‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Review: Thrilling Fan Service

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Movie Rating:

4

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but there’s a ‘Star Wars’ movie opening this weekend. A new one too. Not a Special Edition. Not even a prequel. In fact, George Lucas isn’t involved for reasons that even he understands. It’s called ‘The Force Awakens’. You might have heard about it, briefly. Out of professional obligation, I agreed to attend it. After the endurance trials of Episodes I-III… well, I fell in love with ‘Star Wars’ again.

‘The Force Awakens’ is not a perfect movie, but it’s a hell of a table-setter for this new trilogy designed to please the crowds who have been frothing at the mouth ever since the first trailer dropped. It works. ‘Star Wars’ feels fun again. Pre-sold theaters should be filled with applause and tears this weekend, with little to no regretful ‘Phantom Menace’ hangovers.

So… plot summary… Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle. After years of relative silence, there’s a disturbance in the Force. An evil imperial force called The First Order is causing a ruckus with stormtroopers and TIE fighters. General Leia (Carrie Fisher) hopes to track down Luke Skywalker to help her cause. She sends her best Starfighter, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), to retrieve secret files with Luke’s whereabouts. Things go wrong. A new Vader-esque baddie named Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is out to stop the Resistance. Young stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) goes rogue. A mysterious young girl named Rey (Daisy Ridley) on a desert planet might prove helpful. Cute droid BB-8 is caught in the middle. That’s all I’ll say. It covers little more than the iconic title crawl. Obviously, much more happens, all paced and scored (John Williams, up to his old tricks in fine fashion) for maximum entertainment value.

The biggest pleasure walking out of ‘The Force Awakens’ is the sigh of relief that comes from knowing that the movie works. It’s clear that J.J. Abrams was indeed the guy to make ‘Episode VII’. First and foremost, he has the ‘Star Wars’ geek bona fides. He adores this world and Lucas’ classic trilogy. The film is filled with fan service, but not in a pandering way. It’s the product of a genuine ‘Star Wars’ fan making a ‘Star Wars’ movie, serving up what the core audiences crave in ways that offer tingles of nostalgic glee as well as thrilling, high-class B-movie entertainment.

However, we knew all that from Abrams’ patented secretive trailer attack. What made him right for this particular film was his ability to serve up TV pilot perfection. To explain, he has a knack for delivering stories hinged on fostering a desperate audience desire to find out what happens next. He loves to withhold information and use that tension and mystery for world-building. You’ll wander out of ‘The Force Awakens’ with many of the questions that you had going in, but not necessarily in a bad way. This is a pilot for the new trilogy, a primer that thrills and tantalizes while still withholding most of the secrets. ‘A New Hope’ was the first act of a larger trilogy that had to stand alone because George Lucas had no idea if there’d ever be a sequel. ‘The Force Awakens’ was made with two more movies guaranteed. So, this film is deliberately all set-up, but in a wonderful way that will leave you as excited for ‘Episode VIII’ going out as you were for ‘Episode VII’ going in.

Abrams is skilled at creating clever characters and knows how to cast, which pays off well here. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are off to fine starts as our youthful innocents. They’re strong heroes shrouded in mystery even when the credits roll, but are given the chance to show their strengths and position themselves as the lovable badasses needed to hinge a ‘Star Wars’ trilogy upon. (there are no Hayden Christensen causes for concern here.) Adam Driver cuts an imposing presence as the series’ new villain, while holding a special back story that should bring out welcome shades of grey in the future. Oscar Isaac is essentially on roguish flyboy duty, landing somewhere between Han Solo and Wedge Antillies, but thus far he isn’t given much complexity to chew on (though the fact that Isaac got the call suggests more is coming).

Oh yeah, Han Solo. Harrison Ford is in this too. In fact, out of the returning cast, he has the biggest role and it’s a tingly delight to see him strut his stuff with Chewbacca again. He’s predominantly shot from the waist up to hide that notorious ankle injury, limiting his action potential. However, he still breathes fresh life into his iconic role without any of the growling laziness that’s been a distraction in his past few performances. Seeing Ford share the screen with Carrie Fisher once more is a beautiful thing, even if Fisher doesn’t have nearly as much to do in this chapter (ditto C-3PO, who gets one big laugh before going back to the sidelines where the droid hopefully won’t stay for long). As for Mark Hamil/Luke Skywalker… well, as Abrams has been saying for ages there’s a very specific reason why he wasn’t in any of the trailers and it’s not what you might think (or at least, not for now).

Judged purely as a work of entertainment-driven action filmmaking, ‘The Force Awakens’ is Abrams’ finest feat to date. The movie essentially starts in motion and doesn’t let up until the final frames. He’s directing with his foot on the accelerator, flying from one set-piece, plot twist, character introduction, or wild location to the next with little time wasted. The action here is frenetic and fantastic. The effects are absolutely stunning. Using a mixture of spectacular locations, large sets, puppets, models and (don’t kid yourself) plenty of CGI, Abrams plunges audiences face first into the world of ‘Star Wars’ again. All the touchstones have been vividly recreated, while the fresh flourishes feel like organic additions. It’s a rollercoaster ride, which is exactly what the fans want out of ‘Star Wars’. There’s no pausing for trade disputes or even moments of quiet grace. It’s a romp and a delight.

The movie does have some issues and it’s hard to judge how deep the problems run without seeing the sequels. For example, it’s never clear what the First Order or Resistance are or why this battle continues after the vanquishing of the Empire. Sure, that could be to save the secrets for subsequent chapters or it could be lazy screenwriting. It’s impossible to say right now. Abrams designed this movie so specifically to be the first steps into a larger story that it’s difficult to see the plot holes from the mystery boxes.

Likewise, he also uses the rhyming and repetition that Lucas built into both of his ‘Star Wars’ trilogies to create a familiarity that deliberately echoes what came before. That makes ‘The Force Awakens’ a fully engaged ‘Star Wars’ follow-up that strives to be a part of a larger whole, but it also leads to frustrating elements that only seem to be there for nostalgia. It’s unclear how or why the new Death Star-esque battle station exists in the universe or plot of this movie, but it does lead to fantastic finale set-piece. Regardless, there are many threads left dangling and the meat of what this new trilogy is truly about has yet to emerge. Fortunately, the rather brilliant Rian Johnson is in charge of the second act of this tale and, at least on paper, he’s the perfect choice to add drama and depth to Abrams’ pretty new sandbox.

For the sake of avoiding fanboy rioting, we should all be pleased that the failings of ‘The Force Awakens’ are minor. They’re mostly issues set up for resolution in subsequent stories or nits destined to be picked by fans over the next few years. The bottom line is that J.J. Abrams and compnay have made a ‘Star Wars’ movie worthy of the banner and title crawl. It’s a restless bit of blockbuster filmmaking that will indeed please crowds. There’s a warm, comforting, fuzzy feeling to experiencing the film that’s infectious.

