ByJon Guedj, writer at

For over a decade, the last Star Wars film was released and it made the final piece of what happened and what started the newly formed Empire, as well as the beginnings of the machine-made Darth Vader. Directed by Star Wars creator, George Lucas, Episode III, as well as his previous 2 films, made heightened sense of special effects with little to know practical ones. In turn, it gave fans around the world hatred towards the prequels. With the new Star Wars film released, called The Force Awakens reviews and fans alike have given high praise towards the film. Metacritic, for example, gave it an 81%. To compare, Metacritic gave the highest rating of 92% to A New Hope. (Just over 10% difference). I automatically thought to myself that amazing and willpower scene, from the 3rd Indiana Jones movie. In the end of that movie, a cursed spirit knight guards some golden treasure that has the Holy Grail in it. A person has to choose which one of these items is the Holy Grail. The bad guy fails (of course), and the knight replies, “You have chosen, poorly.” I believe I have found the “Holy Grail” of why this film is disappointing.

In the originals, Han Solo didn’t have much importance, other than a love interest to Leia (where the brother had a small head start) and a plot connivence in defeating the Empire. Now, he plays a slightly more important role where he “suddenly” dies by his own son (Kylo Ren/Ben Solo; played by Adam Driver). Ren stabs Solo, into the chest by his cross-hilt lightsaber. The shocked Solo touched his son’s face, one last time where the lifeless body falls into the steroid induced new Death Star’s reactor. (Screw hand cutting, characters falling to their demise, is the Star Wars quip!) You figure out, about half way into the film, Ren is Solo’s (and GENERAL Leia’s) son, when a giant-hologram-CGI-crack addict Gollum says so. That scene has no competition from Vader’s revelation in Episode V. With no memoriam or even no powerful scene of solace, Harrison Ford really wanted his character to be dead, as quick as possible (but with some style.) Ren, however, was just a guy with daddy issues. Trained by Luke, Ren caved to the Dark Side, but somehow still believes in the Light. To assure his “loyalty,” Ren killed all over Luke’s students (just like his granddaddy did in Revenge of the Sith). Throughout the movie, it’s easily shown that he has these issues because he’s uses his lightsaber to destroy objects, from a fit of rage, and yet he’s so vulnerable that he easily removes his mask, by the simple command of scavanger Rey (Played by Daisy Ridley). It comes to the point, where it isn’t fear being played but just (perhaps) comedy in the wrong reasons. For example, when an officer tells Ren that Rey and Finn have escaped, with BB-8, in the Falcon, Ren uses his lightsaber to destroy the computers next to him. Next scene, you see a couple of stormtroopers walk by and they hear the destruction being made, from Ren. They stop and turn around, in fear, but portray a comedic notion towards the audience. Moving on, Rey learns she is “one with the force” by finding Anakin/Luke’s lightsaber, in the fortress of Maz Katana (Played by Lupito Nyong’o). With one touch, she sees past visions of what happened and voice cameos from Yoda (Frank Oz) and Kenobi (Previously Recorded Alec Guinness & Newly Recorded Ewan McGregor). Reluctant to take it, Katana reassures she must because she is a Jedi, from the least reasonings. With the lightsaber, Rey, of no training, fights Ren and can also easily kick his ass, from a simple reminder of “the Force.” I praise Abrams by adding diversity and gender neutrality has heroes, but their role was lackluster. Finn (Played by John Boyega) is a stormtrooper, from the First Order. After witnessing a malice event, he decides to flee and rescue Leia’s captured spy, Poe Dameron (Played by Oscar Isaac). Not knowing how to pilot a TIE fighter, or even knowing how to use a gun turret inside the Millennium Falcon, it makes Finn’s character a real klutz. However, he can use a Jedi’s weapon very skillfully while facing the chosen one’s grandson? Yet, Finn falls easily, from the cross hilt section of Ren’s saber. When it comes to Poe, I didn’t notice anything important to him, other than the fact he was simply a plot connivence towards the story. (Fun Fact: In a previous draft, he was supposed to die!) I hope he plays a more important and character related role in Episode VII. In my opinion, the character that stole the movie was BB-8. His cuteness overpowered R2-D2 and his comedy duo with Finn made him an instant star. BB-8 was the original inspiration, by Ralph McQuarrie, for R2-D2 in the originals. Towards the end of the film, R2-D2 is shown by BB-8. It’s been told that R2-D2 hasn’t been “working” since Luke’s disappearance. After the destruction of Starkiller Base (Yes, the original name for Luke, in Episode IV), R2-D2 is functional and does his same job, once again. He provides a hologram of important info. This time it’s the location of where Luke is but a “puzzle portion” has been missing. BB-8 has the final piece, given to him by Poe, as safe keepings, from the Village Elder, that was killed by Ren. Fitted together, it shows where Luke is. Leia is in the movie, but without her iconic bun. However, her real life daughter Billie Lourd has it. Leia plays as someone that shows plot connivence as well, but maybe an important character relationship, in the future, between her and Rey. C-3PO is in with a new red arm, and a comical entrance. Chewbacca has a more emotional part, when he witnesses his friends death. He aims perfectly hitting Ren, and making him physically weak. To sum up; perfectly hit by a Wookie, nearly lost by someone that has no lightsaber experience and was a slight challenge by someone lower to him (who also uses that lightsaber), was a match to someone that was trained by “Darth Plagueis” and Luke Skywalker, while being the grandson of the chosen one doesn’t add up to me but comes across as sloppy writing for character development and story or simply the fact that the First Order is weak as shit! In the end, Finn is passed out recovering from his defeat and Rey goes to the location, where Luke was hidden. After walking up those Kill Bill Vol. 2 steps, Luke is shown back faced with a cloak. He turns around with a shadow on his face but a beard resembling that of his old mentor: Ben Kenobi (Why the son of Leia and Han named Ben, but Luke has more of a connection with him, I don’t know). Luke removes his hood and you see nothing more than weariness (like me) in his eyes. Rey takes the his lightsaber out of her sack and holds it towards him. That is the only seen we get of Luke, where we see his face as well as his expression, and the end of the movie, while the camera pans over the wide shot aerial scene.

The movie itself wasn’t original and it was way too fast-paced. It was a combo power of Episodes IV-VI. Someone finds a droid, in a desert plant, with hidden info. Also the fact theirs a big bad buy, dressed in black with a “terrifying” mask, a father to someone is revealed, someone realizes that they are a Jedi, yadda…yadda….yadda. (you get it, right?) Also, every few minutes there was scenes of back and forth between Rey and the First Order. That was just the beginning of the movie. Compared to Episode IV, where you started with the Empire and then continued the flow with the story build up of Luke Skywalker and how he left Tatooine, with little-to-no scenes that had the Empire trying to get “stardom and fame.” A good friend of mine told me, “In order to make a great movie, you gotta take some risks.” Because of the strong cult following, where even some have suggested that it is it’s own genre of film, the originals were just a safe haven to Abrams as well as to Disney. You might say to yourself, “well the prequels were a risk-taker.” I would argue yes. What makes it different, is like Edison and the lightbulbs. The prequels were just three ways not to make a Star Wars movie. In my opinion, this movie was made by a simple Star Wars fan, and not by a true one. Ironically enough Abrams fell into this chasm before. He directed Star Trek and it became a financial and critical hit. He then directed it’s sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, where it also became a financial and critical hit. What makes it different, from the latter movie, was true Star Trek fans disowned it and even went as far as saying it is one of the worst Star Trek movies ever. Abrams recently stated that he regrets not directing Episode VIII. All I can say is that I’m glad he isn’t doing it.


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