Movie Review: “Star Wars 7” The Farce Awakens

I saw the new Star Wars movie: Meh

SPOILER ALERT!

Do NOT continue if you have not already seen this movie!

I’ll start with a rundown of the impressions the characters left on me.

Protagonists: mostly pretty OK.

Rey: She’s OK, basically carries this albatross of a movie. Without her, the movie would be of the “we want our money back!” caliber. She does commit a horrible violation of etiquette right at the end when she offers Luke her lightsaber with the dangerous end pointed right at him!

Finn: He’s OK too. A sanitation worker promoted to Stormtrooper who has a change of heart when ordered to slaughter unarmed civilians. Perhaps some of our own military and police forces could follow his example?

The hotshot pilot guy: sorta OK

BB droid: OK

Han Solo: eh, can you say Space Geezer? Or Suicidal Insane Idiot?

The Wookie, Chewbacca: OK

The thousand-year-old bartender: OK

Leia Organa: sorta OK. A waste of Carrie Fisher’s talent. On the plus side, she shrewdly sends her idiot husband to certain death.

C3PO: truly a disgrace to three “C”s and a “P”

Sleeping Beauty R2D2: Aw, c’mon. A droid decides to sleep for years and everyone just leaves it alone? Wouldn’t leaving a broken droid in the control center get in the way? Maybe arouse suspicion, like why is that broken R2 so important, and maybe we should check it for hidden maps or some such? Oh, wait, they can’t because R2D2 is only partly a mechanical construct and is mostly some strange embodiment of The Farce. The final map scene was annoying, made more so by The Golden One jabbering senselessly.

The Resistance leadership generally? They’re doomed! Pure “deer staring at headlights.” Even the halfhearted, bumbling Kylo Ren could mop up this rabble.

Luke Skywalker: He ran away because of a mistake? Oh please! Now if he did this to “draw out” the Dark side or whatever else, maybe he could pull it off. Fortunately, he kept his mouth shut! So, Luke was either great or really horrible, depending on what transpires on the next episode.

Antagonists (Villains)

Kylo Ren: Truly pathetic! Even the perpetually shallow, dimwitted and gullible Darth Vader beats this sap.

Get this — After ineptly leaving the droid containing the secret map behind because he managed to catch Rey, who has seen the map fragment displayed for at least several seconds, he accidentally teaches her how to use “The Old Jedi Mind Trick” while interrogating her! DUH! (Being one of the few competent characters in this movie, she promptly uses this to escape)

He starts chopping up his own ship with his lightsaber during frequent tantrums, speaking of which looks like it’s badly out of adjustment, with a beam that sparks, wobbles and flickers. Is this the best the Dark Side can do? I hope he survived, because he certainly needs to “complete his training.” Villains should provoke fear, hatred, disgust or contempt, not pity!

Various Stormtroopers and command personnel: OK. Most of these seem competent, particularly General Hux.

Fin’s commanding officer, Captain Phasma: eh. I hope she got eaten by the garbage monster. 

Han Solo’s business associates / monster food: Not bad. Big, icky and very angry monsters held captive by an idiotic Han Solo were pretty good, as Big Icky Monsters go. How can you not like a monster that tries to chew the windshield off of a starship?

The replacement for the Evil Emperor, what’s-his-name, Snoke? Not bad, only because he mostly keeps his mouth shut while Kylo Ren and Hux stick their feet in theirs! Perhaps he is a competent villain after all.

The plot:

Plausible, but badly executed with a severe case of déjà vu. Is it really necessary to have people fall down a bottomless chasm with a slender bridge across it in every film?

Supposedly, there is an extra-galactic menace out there that is immune to the light side, and can only be defeated by the dark side. No mention is made of this, which could be a motivation for the otherwise inept Kylo.

One big hole in the plot: One commander of stormtroopers, Captain Phasma, having the required permissions to shut down the entire shield defense by herself? Oh, please! What kind of imbeciles could allow that?

A bigger hole: In previous episodes, it takes The Empire, at the peak of its power, a couple of decades to construct the original Death Star from pre- existing plans, and years to partially complete its replacement, which was probably under construction anyway. So now, the shattered remains of The Empire manage to design and construct a far larger and more powerful version right under the noses of a resurgent Galactic Republic? What kind of suicidal idiots are running this Republic? 

So this new star killer sucks a star into oblivion, (unbelievably draining billions of years of energy in a matter of minutes!) then uses the energy to attack distant worlds, while hapless victims pathetically jabber in disbelief. Couldn’t they at least try scrambling to safety?

Presumably it destroyed its own sun the first time it was used, so where did they find the second star? Or perhaps the sun is only temporarily exhausted? Where does it find new stars to power itself? It’s a planet! Stars tend to be light-years apart. Planets are not known for faster-than-light travel. Stone crusts and magma cores are not likely to travel well.

The original Death Star is plausible, so far as fictional death machines go. This star-sucking planet is not. Extracting all of the energy of a sun in minutes, or even days and storing it in a planet largely made of stone? Or even a hollowed out planet with a Jumbo Death Star inside? Ridiculous! Have they no sense of scale? Stars are very much larger than planets! Oh, and they’re full of superhot exploding hydrogen nuclei too.

Star Wars already had its own unique mysticism in the guise of “The Force,” set against a splendid background of highly advanced rationality. It did not need to be “Tolkhein-ized” to the point of holy artifacts like the sacred melted remains of Darth Vader’s Helmet. Even Anakin Skywalker’s Lightsaber has begun to communicate as well as make decisions on its own! it will probably have children next…

All in all, the movie left me cold, bored and irritated. Phooey.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Directed by J.J. Abrams

Written by Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt

135 minutes, PG-13

Staring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow.

Photo from the official website.


 


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