Sure, the flick debuts to hype so steep that some folks will inevitably leave disappointed, but at least not in a way that will lead to burning ‘Star Wars’ collections like in the tragic summer of 1999. The worst that could happen here is that viewers may be forced to reconcile with the fact that they saw a damn good ‘Star Wars’ movie rather than an earth-shattering event. That’s hardly a horrible compromise, and frankly it’s incredible that this team was able to deliver such a satisfying ‘Star Wars’ movie made on demand to fit a release date. If nothing else, ‘The Force Awakens’ will transport viewers to a familiar galaxy far, far away and remind us all that the special time in which we adored ‘Star Wars’ wasn’t so long ago.

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106 comments

  1. NJScorpio

    *in the year 2030*

    “Hey, remember when Episode VII came out, and it was awesome, and everyone was relieved that the franchise wasn’t going to be ruined by Disney?”

    I

  2. ryan

    Leave Lucas Alone ahole show some respect.If it wasent for him youd have no STAR WARS.it’s like You all get on this bashing train cause you wouldn’t want to be left out would you.HE CREATED IT ALL IN HIS HEAD,he should be praised not dumped on.

    • George Lucas is hardly mentioned at all in this review, and I see nothing that could be considered “bashing.” You are being defensive (and outright abusive in your post that I removed) over nothing. Tone down your fanboy rage, please.

    • Chris B

      He wasn’t dumping on him, he was gently pointing out the fact that Lucas made three pre-quels to the original trilogy that were seen as let-downs by pretty much everyone and out-right disasters by some. Lucas was so hurt by this he sold tbe franchise and wants nothing to do with making anymore Star Wars films….just calm down man.

      • NJScorpio

        Exactly. For someone to be offended by the statement that the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy was disappointing is like someone being offended by the statement that sugar is sweet. Even in the most objective breakdown, there are many elements that do meet the standards set by the original trilogy, or even standards set by non-related good movies.

        • Deaditelord

          While I agree with that assessment when it comes to Episodes I and II, I think Episode III gets a bum rap – guilt by association if you will. Personally, I would rank Episode III right behind The Empire Strikes Back as the best the series has to offer.

          • NJScorpio

            I do agree that Episode III is the most satisfying of the prequels, but it feels like sitting through an meandering 12 minute progressive rock song, just to get to the really awesome guitar solo toward the end. I also think that Hayden Christensen conveyed the material as best he could.

            The thing is….Return of the Jedi, I believe, could be enjoyed, and followed enough, to watch as a stand alone. Now this is a bold statement, because who can we even try this out on? I think that Ep. III cannot stand alone, and would be terribly confusing and not enjoyable for someone who as no familiarity with the characters or stories.

          • Deaditelord

            I have to agree with you NJScorpio that a Star Wars newbie coming into episode III would be lost without some background information. On the other hand, I also would strongly suggest to any newbie that they start with Episodes IV – VI before watching the prequels which should give them enough knowledge to figure out what is going on if they skipped Episodes I and II

          • The problem with Episode III is that it feels like a series of “Oh crap, we’ve got to tie up every single loose end and connect this thing to the original trilogy as quickly as possible” scenes, rather than a natural story progression in its own right.

            Also, Anakin’s sudden switch to, “Welp, guess I’m evil now. I better murder all these kids, ‘cuz that’s what a villain would do” is kind of ridiculous. As is Padme’s “I just had these babies, but you know what I’m pretty sad about Anakin being evil, so I think I’ll just go ahead and die now.”

            Not to mention: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

          • NJScorpio

            Josh…

            “The problem with Episode III is that it feels like a series of “Oh crap, we’ve got to tie up every single loose end and connect this thing to the original trilogy as quickly as possible”

            Now, keeping in mind I have yet to see The Force Awakens…and that I’m a huge fan of Fringe and LOST…I worry that if J.J is helming the whole trilogy, the third of the series might have that rushed feel. A spoiler-free review or two I’ve read said that VII ends leaving you excited about VIII…and that sorta compelling ending is what made so many LOST episodes great! But, as we all know, while the quality of the answers to key questions in LOST may be debatable, there are a few mysteries left unaddressed. This was not the case with the final season of Fringe, where I felt everything tied up nicely.

            My point is…while I have a great deal of faith in J.J.’s capabilities, the only concern I have is the “LOST effect” of having two films loaded up with compelling questions that need answering, then a third that feels a bit too overloaded with answers (that may or may not live up to the questions themselves).

            Pure speculation, because I have not seen VII yet.

          • William Henley

            I will agree with you on three. Three was always my favorite of the prequels, but after watching all six the last two weeks, I was really surprised with just how good three was – it is now up there as one of my favorites. That said, Phantom Menace was WORSE than I remembered, and I remember it being pretty bad.

          • William Henley

            Also, I should state that, as a kid, Return of the Jedi was the first Star Wars movie I ever saw. No, actually, that is not 100% true, I saw the Ewoks live-action TV movie, then I saw Return of the Jedi, then I saw the Ewoks animated series, then I saw A New Hope.

            So, yeah, I agree that Return of the Jedi can be enjoyed as a standalone. Empire, as great as it is, cannot.

      • Deaditelord

        Interesting. I always thought that Anakin’s decision to give himself to the dark side was entirely based on doing whatever is necessary to save Padme’s life… something Palpatine suggests is possible if one becomes powerful enough in the dark side of the force. If setting aside his humanity and killing Jedi will help him become more powerful… then so be it.

        While I think that Padme losing her will to live makes sense when viewed from an operatic perspective (Star Wars is a space opera after all), Lucas would have been better served to just have her die from child birth complications.

        As for NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!, I’ll concede this point Josh. 🙂 Actually, I don’t have a problem so much with the line itself; just how it’s delivered.

          • I thought Episode III was the best of the prequels, but I left the theater thinking that being extremely strong with the force didn’t mean you also had to be intelligent.

            I’ve been married for 25 years, but if my wife had to choose between myself and our two children, I’d be left out in the cold.

      • Deaditelord

        How dare you sir use a Star Trek reference by using the term “starship” when they are clearly “star destroyers”! 🙂

  3. Phil

    Hahaha. Thanks Ryan! This made my day. I was shitting on Lucas in jest (you know, like everyone). Obviously I tremendously respect what he accomplished in his early career. How could you not? He was a genius who touched generations in ways few storytellers ever have. Hopefully at some point I’ll write a review that you like. That’ll be my New Years resolution.

