years-old, I’ve known Luke, Leia and Han as long as I can remember pretty much anything. I grew up on Star Wars thanks, in large part, to my late grandmother. With that being said The Force Awakens greatly troubled me but also made me look forward to future episodes.
If you haven’t seen the movie, please do not continue reading this post because I’m about to go into some huge spoilers. Consider that your warning.
As mentioned above, I’ve known Han Solo for as long as I remember knowing pretty much anything. The moment when he yells, “Ben,” I knew he was going to die. As he inched closer and closer to his son, my heartrate began rising. In fact, I checked my heartbeat on my Fitbit and it was 94 BPM during that scene. Then it happened, Kylo Ren ignited his light saber piercing Han’s heart. This was such a powerful scene for me. You have a man who tells his son that he’ll do anything to help him even though his son had turned his back on him so long ago. You have a troubled child who is fighting his own demons trying to figure out what he should do. And then in a moment of strength (or weakness?) the son does the unthinkable and kills his father, in turn fully embracing the Dark Side of the Force.
While it is the Han death scene that resonates with me most, the rest of the movie was a great joy to watch. Many reviews are saying it was “too similar” to A New Hope. I agree that it was similar but wasn’t that what we wanted? Remember the prequels? They strayed from what made Star Wars great and now they’re damned. (Although I did enjoy Revenge of the Sith.) Even though it was similar Han was able to make a joke out of it. "How do we blow it up? There's always a way to do that."
I love the parallels of Kylo Ren and Darth Vader and the dichotomy of who they are when we meet them. While they both are evil, Vader was fully entrenched in the Dark Side while Ren is still fighting the light in order to fulfill his destiny. I loved Rae, Finn and Poe’s characters. I can’t wait to see how the three of them fully realize their potential. I thought BB-8 was the coolest droid in the galaxy and loved his very human reactions.
This movie leaves us with so many questions that need to be answered. Who are Rae’s parents? Will Luke train Rae? Does Kylo Ren still have any good left in him? Why does C3PO have a red arm? How is Rae so powerful with no Jedi training? I can’t wait to find out the answers to these questions as well as the answers to the many other questions we have. I feel this movie did an incredible job of bridging the originals with a Star Wars of a new generation.
While I’m saddened by the death of Han Solo, I’m excited with the direction this movie takes us.
To Han, you will be missed. Thank you for the adventures and May the Force be with you!