6 Thoughts on Star Wars: the Force Awakens (without spoilers!)

1. A British newspaper today reports that toy manufacturers were discouraged from making items featuring Rey because

No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it

If that’s true, it’s a rare own goal for the Star Wars franchise, which was built on George Lucas’ cunning decision to part with royalties for the movies in exchange for keeping the ones from the merchandise.

Apparently, the powers-that-be were astonished by the fact that Rey was the breakout star of the film. To me, it makes perfect sense. Daisy Ridley brings the same kind of innocence combined with toughness to the role that Mark Hamill brought to Luke Skywalker. It also can’t hurt that her character was based on unused sketches by the late Ralph McQuarrie for the very first Star Wars movie, according to IMDb.

2. Apparently, the idea was that the breakout star would be new villain Kylo Ren. Anyone who has seen the film would realise that this was never going to happen since Ren is a pale (dark?) imitation of Darth Vader, indeed one whose costume doesn’t make a lot of sense. Vader wears a mask because

He’s more machine now than man

Ren wears a mask because, well, I’m not really sure.

For all the notorious ‘Lucas Bashing’ on the web, when Lucas returned to the franchise, he invented one of the all-time best villains in Darth Maul, who was fabulous despite only having three lines in the whole movie. There’s nothing in The Force Awakens as good as him.

3. The new Death Star is a damp squib. Are we supposed to be impressed because it is bigger than the last one? The last one was the size of a planet, so this one is the size of a bigger planet. This is not that amazing. And don’t get me started on the inventors having inserted the same design flaw all over again…

4. Apparently various trolls wanted to boycott the new Star Wars film because of the high prominence of black characters. Which makes me wonder how these people watched the original trilogy. Did they turn the sound down every time Darth Vader spoke so as not the hear James Earl Jones?

Billy Dee Williams

Source: IMDb

5. And where was Lando Calrissian? Billy Dee Williams may be pushing 80 (yes, really!), but Lando is one of the best characters from the original trilogy. We want him back!

6. The best part of The Force Awakens was the last 5 seconds, which sets up the film I really want to see. Although, it was still great to see a movie that was based almost entirely around Han Solo. I never did get an action figure of him…

 

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10 responses to “6 Thoughts on Star Wars: the Force Awakens (without spoilers!)

  1. Interesting comments on ‘that’ film without spoilers (so difficult to say anything meaningful without spoiling it). Re ‘No boy?’ – I think the franchise/toy manufacturers need to change their market research company and find out what real females in the 21st century are actually like. We may not turn up and cough up for every fifth rate Sci Fi movie, but there are a whole bunch of women and their daughters who love even half decent science fiction. My daughter and I went to see The Force Awakens separately. She in London and me in Norwich and neither of us to please anybody else but ourselves. Surely, with a strong female lead, Rey is the point where popular culture can lose the pink and reinforce a more dynamic version of being a girl. ‘The toy options’ – I think a missed opportunity all round.

  2. My nine-year-old boy particularly wanted FIFA ’16 for PlayStation because it is the first to feature women’s football. The first game he played was as the England Woman’s team, which, as he points out, have been far more successful recently than the men.
    Good spoiler avoidance, Mr Savage, though the biggest spoiler of all for The Force Awakens, was the original Star Wars, IV, A New Hope, or whatever you want to call it. This latest one is really just a remake.

    • It really is a remake, isn’t it? Why couldn’t they bring in some new planets or something like that? I don’t get it at all.
      Our women’s team are certainly outgunning the men, but let’s face it, the men haven’t been putting up much of an effort over recent years! It hurts living in Spain where they’ve been quietly picking up major trophies one after the other…

  3. Six thoughts on your six thoughts:

    1. Innocence? Definitely. Toughness? I think Daisy as Rey exudes toughness on a level far beyond that of Luke/Mark Hamill. For example, at no point did she whine about wanting to go into Toschi Station to pick up some power converters.

    2. Kylo Ren’s mask: Yes. How silly. What do you think the Stormtroopers are thinking? Surely they think he’s some kind of Darth Vader poseur. You must admit though, it made his voice sound very cool.

    Now Darth Maul, he was very cool. But so underdeveloped!! He barely got a chance to be villainous! There wasn’t even any dialogue during the lightsaber battle! Not so much as a pleased to meet you from Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon! It’s criminal, I say. He did get a better soundtrack, though.

    3. What about the storytelling shortcuts they took in deciding how to attack this new Death Star? That scene was there just to get itself out of the way so we could get on with the battle.

    5. Agreed. Lando’s best line: “Well, what do we have here…? … I’m Lando Calrissian, administrator of this facility.” Doesn’t read like a great line does it? No. You have to hear Billy Dee Williams say it. Second best: “How you doin’, Chewbacca?” Same thing. It’s the way he says “chew BACK uh.”

    6. The last five seconds were great, but I wanted a bit more zoom out and a bit more swirling of the camera. I wanted it to be a bit more epic. Not that it wasn’t epic, I just wanted it to be a little MORE epic. And I think Luke should not have turned around. I think he should have made Rey come around to his front. He knew she was coming all that way already. He should have finished the job. A really small detail, but I think it would have made it more epic.

    • Very true, Walt. Rey is a survivor in a harsh world.
      It’s kind of criminal how little they used Darth Maul before he got cut in half, while giving endless lines to Jar Jar Binks. They clearly didn’t know what they had with that character.
      And I’m so pleased that I’m not the only Lando fan! You’ve got Darth Vader in the dining room! “Sorry buddy, they got here first”.

  4. Thank you for no spoilers, I still haven’t watched it yet but am looking forward to it. After rewatching Plinkett’s demolition if the prequels I am even more excited for it.

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