Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I’m ready to chime in on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I come from it as the fourteen year-old-kid who saw the very first Star Wars the day it opened and then proceeded to go see it 27 more times that year in various theatres, even in Banff, Alberta when our orchestra played in a festival.

It spoke to me on some level. I loved the sound; it was new for the times. I loved the crawling opening credits, new for its time. I lived for the jump into hyperspace every time. Also a new special effect. So yes, I adored the state of the art bells and whistles for the seventies.

I loved the story. I liked Luke’s story the best, the teenager longing for more somewhere else. A male Dorothy hoping to go over the rainbow. And he does.

The story was simple, the characters are fairy tale archetypes, it was a basic battle between good and evil, a bit of magic/religion/occult energy, and so on. It all appealed to me plus I was a huge science fiction geek. This was also around the time that Stephen King came on the scene. But I digress.

I bought the soundtrack, the music soundtrack, the word for word dialogue soundtrack, books, comics, bubble gum cards, watched the talk shows and followed the actors careers, even read Postcards from the Edge. I wrote an essay about Star Wars in high school for one of my classes. Ah, the seventies!

When the next couple of movies came out, I didn’t really care for how they were going. I don’t know what I expected, but I wasn’t as hypnotised by them. I think it was after the one with Jar Jar Binks that I stopped watching. I didn’t see the Annikin growing up years. The commercials and other media didn’t and still haven’t compelled me to watch. I preferred my imaginary theories about how Annikin embraced the Dark Side.

I saw the Force Awakens trailer and was weepy and excited yet cautious. Would my heart be broken again? Would I hate yet another Star Wars?

I saw the movie the day it opened at a full house midnight screening in 3D with superdedupersound and reserved seating.

I saw it again today at one in the afternoon because there was a Blue Monday Special. If you had 500 Scene Card points, you could see a free movie. A movie of any level. So I chose the moving chairs, 3D, superdeupersound version and it didn’t cost me a dime.

Yeah baby, that’s how you see Star Wars!

I love the opening credits, the music. I love the homages. The movie felt like a comfortable old shoe. Sure some things were forced and obvious but it’s sort of a Star Wars tradition, isn’t it?
At any rate, The Force Awakens does a competent job setting up a story that will continue for two more movies.

Why I Think Rey Is Luke’s Daughter
When I first saw SW:TFA, I thought Rey was Luke’s daughter. Then I made the mistake of reading endless theories on the interwebs about how in the books, Ren and Rey are twins so that means Luke is her uncle and Han is her father. And certainly there are many scenes that suggest a family connection.

I was led down the Yellow Brick Road and even entertained other more elaborate theories about Rey's parentage with other characters including Ben Kenobee. Then I remember the basic premise of Star Wars. It’s always easy and obvious. So Rey is Luke’s daughter.

Today, armed with an open mind I watched for clues about who Rey is. My first Luke impressions were magnified more on second viewing.

Rey is left on abandoned desert planet as Luke was with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine. Rey is likely watched over by the junkyard owner.

Luke had a bit of the Force before his adventures began. He could shoot things and drive really well. When he met the gang, he was taught properly by Obi Wan.

Luke’s music is often played under Rey’s scenes. She even dresses like he did in SW.

Han and Leia adore her and on second viewing, they just might know her and are keeping their mouths shut.

Seeing the flashback again, this time with a shaky seat, in 3D, did she see her father load R2D2 with the map (like Leia did in the first movie)? Kylo Ren destroyed the school and formed Knights of the First Order, Rey was left with ”someone” on Jackku. So that was a child watching it all. She may have been training with the school as well or privately with her dad. He hid her from Kylo Ren. Since everyone knows Kylo Ren can read minds, no one speaks of it or admits it to keep her safe. She may even have played with that very light saber as a tiny child but had her mind wiped when she was left behind.

Kylo Ren
On first viewing, I loved the spoiled baby almost a sociopath teenage angst. Sort of reminded me of a certain young ruler in another country on earth. He also reminded me of Dandy on American Horror Story, my last year psychopath crush. I don’t find Kylo Ren as sociopathic as most other evil dudes. I believe he truly does have empathy and a soft side and feels bad for killing his dad but he’s trying to be the best ruler of the universe he can be. Snape, oops, Snoke told him to kill Han and he believes that Snoke knows best. But sadly as Leia and others said, he’s going to get fucked over in the end. Poor Kylo. He’s going to end up like the Joker or someone where you actually feel sorry for him even though he’s a murdering psychopath.