  4. ryan

    I apologize for that I was out of line.Im 37 years old and was 1 when the original came out and they were very special to me.I just don’t understand toay but that’s me.I know lucas gave em up,but because of all the crud talking. I Don’t blame him.Im sorry phil, please forgive me. Thank you

    • Clemery

      They were very special to me too… I was born in ’76 and indeed have fond nostalgic memories of the original trilogy. I also understand the concept of “we would not have these movies if it wasn’t for George Lucas” and that the prequels are also from the same mind and that they do even have their fans.

      That said, I still believe that George Lucas deserves all the ire he gets. For me, its not so much that he made three more movies that felt totally foreign to the films he made before (pre-SE versions), but the fact that he continues to deny the original fans access to the original theatrical versions that made him the name that he was. I don’t like the majority of the changes to his original trilogy, and cringe whenever I see Jabba in the original Star Wars, or hear that awful replacement Sy Snootles song in Jedi.

      You argue that he should be praised for giving us the star Wars movies in the first place… I argue that he should be honouring the original fans who made him and his movies the success that they are considered to be. He would not be selling his $4-billion empire if it wasn’t for us original fans. But instead, he chooses to punish those who were faithful to his original creations, demanding to this day that only the inferior tinkered versions are all that is available on today’s home video media.

      So no… I don’t believe Lucas deserves blanket praise, and have no sympathy for him with his current reputation.

  5. NJScorpio

    Have you ever loved the lyrics of a song because they seemed to convey meaning that connects with you on a very personal level…then hear the musician interviewed about the song, and it means something totally different, possibly even lame?

    Have you ever watched a horror movie, and been riveted by the fear and intensity of some looming monster, only to have that all deflated by the reveal of a lame rubber mask?

    That, IMO, is what happened with Star Wars. This is what happened with the original trilogy revisions, as well as the prequels. Our collective consciousness “knows” what Star Wars should be, even if it has diverged from the creator’s vision…so when his vision is further executed, it seems wrong/incorrect. Since J.J. came from the outside, from the collective consciousness, he knew what Star Wars should be.

  6. Well, i just dropped in here to see the headline and the star rating. I know that the reviews here are usually spoiler free, but I have even avoided seeing interviews, watching anything other than trailers, and so forth. So I will be back on here Friday night after seeing it to vote, read the review, and give my two cents. I am also seeing it twice this weekend – Friday night in 2D digital (I think they have 4k projectors there) and Saturday at the Imax. I am also looking at the possibility over the next couple of weeks catching it at the drive in, and at an Imax Dome theater that is doing a 2D Imax Film showing.

  7. Chris B

    I have tickets to see this on Saturday night and I really wish it was sooner. I honestly haven’t slept properly the past few nights because of the anticipation.

    • NJScorpio

      The tickets I bought said 12/19/2015 12:30am, which I thought was half an hour after midnight, late Friday night. It says, “12/19/2015 12:30am Late Saturday Evening”…what the hell? That doesn’t even make sense. Then when I look at the ACTUAL tickets you print out (not how it is listed on Fandango under my purchases), it actually says 12/20/2015 12:30am.

      So because people are stupid, and wouldn’t realize that 12:30am on Saturday Evening is 12/20, they have to list it as 12/19/2015 12:30am, which then confuses people who actually know how to read show times.

      • Deaditelord

        At least you were able to get your tickets. I’ve been trying to order tickets all day on Fandango’s website and when I try to submit my order it says there is a problem and to try again later. Very annoying.

      • EM

        French has an idiom that makes this so much clearer. One says something like “the night of Saturday to Sunday” or “the night of the 19th to the 20th”, and this eliminates all doubt as to which 12:30am one means.

        So next time, buy tickets on Frenchdango.

        • Deaditelord

          LOL! I should have used Frenchdango back on 10/23. At least then I wouldn’t be wondering if Fandango will ever let me purchase three tickets for one of the early Friday showings they claim have seats available.

    • William Henley

      I saw it in Dolby Atmos! Amazing! Ships wooshing about overhead, explosions from everywhere, etc! Highly recommend if there is an Atmos theater near you

      • cardpetree

        Fortunately there is a brand new theater here in Louisville called Xscape which has Dolby Atmos and it is amazing. I was able to catch TFA in Dolby Atmos, pretty cool. Every theater there is equipped with electric recliners. I’ll never watch another movie in Louisville anywhere else.

  8. charles contreras

    I can’t wait to see this one! I stood in line to see the original back in 1977. Yes, the line wrapped itself around the building, and we paid an unheard of $4.00 a ticket. I look forward to reliving some of that magic again on the big screen.

  9. Charles M

    I’m not a Star Wars fan by the way. I thought this movie was okay and it was fun at times. I didn’t buy the sudden friendship that one of the characters pronounces. They just meet each other, why are they so loving towards each other? I also didn’t like the the coincidences. A character happens to meet a certain character driving a certain ship. And the villain was kind of weak. I guess that’s what they were going for. Like the opposite of Vader but still. Didn’t come off as much of a threat. Then the entire ANH plot being redone almost entirely was disappointing. but the worse is that it ends with a cliffhanger (literally), so the movie can’t work by itself. Lastly, there seemed to be too many characters.

    But still, I liked it. Not great, not amazing, didn’t have memorable action setpieces or scenes. But I liked it.

  10. I really didn’t like it at all – it felt like a movie based on a third rate Expanded Universe novel. Don’t believe the hype – The Force Awakens is average at best. It is typical JJ Abrams – all style, zero substance. It’s not a story being told, it is just a list of references and tropes from previous films. Just like Super 8. Just like Star Trek.

    “Look, it’s Han Solo!”

    “Look it’s a Death Star!”

    “Look, it’s the Millennium Falcon and it’s breaking down again!”

    And the villain was Anton Chigurh with a mask.

    People are so scared of spoilers, but there’s nothing to spoil, because you’ve seen every single part of this movie before.

    The plot (if you can call it a plot) is basically an assembly of the most unreasonable, outrageous, intelligence-insulting coincidences I’ve ever seen.

    Han Solo’s character arc was clearly dictated entirely by the terms of Harrison Ford’s contract and not the needs of the plot. He really phoned this one in from the 7th fairway.

    And all the extremely dumb things you hated about the Prequels are here in spades. They have proved that they have effectively learned nothing from that debacle.

    It proves once and for all that the people you least want making a new installment in a franchise are fans of that franchise because they lack all objectivity.

    I honestly cannot WAIT for Red Letter Media to tear this turkey a new one.

