STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, spoiler-free #review

Daisy_Ridley_Episode_VII.pngThere will be a spoiler review, although I’m not committing to writing it tonight.  If I do, it’ll be password-protected.  The password will be SKYWALKER, all caps.  Just so you know.

Note that for the purposes of this conversation “spoiler” means “something you do not already know if you have watched the trailers and seen the toys.”

So.  We ready?  Okay.

(Sits and thinks for ten minutes)

(May not, in fact, be ready)

…I actually don’t know what I thought of that, guys.  I Tweeted a one-word review after walking out of the theater, and the one word was “Worthy.”  And I’ll stick with that, and I’ll say that if you’re a Star Wars fan you should definitely see this movie, and if you’re not a Star Wars fan you probably ought to see this movie anyway.  In fact, I think that there are some weaknesses to the film that will only be visible to people who have seen the movies a million times before.

I will say that this movie features two of the finest performances– from Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley– that I have ever seen in a Star Wars movie.  In fact, screw it, there’s no competition: Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver have the two best performances in Star Wars history, period, and their scenes together are amazing.

I guess that’s a spoiler.  Rey and Kylo Ren meet, guys.  I hope I didn’t just ruin the movie for you.  Some of the other performances are not as good.  Harrison Ford is mostly kind of embarrassing, actually, although he redeems himself toward the end of the film.

Here’s part of my frustration, and I think I can do this without getting into details: a lot of this movie isn’t going to be something I can fairly evaluate until I see at least the next film.  If you’re someone who will see that as a weakness… well, be prepared for it.  There’s a lot of stuff quickly passed over, or not explained, or just assumed, and I’m okay with waiting until Episodes 8 or 9 to fill in some of the details.  If you aren’t like that, adjust expectations downward.

I have a very tangled relationship with my own Star Wars fandom, guys, and if you’ve been following my blog since the first trailers for this dropped you may have felt some of that ambivalence.  I was in line, in costume, for three days for Episode I.  I saw it ten times in the theater.  By the time Episode III came out the lines really weren’t a phenomenon any longer, but I still saw that one at least two or three times.  Right now, my main relationship to Star Wars is through the books, and the books by and large have not been very good lately.  My wife and I talked last week about watching a Star Wars movie a day until this one came out.  We didn’t rewatch any of them.  I can’t bring myself to any longer.  I can no longer enjoy watching the prequels; a decade-plus of arguing about them has drained whatever fun they might once have had out of them, and even the thought of watching the OT frustrates me now because the movies have been altered so much and in so many different ways that I no longer even feel like I know what I’m watching.  The way I’ve phrased it before is that I will love Star Wars until I die; I’m just not interested in being a fan any longer.

I’m not sure this movie helped.  I told my wife earlier that my main goal was to not be sad when I walked out of the theater, and I wasn’t.  But that was a couple of hours ago, and the initial exhilaration has already worn off and I’m not sure what it’s been replaced with.

I can’t take my son to it, either.  Not yet.

There’s going to be a Star Wars movie a year forever now, guys.  That was the last one we get to look forward to.  Was it a worthy Star Wars film?  Did JJ do a good job?  Yeah.  Do I want to see it again?  Sure.

I’m just not sure if I’m happy about it.

7 thoughts on “STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, spoiler-free #review

  1. I will, obviously, be stomping on spoilery comments in this particular thread. There will be one more, although I’m thinking I’m waiting until tomorrow. Wait until that one and then bring up whatever you want, if you want to talk spoilers.


  2. I just walked out of it a few hours ago myself, and I have to admit, I kind of loved it. A lot. I didn’t go into it with a lot of hype, though; I was trying to keep it maintained, trying to keep expectations low, and still coming to terms with my mourning grief about the death of the EU that I’ve really dug since the ’90s but haven’t really kept up with in recent years. For me, it felt like going to a party that you kind of don’t want to go to, that all your friends will be at but you still feel like canceling because you’re just not feeling it, but then you go, and you have a blast and you leave being all, “OMFG WE HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN SOON. Like tomorrow! Like all the time.”

    And Daisy Ridley is FREAKING AMAZING. Seriously. And I agree with you; I need to see where they’re going with a few things before I can’t draw a complete conclusion. I have new hopes now (eh, EH??). I hope these hopes are not in vain.

    5/7,worthy is an apt descriptor, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had similar feelings? I… Honestly felt like parts of the movie were a slog to sit through, sadly, for plot reasons.

    The performances were all outstanding, however. Goodness. Daisy and Adam were just. SUPERB. I can’t acclaim them enough.

    But yeah, I’m in a similar vein about Star Wars fandom. I love the movies, the Prequels especially, but that fact that one of my early memories from after seeing “The Phantom Menace” as a child is a grown man on a train making fun of me for liking Jar Jar Binks (I was playing with his action figure), basically sums up the continual exasperation I’ve ha with the fandom. I just want to enjoy Star Wars. I don’t want to suddenly be bombarded with people telling me how much the Prequels suck everytime I mention something fun about them casually.

    As it is, even though I had some problems with the new movie, I want everyone who has enjoyed it to be happy about it. Star Wars should be fun, and I want to encourage that fun for those who are having it. I just wish I had as much of it as them when I went opening night.


  4. Pingback: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, spoiler-free #review | Imperfect Writer: My Journey to Finding Myself

  5. I saw the movie today. Loved it. Was a bit afraid it would be washed away by John Williams’ intrusive score but I was pleasantly surprised. To me this movie was a lovely nostalgic wink, nod, and not very subtle link to episodes 4, 5 and a bit of 6, with a whiff of episodes 2&3 in its depiction of “generic angry young man with too much power and not enough parental spanks as a kid” thang. I thought it was a tribute and end point to all that had gone before and a harbinger of what is to follow. I’m no fan (no waiting in line for me, did that with Eurythmics in the 80s, and I’m patient now), so I haven’t followed the Star Wars world in book form or any other.


  6. Haven’t finished. But anyhoo I felt there was enough in it to give me a sense of closure and apology for eps 1,2 and 3, and given my love of the Abrams Star Trek reworking I’m not bothered by the small stuff. Btw loved Loved loved Daisy and the new people.


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