After my first viewing, Emo Kylo Ren was invented on Twitter. I love that feed. Then I saw Kylo differently. A goth like me!

The SNL skit of Kylo Ren as UnderCover Boss rocked. It hit all the right notes for a Star Wars nerd.

Today I watched carefully and enjoyed Adam Driver's Kylo Ren even more than the first viewing. He does a great job delivering empathy for Kylo whether he deserves it or not. And liking characters, whether good or evil, makes for some great duels and storylines.

Some people have made comments about how they see or don’t see Kylo Ren because they’re familiar with some of Driver’s other work. I myself haven’t seen the other shows he’s been on, so he’s fresh to me and I’m pleased with how he’s playing Kylo Ren. Kylo is very human and confused.

Kylo’s slash across his face isn’t that bad so he’d better not be all covered up forever in the rest of the sequels. He’s a good-looking guy (as most evil dudes are) and a slash will make him even more sexy. So don’t fuck it up whoever is directing the next one!

Kylo sensed Finn at the battle. Did he sense him because Finn too has the Force? Or because he sensed Finn’s fear and weakness and thoughts about defecting?

Kylo knew about Rey and her power because they’re cousins.

I love how Kylo hero worships Vader. It works very well in our current cult of the celebrity society.

Rey Learned Too Fast
No, she did not. She has Luke, Vader, and who knows who else’s blood in her. She was likely trained by her dad before she was left at the junkyard. Her fight scene was set up when we first meet her. Her pilot skills, her ingenuity, and her fighting skills all were showcased before she acquired the force from battle of the kin.

The Force Awakens
Rey’s Force awakens

Kylo Ren’s Force awakens

R2D2’s Force awakens

Finn’s Force awakens (why else would he suddenly deflect?)

Luke’s has been woken up.

Han gets to go back to sleep.

Chewie got highlights.

C3P0 got a red arm.

I’m Awake Now
I like how this film sets a firm footing on where we’re going from here. It’s a rehash of the first one and that’s just fine by me. It’s familiar enough, just complicated enough to keep watching and it’s easy to follow.

After all, as a published author myself, I'm well aware there are no new stories. It's how you tell the same old stories that counts.  I’m happy to follow these characters through a few more stories. 

I’m dying to know where Kylo Ren is going, if he’ll have a moment of remorse that will be his fatal flaw, or if he’ll go full throttle psychopath?

Will Rey endure months of temple meditating with dad or will they hop back onto the ship and go on an adventure?

I have lots more to say and will write more blogs.

Let me know your thoughts or any theories you want to discuss in the comments.


  1. I loved this movie! I agree with much of what you're saying here. Star Wars has always been about a feeling...and TFA captured that. Like you said, Star Wars wasn't perfect. I remember watching Star Wars on the big screen when it was re-released and there were some squirm inducing scenes (Luke's Aunt and Uncle are killed and torched and he gives a shrug and leaves...where Ben he knew for about two hours and he's despondent).

    I kinda hope that Rey isn't related to anyone, but we know that she'll be related to Luke. And if she is, I hope this explain why he'd leave her in the hands of a junk dealer who obviously treats her like trash.

    I think Kylo Ren is spectacular. I know people give him grief because of his anger, but that's what sets him apart from Vadar. Vadar was calm and sinister. Ren--oysh.

    My only real pet peeve was Star Killer base. Ugh. Terrible. I read the novelization (told you I loved it) and the explanation of Star Killer Base is much better. Not sure why they changed it to this sun draining thing. I thought Harrison Ford was practically winking at the screen when he said 'there's gotta be a way to blow it up'.

    Anyway...I've rambled enough. Loved it! Can hardly wait for the next one.

    1. It would be cool if Rey was a random person but there are too many clues pointing to her being a Skywalker of some sort.

      I have thoughts about Finn as well and if he's a child from Leia or another Skywalker...I sense the Force in that one as well.

      I guess I'd better go back and spell Rey's name correctly. I realized I spelled it wrong when I was coveting toys at the mall just now! lol.

      Thank you for responding!