    • Bolo

      I have the same opinion on Abrams as a filmmaker. He goes down a checklist of what audiences expect from a certain property but he never really connects the dots in a compelling or even logical way. I find he isn’t gifted when it comes to building plots, characters, or even spectacle. He puts together good casts and his films keep moving with a certain energy and don’t overstay their welcome, so they’re pretty inoffensive. But I can’t call any of the films I’ve seen from him good.

    • Seeing this tonight but I’ve read plenty of reviews that say the complete opposite of you and more of them 😉 The thing with Star Wars and that JJ excels at, is providing nostalgic feelings. JJ is very good at making a film that pays great homage to others that came before it, Super 8 was a fantastic film that really was inspired by the Spielberg films of the 80s, especially E.T. Super 8 didnt “rip” that movie off at all and I find it completely stupid to hear people say that about JJ when its clearly NOT true.

      A new Star Wars movie NEEDED what JJ did to it, it needed throwbacks, references and the FEELING of Star Wars again, I havent read ONE review so far that says anything about this bringing in “all the extremely dumb things you hated about the prequels” If anything, this stays FAR FAR away from the prequels, to me it sounds like you are simply not a fan of Star Wars.

      I also have to laugh at your comment about the people you least want to make a new installment. JJ is EXACTLY who I wanted to make a new installment, its obvious that George himself didnt care about what fans wanted and/or loved about his own franchise anymore, he single handedly ruined his own creation, bringing in a HUGE fan of the franchise that sees how the movies worked, like we all did, is the perfect person to put behind the camera.

      The Phantom Menace came out and garnered a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes from 212 critics, Force Awakens is already at 193 and it sitting at a 95%, I think its pretty obvious that this Star Wars movie brings back what everyone has wanted to see since George messed it up back in 1999, your opinion is going to be in the strong minority on this one I’m sure

      • CC

        It might be good. But who gives a crap about “group-think” Rotten Tomatoes reviews?
        Don’t let an aggregate formula tell you what you are supposed to like.
        …and RT is 90% critics in-name-only. There are less reviewers from REAL newspapers and qualified critics than are ones from Buttwad Weekly, and WeLoveCoolStuff.net.

        • That means its an evaluation based on more “less critic” people then, either way its peoples opinions and the top critics that RT pulls from have said its good, most reviews I’ve read have been extremely positive, I dont care who the reviewer is, since almost everyone is a Star Wars fan to some degree, I expect to hear from just about anyone on the subject and to me, they all have valid opinions but so far, almost no one has been extremely negative like Simon, I mean he’s comparing this to the prequels, which I find completely insane even without having seen it yet

      • Clemery

        That’s kind of his point though… that JJ brings the nostalgia back, but doesn’t really deliver a compelling story.

        I saw it last night, and while I am really happy with the film, I do see truth in Simon’s comments (I am certainly not as negatively affected by them though). The nostalgic design and references are strong throughout, but at times it seems to tread a little too heavily into remake territory. Also, there were a few occasions where I found myself a little bored with the story or a little underwhelmed by some dialogue. Not often, but now and then. And, I really do not like the final scene at all, and would have preferred it to be left out (perhaps built up to a little more in Ep 8).

        I think it delivers the goods in terms of bring back that Star Wars feel and delivering a movie than most fans will approve of, but I do also feel parts of the story and certain aspects of certain characters are a little poor, which is in line with my feelings of other JJ Abrams ventures (Super 8 is a great example… didn’t really like it as it had spectacle and nostalgic references, but the story was just slow and uninteresting).

    • Charles M

      “And all the extremely dumb things you hated about the Prequels are here in spades.”

      Really? Like what? I hated the prequels and consider the originals to be a little overrated. What problems do this film and the prequels share?

    • Elizabeth

      Simon, it sounds like you went in wanting to hate this film. And you weren’t going to let what was actually on the screen get in the way of despising it. But at least you got exactly what you wanted.

      • I honestly did not want to hate this movie – I went in with cautious optimism, but tempered by what I know to be things I can’t stand about JJ Abrams as a filmmaker. And I was disappointed to see that all his bad trademarks were there. I thought parts of the film were amazing but as a whole it falls so very very far short of the Originals. It is as problematic as the Prequels were but in a different way.

        I just felt very disappointed that the story was very much a retread on A New Hope in much the same way that Star Trek Into Darkness was a retread of The Wrath of Khan. The basic plot is identical, just a few characters are given different roles – Han Solo was the Ben Kenobi figure of the Force Awakens, Rei was just a female Luke Skywalker minus his lust for adventure.

        The overall plot also just really made very little sense. This film will not stand up to a repeat viewing because once people see it is just an assembly of plot elements from the original trilogy they’ll find there isn’t much orginality at all and the glaring plot holes will reveal themselves.

        George Lucas has been largely vindicated by this film to be honest. His Prequel Trilogy isn’t very good but at least it was different and tried different things with the Star Wars universe. It was a failure but I prefer a failure that made an attempt to be different to a slavish immitation that tried nothing new at all.

        • Chapz Kilud

          I second you rare opinion Simon. IMO the graphic novels and books written for events after episode 6 was so much better. The problem with the prequel trilogy was that there was too much flaws in logic, and there were some pretty bad acting. But you can see what Lucas was trying to do in general. In fairness Lucas had an easier task but he failed miserably. You’re so right this was a retread of episode 4. But you see everything was weaker. Han Solo tried to be Obi-Wan’s figure but his xxxxx was very meaningless. The purpose for going after one jedi was also weaker. I don’t even want to go into the planetary weapon.

          JJ Abrams did a great job hyping up this movie.

        • William Henley

          I see where you are coming from, in fact, I had many of the same complaints – they just were not as big of an issue with me as they were with you. I am not wildly in love with this movie like many are, but I did find it quite enjoyable.

          I 100% agree that the story felt like a rehashing of A New Hope, however, JJ and his guys did not write the story – JJ says he was actually going to turn the movie down until he actually read the script. So I don’t hold him responsible for the script. The main script here is by the same guy who wrote Empire and Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark

          I do think that JJ is on the right track here, and that he handled the property extremely well. I think with a better story and script, this would have been amazing.

  11. And please tell me but what is it with JJ Abrams and making space and time so trivial in his films? Hyperspace journeys across hundreds of thousands of light years take seconds and all planets and systems are visible with the naked eye from each other! It drives me NUTS.

    • NJScorpio

      ‘Star Wars’ seemed to always seemed to have a lively, colorful, fluid sense of space. Most times, activity was in orbit near planets, or travel to and from locations. It never really was about the cold, silent, isolated, crushing reality of traveling through the cosmos. For that, I’d go with the ‘Aliens’ franchise. In those, you really feel the distance, the darkness, the vastness of it all. It is almost like comparing ‘The Fifth Element’ and ‘Europa Report’.

      “In space, nobody can hear you scream ‘Noooooooooo!”

  12. Philip you’re going to burn at the stake for not giving Star Wars 5 Stars !!!! Naw, just kidding. Have not seen it yet. I suspect I will have to wait at least til after Xmas to be even close to the local theater. But then there’s the dreaded theater. Assholes playing on their phones in front of you, the screen lighting up like a beacon beckoning you to look away from the big screen, children clearly too young to be there constantly asking mommy or daddy what something means, and a guarantee that child will sit directly behind you and keep kicking your seat. Sweat and popcorn smell. Crunch crunch crunch, candy wrapper ruffle ruffle ruffle. The watered down soda that makes me have to take a leak 60 minutes later and I keep trying to hold it because I don’t want to miss something. I wait 45 minutes to take a first sip, and it still makes me have to go at the 60 minute mark!
    I voted for the Blu Ray option. As much as I would love to enjoy the action on the big screen, you can clearly see why the word “enjoy” is used loosely.

    • This is why I chose to go opening night, all it will be is fans, especially at 11PM at night, no worries about anything this evening since this will be the crowd to cheer at the opening and at the credits and probably just about anything we’ve all been waiting to see back again 🙂

      • William Henley

        Agree, pretty much any time you go to a franchise movie on opening night, you are not going to get the annoying people there – you have the fanboys, and they are not going to be on their phones and stuff. You only get that crap if you wait and go 2-3 weeks after a movie comes out, because then you have the person who casually just wondered up to the theater and decides “this movie starts in 10 minutes, let’s see that”.

        The watered down soda and nasty popcorn is still an issue, though.

    • Clemery

      We had a good crowd at our 6:30pm Dec 17th screening (Perth, Australia). Lots of cheers and applause during the Lucasfilm logo, opening scrawl, and when legacy characters made their first appearance. There were a few lightsabers being waved around during the trailers, but never saw one during the movie itself, which impressed me. And when the credits rolled and the lights came up, the whole cinema was abuzz with chatter from excited audiences.

      By far my favourite memory from the night was during the trailer for 13 Hours… the cinema quietened and everyone seemed intrigued by this trailer, until we saw “From Director Michael Bay” flash up on screen, then there was a symphony of groans coming from all over the cinema, followed by laughter. Classic!

  13. Elizabeth

    I thought it was a great Star Wars movie. Let’s be honest, Star Wars was never high art outside of the special effects and music. It delivered everything I wanted from a Star Wars film. And thankfully no mention of mitochlorians or trade disputes.

    If I had to complain about something, I would say that it almost felt like a remake of A New Hope instead of an original story at times. And even that I would say was due to the last 30 minutes.

    • NJScorpio

      As I’m attempting to skim comments while avoiding spoilers, I read “And thankfully no mention of mitochlorians or trade disputes.” Thank you, I’m glad to hear it!

  14. Deaditelord

    I also thought that The Force Awakens was a very good Star Wars movie that could have been great had they not gone back to that same well again (I’m being vague so as to not spoil the movie for others). Also, while the action sequences were, for the most part well done, I found the aerial battles lacked the excitement and energy one expects from a Star Wars movie with the last one bordering on almost perfunctory. Still, I enjoyed the majority of Episode VII and am REALLY interested in seeing where Rian Johnson takes things in Episode VIII.

  15. The weakest point of the film was the villain – he’s pretty much Anakin Skywalker all over again minus the yipppeee but full of the same spoiled brat temper tantrums and emo bullshit. And I am getting real sick of everyone being everybody’s father’s brother’s uncle’s former room mate.

  16. Sigh*….Simon is quite right, this looks and feels like it was made with leftovers. No feelings, nor core, incredible it made me think something good about Episode I (“at least it was kind of honest”) And the very first trivial Star Wars film. A real pity. Lets face it, had it had another name other than Star Wars, it would have been your average summer entertainment, no more,nor less.

  17. Chapz Kilud

    Some of those non-cannon Star Wars novels were very good. If they want to make a good story they could have picked some ideas from the books and expand them. They want to throw all that away and be super creative, that’s fine. But in the end all they did was recycling the same old ideas with weaker purpose and plot.

    Albeit this was better than episode 1-3, but that’s not saying much. Nobody here will ever argue that this was better than New Hope.

  18. I liked it. Not a perfect movie, but a good ‘Star Wars’ movie. Gorgeous sets, quality cast, excellent cinematography. And call me crazy, but I could really see that almost all the Stormtroopers were real actors (and not CG-clones). The way the fell, behaved, moved … all very well done.

  19. nagara

    Just saw it very very very early this morning. I liked it a lot, but I do agree with some of the criticisms being thrown around. Ironically for me the weakest parts revolved around the old cast. The new trio Rey, Finn, and Poe were great and could have held the movie by themselves. I really liked Kylo Ren, but agree he was a weak villain. Although it seems that was the intent. He still has room to grow and learn to be a better villain in the next movies.

    The way it ended did not bother me as much as some. It reminded me more of the way some episodes of television shows end before their big hiatus. Or like Lord of the Rings.

    • What I dont get is that people are pissed off for a number of things that will probably be rectified in the sequel, this was a 2 hour and 20 minute film and it had to do A LOT of shit, there just wasnt enough room to do everything and if they did, what would the sequels be for then? I really dont get the mentality behind some people’s arguments, we finally get a Star Wars film that feels like a Star Wars film and people are still bitching about it, now its TOO much like the originals and WE WANTED SOMETHING NEW! I find it kind of funny, some people you just cant please no matter what, and I really think the people that are complaining about some of this stuff wouldnt have been happy no matter what came out from Disney.

      I loved the film, sure it has some obvious parallels to A New Hope but thats really fine by me, it brought plenty of new stuff, new characters, new places and new story to move things into the next film. this was really a launchpad that needed to connect the old with the new, plenty of nostalgic beats to follow along too and a plot structure that we all know and love from the original trilogy but with plenty of enhancements, changes and love put into it.

      Episode VIII will be a very different animal going in a whole new direction and The Force Awakens needed to be fan service while pushing us all forward to a bigger and better, more original story, real shame that all anyone sees is this one’s faults, this was known to be a trilogy from the get go and it starts ideas and doesnt finish a lot of them and I’m fine with that, I cant wait to see this one again 🙂

  20. There are going to be a LOT of Star Wars movies now, guys…if this film wasn’t your cup of tea, chances are you’ll get one soon that you’ll like. ROGUE ONE is going to be a gritty war film, Episode VIII will be for fans who really liked this latest movie, the young Han Solo film is reportedly a “heist comedy”, and there’s still that Boba Fett movie in the planning out there somewhere, plus Episode IX. And that’s just over the next five years.

    This film does exactly what it should have. It’s not perfect, but its the best Star Wars material we’ve gotten in a LONG time, that’s for sure.

  21. Elizabeth

    *Spoiler Alert*

    Now a few days since seeing it, I have to say the Starkiller Base weapon makes no freaking sense. Yeah, pondering the science of a Star Wars movie is rather pointless but this was really beyond the pale stupid science.

    1. The weapon has to pull in an entire sun to fire? How would that even work?
    2. Even a “small” star has a mass several magnitudes greater than a massive planet like Jupiter. The Sun is over a million times larger than the Earth. How would you compress all that plasma to fit into a planet?
    3. Since they fire the weapon once and attempt to fire it again, that means they’re in a binary star system (since the second firing will leave them in darkness). But removing a star would have had disastrous consequences to the planet’s orbit already. That’s ignoring that it would have probably rendered the planet into an ice planet as well.
    4. Why would you spend all that time and resources turning a planet into a weapon that could only be fired twice? Does this get even more ridiculous by assuming they built a hyperdrive engine large enough to move a planet?

    Many of these issues could easily be remedied if the weapon only pulled in a chunk of the star. But unfortunately that’s clearly not how the movie defines its operation. Even from a movie logic standpoint where science is flexible the Starkiller weapon is terrible science.

  22. Well, as to the operation of the weapon, I do assume that it wasn’t a planet but a moon – bigger than a Death Star, certainly, but not as large as a planet. It also depends who you believe on the size of the Death Star to begin with – the most often quoted 120km diameter is in dispute as ILM in their orginal documentation implied it was supposedly much larger, more like 1000km. I personally don’t really have a problem with equipping a moon with a hyperdrive and we have to assume this thing is mobile.

    As for compressing an entire star into some sort of containment space inside the moon, well, as matter is mostly empty space you can compress it a hell of a lot. Like you get a Neutron Star, which packs the mass of our sun into an area the size of a mountain – and these things do actually exist. Also Star Wars has a substance called “hypermatter” which was I think introduced in the Incredible Cross Sections Books but is semi-canonical which is a form of matter that exists in hyperspace (i.e. another dimension) so it doesn’t necessarily occupy the the physical volume of the vehicle it is powering.

    I don’t think Starkiller base is unrealistic in the context of a society that controls the resources of most of a Galaxy.

    Only thing that confuses me, is I would assume it was called Starkiller Base because it destroyed the star of the target system but the name actually seems to refer to the consumption of stars as the power-source of the weapon.

    I’m going to see the movie again, because I think it deserves a second chance… my opinion of the film has mellowed somewhat on reflection anyway.

    • William Henley

      What bothers me here is the amount of resources it would take to construct this weapon. This is stated briefly in the movie, and more so in Star Wars Aftermath which IS cannon, but after the collapse of the second Death Star, the star systems formed a new Republic. The First Order is the reminants of the old Empire, and you could pretty much now call THEM the rebels as they are against the now 30-year-old established government. So where did the First Order get the resources for this?

      Although I guess you could argue that that is why it took them 30 years to build it

  23. William Henley

    Okay, now that I have seen the movie, I can comment.

    I think I agree with the review. I wasn’t QUITE as impressed as Phil – I may have gone 3 1/2 stars, but that’s still good. I enjoyed the movie. It is for sure better than episodes 1-3 and is probably on par with episode 6 in terms of quality.

    There were a couple of things that felt weird to me, and keep me from giving it a better score

    1) The story here is not as strong as episodes 3-6 (but better than 1 and 2). The final act felt an awful lot like “I’ve seen this before” (BTW, while I think this is a better movie than episode 3, I think episode 3 had a stronger story). Some of the dialogue felt awkward and…

    2) Cheesy. There were several scenes that very much felt like it was written by a staff of Disney writers working on a live-action movie. A lot of the “fan service” felt forced and unnatual

    3) While JJ Abrams did a great job making a Star Wars movie, there were scenes that felt very much like JJ Abrams was at the helm. Camera placements in some scenes, color and lighting choices. There is an action scene shortly after they meet Han Solo that feels similar to an action scene in Star Trek, and one of the final effects shots feels exactly the same as a similar shot in Star Trek. Now, this isn’t a bad thing, but it did take me out of the movie a bit

    4) The First Order’s weapon. Really? We’ve done this before. Granted, it was suped up, but we did it before.

    Other than these nit-picks, I enjoyed the movie. JJ Abrams and the screen writers and Disney did a pretty darn good job.

    Oh, and as to who the First Order is, that is in Star Wars Aftermath, a book that came out a couple of months ago that is cannon.

    • Elizabeth

      There were definitely things I really liked about this.

      I liked the idea that the movie sort of backtracked some from Return of the Jedi and essentially said that destroying the Death Star didn’t result in an instant victory for the Rebellion.

      I also like the idea that there were planets so far from everything that the struggle between the Empire and Rebellion was little more than rumor. Although given who Rey seems to be and that she was taken to the desert planet (that isn’t Tatooine) as a young girl and not a baby, I don’t understand how she wouldn’t know about the Rebellion and the Force.

      I really liked the three new main characters. However Fin’s dialogue was often very clunky; I couldn’t understand why anyone would believe the lies he was telling (at least Han clearly saw through his BS).

      I liked a lot of the ending even, especially the final duel. But I’m growing to hate the Starkiller weapon. It was unnecessary and just a ridiculous rehash of Episode VI (and really what is the Empire’s architectural fetish with heavily armed trenches?). They could have simply said the planet was the First Order main base and that would have been reason enough for an all out assault.

      I would have been happier if the movie had ended when they assembled the map. I was kind of hoping the second movie would have been a cat and mouse chase between the Rebellion and the First Order to reach the destination. Instead they totally skipped the entire journey which seems a waste. And I could have done without the 3 minutes of stair climbing. If they really needed the last character reveal, they could have just had that character looking up at the stars to signify they knew that others are coming.

      • Deaditelord

        See I have a slight issue with the final duel. While I’m willing to believe that Finn would be competent enough with a lightsaber to slow down an injured Kylo Ren because of his stormtrooper training, I found it difficult to accept that Rey would somehow be capable of fending off Kylo Ren (injured or not) with absolutely no training.

          • Deaditelord

            Rey being able to knock a few wimpy street thugs in Jakku off their feet doesn’t make me believe that she would be capable of defeating someone trained in using a lightsaber. Having said that, I’m not trying to make this out to be a huge issue that ruined the movie for me. I quite enjoyed The Force Awakens despite the issues I’ve commented about on here and am genuinely excited to see what happens in Episode VIII.

          • EM

            …but Finn’s training in shooting a blaster and running garbage detail does convince you of his competence with a saber. Well, OK.

          • William Henley

            But Finn wasn’t really battling anyone with experience. I bet if I waved a sword around, I could probably hurt someone, maybe even kill someone if i stuck the pointy end in them, but I am pretty sure if I were to go up against any of the Starks, I would get my ass handed to me. So Finn killing a few street thugs is a lot more believable than than Rey battling Ren

          • Deaditelord

            No EM, but the scene earlier where he attacks the stormtrooper with the lightsaber does. Yes he loses (as would be expected when fighting someone with more experience), but at least the scene shows that Finn has had some training in how to use a hand-to-hand weapon against an opponent. (This also makes sense given that all stormtroopers begin training at a young age. At some point they must have given Finn some instruction in hand-to-hand combat.)

            One other thing, I never said I thought Finn would be able to defeat Kylo Ren. I would have trouble buying that outcome too. All I said is that Finn might be able to slow an injured Kylo Ren down, which Finn does for a little bit.

          • EM

            We really don’t know what Finn’s—or most stormtroopers’—training in hand-to-hand combat is. Mostly we just see them shooting. The one trooper with an anti-saber weapon may have been an élite soldier (just as the Emperor’s guards with the force pikes were). It could be that the blaster training for a sanitation trooper was primarily in shooting at dianogas. 😛

    • Chris B

      I thought it was ridiculous how Poe and Finn were instant friends. Poe should have been far more suspicious and hostile towards him in the beginning. A storm trooper is suddenly offering to help you escape out of nowhere? Do you think maybe it’s a trap? like maybe the bad guys just want to follow you back to the resistance base and kill you and all of your friends? All the sudden you’re BFFs? Not to mention the fact that Poe Dameron is the dumbest fucking name in the entire franchise. All the new names are pretty weak, but Poe is literally one letter away from “Poo”. Somebody fire the guy that thought that one up.

      • William Henley

        Well, Luke and C-3PO were instantly friends, Luke and Ben were instantly friends, Luke and Han were pretty darn quickly friends, Luke immediately believed in the force, Anakin immediatly liked Padme, JarJar immediatly liked ObiWan and Quigan and Padme and Annie….

        • Chris B

          Oh come on Will! we never saw the droids meet so throw that one out. Luke and Obi-Wan had a teacher-pupil vibe that developed organically over a progression of scenes, totally different, and Han and Luke weren’t friends at all to begin with. Luke found him arrogant and obnoxious, Han though Luke was just a young naive kid who was probably kinda useless. It was only after they escaped together he sort of showed any affection towards him, and even the it was grudgingly. Litereally 2 minutes after they meet Finn and Poe are talking like old pals. It was total bullshit.

          • EM

            Artoo and Threepio were, arguably, made for each other.

            Regarding Finn and Poe, some people are friendlier than others, and sometimes people just click, perhaps all the more easily when banded together in a crisis. That said, I get what Chris is saying about Poe’s reasons to be suspicious. However, Kylo Ren had just ripped the map’s whereabouts from Poe’s mind; surely he could have done likewise anent the Resistance base. And for all we know, Poe may have harbored some suspicions re Finn but resolved to settle them after the escape—there really was no reason for him to prefer to remain the First Order’s prisoner!

          • William Henley

            Oh, I agree that Finn and Poe becoming best friends right after meeting is BS. I am just saying that is how the series goes.

            And while I did not state the droids meeting in my argument, we do see them meeting and becoming instant friends in The Phantom Menace

          • William Henley

            Now, it could be argued that Poe and Finn met under similar circumstances – they were both desperate to escape, yet for different reasons. Their friendship was formed more out of a mutual necessity for needing the other person’s help rather than the fact that they instantly trusted each other. But it is still BS

          • Nah I dont see it as BS at all, they werent insanely close friends right out of the gate but some storm trooper coming in to free me from being tortured mentally over and over again would be a good thing, wouldnt care about the reason really, they already got the information they needed from me and what would be the use of me after that point, of course I’m going to take any chance I can to get out of there and thats what Poe did, Poe is a guy that pretty much jokes right to the face of Kylo Ren so his attitude is probably a bit more upbeat about others, not to mention the fact that Finn pretty much saved their asses shooting down any ships that were coming after them, Poe I think could figure out pretty quick that stealing a Tie Fighter and trying to get away could have got them both killed, if other ships are chasing them and the BIG ship is shooting at them, which they crash land on the planet because they were shot down, I think its safe for Poe to think that things are probably pretty good with Finn

          • Chris B

            It’s been so long since I’ve watched The Phantom Menace that I honestly don’t remember that scene. Regardless, that’s two robots meeting and becoming “friends”. I’m talking about people with actually personalities and emotions. And please don’t start arguing that the droids have emotions and personality etc…please.

    • Chris B

      I know what you’re saying about the big column of fire Abrams-esque effects shot. It looked almost Identical to one from an early action sequence in his star trek reboot.

  24. Yep, good not great.

    Pros:

    Visuals – It feels like Star Wars, and it feels modern, not an easy line to tread. Also it never feels like you are watching a green screen, like the prequels or even more modern films, like The Avengers.

    Great new cast – I’m even including the CG character Maz in here. Daisy Ridley was my favorite, and I’ll be happy to see more of her in future films. Boyega was probably my least favorite, but still good enough. My concerns about Adam driver had to do with the script, and inconsistencies in his character’s abilities, not the acting.

    Great fan service – Plot retreads aside, there are some very enjoyable nods to the first trilogy, and lots of evidence that there was an actual war happening in these galaxies over the past several decades.

    Humor is back – And most of it works. Chewbacca might have the best lines… Is that possible?

    Cons –

    The script is bloated. As many have mentioned, it takes much of the over arching plot from a New Hope, but also a fair amount from Empire (and maybe even Alien). And then there are some new things as well, but the cast is so much larger, and this unfortunately happens all in one film. So it doesn’t take the time it needs to really develop proper relationships. Some scenes unfold nicely (the first 30 minutes especially); yet big character arcs need to be told to us since we don’t see it unfold naturally. Also, we aren’t given enough back story to care about a few characters, some of whom have already been seemly killed off.

    Not a standalone film – I’m not referring to the ending; Empire had a far more unresolved ending than this. Any love for the classic characters here is not developed in the film; it relies entirely on what happened in episodes IV-VI. I’m certainly glad they didn’t over explain things, but my love for Han and Leia, or even Luke have nothing to do with what those characters brought to the table in this film. This leads to my next point…

    The old cast – I was nervous about them. My fears were mostly founded. Harrison Ford doesn’t have it anymore. This is not an ageist comment, as many actors get better in their career (Christopher Plummer, Ian McKellen, Alec Guiness), and certainly the director had to use the actors from the original trilogy. But Harrison seemed like a lumbering old man (which he very well may be, but is not in line with the character he is playing). Carrie Fischer did better than I expected, but was given some of the clunkiest dialogue in the entire film. I still have hope Mark Hamill, the worst of these actors in his youth, may pull through as I think he has gotten better over the years, perfecting his craft as a working actor for the past 30 years, but even his limited reveal in this film seemed awkward and could have used a reshoot. If Abrams wasn’t constantly shouting the direction, “Act younger!” thoughout most of the shoot, he should have been.

    General Seeming Mistakes or Inconsistencies with the Story – Apparently fighting with a light saber is super easy. Literally any one can do it with no training and be highly effective. Kylo Ren starts the film as the most effective user of the force ever seen in a Star Wars film, and then by the end seems as though he has barely begun his training. I can’t understand why Kilo’s ancestry was given away so early in the story, totally weakening the “twist” moment toward the end. Yet Rey’s heritage is supposedly clouded in mystery, though it seems obvious that her parents are of only two possibilities. We didn’t need death star v. 3.0. Removing that plot point would have done a lot to address some of my other concerns above. And finally, why cast the lovely and talented Gwendoline Christie in the role of Capt. Phasm, which looked to be one of the coolest new characters, only to have the character be totally lame. Not to mention she never removes the helmet. It literally could have been an extra in there the entire time.

    All this being said, I did enjoy the film. It is better than all the prequels by a decent measure. And due to the number of items that Abrams had to check off a list to appease fans, tie up loose ends and launch new characters, I think he still did quite admirably (again with a few glaring errors in the writing dept.). I think time will agree that the score presented here is probably half a star or a full start too high, but there is still much to enjoy. And star wars is definitely back.

    • William Henley

      Do we know how old Ren was when he turned dark? And it is not like he really had anyone to practice light saber duels with. From what I gathered from the movie, Ren was like six or seven when he turned dark, and he is, what, late 20s here? It is highly possible he hasn’t touched a light saber in 20 years, which could explain why he was strong with the force, but weak with a light saber.

      Of course, with that same argument, how long was it since Vader killed the Jedi and his battle with ObiWan? Then again, Anikan was way older than Ren when he turned dark, and had more training.

      Of course this brings up an interesting point – did Vader and Ren just carry their sabers around everywhere they went? Seems an odd thing to carry around if there has been no threat for 20 years.

      Ugh, so I just unintentionally blew a big hole in one of my favorite movies of all time!

      • Deaditelord

        For some reason I thought Kylo Ren was a little older before Leia sent him to Luke for training. (I think the movie does give an approximate age, but I can’t quite remember the line.) In any case, I would assume Kylo Ren would have been taught lightsaber use by Luke and and then later by Snoke.

  25. By the way, does Kylo’s helmet weigh like 16 tons or something? The way it slams down with the sound of a sturdy boulder landing… I know it’s dramatic but it took me out of the film after they did it more than once.

  26. Chris B

    I don’t get why the light saber that Luke supposedly left laying around before he vanished was blue. The last one we saw him using in ROTJ was obviously green. Did Abrams just want to mimic the color scheme of The Empire Strikes Back so bad that he just ignored this fact about the last movie for the sake of looking cool? This is exactly the type of shit he gets criticized for all the time as a film-maker….

    • No it isnt the type of shit he gets criticized for if you pay attention to what it really is…..this isnt the last lightsaber Luke had, yes that was green and his upgraded lightsaber that he created later on in Return of the Jedi, his blue one was lost when he lost his hand to Vader in Empire, its THAT lightsaber, so no this isnt some JJ Abrams goof up…..and how exactly did Maz get her hands on it is the question, thats why she says its a story for another time I believe, maybe we will find out at some point how she got it in the sequels 🙂

      • Chris B

        For the record I do pay attention and I’m not trying to nitpick since I did like the film but there were a few nagging issues I couldn’t ignore, this being one of them. I’ve been having this debate with a few friends since we saw the movie on Saturday as well, hopefully Ep.8 clears it up, To me it was just odd to make it blue.

        • William Henley

          Well, the one Luke had in Jedi was one Luke had made himself. I think it was Maz who said that the light saber belonged to both Luke and Vader, so no, it wouldn’t have been the green one.

        • Umm…..did you completely miss what I said? how could it be odd to make it blue if its Luke’s old lightsaber? You cant have a nagging issue with something if you arent quite understanding what it is, its already cleared up in that this was Luke’s original lightsaber that he lost during the fight with Vader in Empire.

          • Chris B

            No I got what you said I just think it’s a stupid plot device. First of all, how common are light sabers in the star wars universe? pretty fucking common when you look at the prequels. Everybody and their dog seems to have one. So why are we supposed believe that somehow, out of all the light sabers, characters just know FOR CERTAIN that this one belonged to Luke? Who found it when he lost it in Empire and knew it was his? why didn’t he get it back? why did that chick have it in the chest downstairs for Rey to conveniently find? People can bend over backwards to explain all of it but it’s pretty obvious the writers just wanted a blue vs. red duel at the end. For the sake of continuity it should have been green. What’s the fucking point of her even handing it back to Luke at the end? sounds like he still has his green one all tucked away anyways. There’s an old saying “less is more” which rings true in this circumstance. For the sake of simplicity and for the fact that it would have made the story more powerful it should have been Luke’s green saber in the chest and not his blue one he lost 35 fucking years ago and no one has given a shit about till now.

          • EM

            So why are we supposed believe that somehow, out of all the light sabers, characters just know FOR CERTAIN that this one belonged to Luke?

            Maybe, when it was found, his hand was still clutching it… (Ew!!!)

  27. Zerozep

    I loved the first half of this movie, but as soon as Death Star 3.0 was revealed I was totally taken out. Using the DS in rotj I couldn’t even stand and they had the balls to do it a third time, blah. I also think hans moment could be seen from a mile away and was poorly written but that’s just my opinion. It’s like the second half was totally different, no bb8 who I loved in the first half, kylo who was able to stop bullets then goes whinny little bitch that can’t fight off anyone untrained because of an injury, it was just a strange turn for me. But I really do enjoy the new good guy characters. But the DS a third time?! What planets did they even kill by the way, that was kinda glossed over, and why isn’t the republic involved in any of this? Just watching everything go down AGAIN after only 30 years? Saving that character for the end was kinda lame too but perhaps 8 will answer a lot of my questions.

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