currently: listening to 'Mine' by Phoebe Ryan.
It's hard to find an honest review of Star Wars. Everyone's so attached to the six episode movie franchise that to try and attempt to tarnish its name in front of hardcore Star Wars fans is like being asked to get put on a rocket to the sun.
But thankfully, I'm not a hard core fan and I don't care for the opinion of those people.
Boyfriend really wanted to watch the movie, and after brushing off his attempts to take me to the new James Bond and every Hobbit franchise film, I decided I would see this new Star Wars film with him in the end. Why? To see whether or not you could watch Star Wars without watching any of the real Star Wars movies (by the real ones, I mean the three that were made first).
So, with my very generic plotline knowledge of Star Wars, part of 'Revenge of the Sith' that I semi-watched for family movie night, and the comedy film 'Space Balls' - this is what it's like to watch the seventh 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'. (And at the bottom, see my predictions for Star Wars 8). I'll try to avoid spoilers.
BIG YELLOW SCROLLING CREDITS
Basically big yellow scrolling credits in the beginning summarise everything you missed from the previous episode. Which never actually happened in the sixth episode because there's 30 years missing between episode 6 and episode 7. I asked Boyfriend later why that stuff was never in the film. He said there are books and stuff that possibly carried it on. So the fact that I don't know how Darth Vader died in the previous episodes doesn't matter. There's just more evil people in the galaxy and they're all out to destroy stuff with the same-looking Stormtroopers.
Following the steps of this decade's kick ass babes Katniss ('Hunger Games') and Tris ('Divergent') comes Star Wars' Rey - a woman I wouldn't mind making friends with. She's smart, she seems good at thrifting (she's a "scavenger") and is basically her own hero with no princess like background - so she can banter with the best of them. Of course she has her emotional flaws, but in the end she fakes it till she makes it. Fist pump for strong female characters.
CLASSIC COMEDIC BLACK GUY AND CUTE COMPANION
In cliche Disney form, the main black guy (adorably dubbed Finn) gets to be one of the big stars of the film. Thumbs up for diversity, thumbs down for just making him comic relief. If you're the black guy in a movie, you're either 'I Am Legend' Will Smith or 'Men In Black' Will Smith. Finn is the latter. But he's likable which I guess matters the most. Same goes for the little droid BB3 - aka Wall-E made into a soccer ball. He's lovable, loyal, and carries the most essential item of the entire movie. Classic case of whacky drama.
(edit: Turns out hiding secret plans in droids is a throwback to R2-D2 in the first (4th) episode of 'Star Wars'. Why are droids the only safe transportation of documents - where's email in the future?)
TURNS OUT STORMTROOPERS AREN'T MINDLESS ROBOTS
I didn't realise this until this film. In fact they're actually closer to 'Space Balls' Stormtroopers than I thought. (There's a great "Just walk away" stormtrooper scene that honestly felt like a moment from Space Balls.) There are a few characters part of that Stormtrooper clan that just need more explanation to, but with 30 years missing and one bad guy getting a backstory at a time - everyone else is gonna get overlooked.
LASERS, CHASERS AND BIG EXPLOSIONS
Thankfully Star Wars hasn't been filmed into a 3D gimmick where all the asteroids are coming straight for you. The visuals for Star Wars are pretty cool, with big enough explosions and long enough spaceship chase scenes to satisfy the pyromaniac speedster in everyone.
OH SO PREDICTABLE
However, for someone who hasn't actually watched a lot of Star Wars - I could see everything play out. I don't know if the other Star Wars films were like this but halfway through the movie, once I understood the new characters and picked up on the old ones, you could see how everything was foreshadowed. Like a generic Disney 'Don't Stop Believing' plotline mixed with lightsabers. It's hard to get emotional when you see everything storyboarded out for you. And the predictability continued on to the very end where all I wanted to say was "come on, of course this is how it finishes." Perfectly leaving it open for another two episodes... Funny that.
WHAT I DIDN'T GET
There are a few things I missed by not being a Star Wars fan. Boyfriend had to spend some time explaining how one scene related to Obi-Wan Kenobi - who I realise now is different to Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. And that Ewan McGregor never played Luke Skywalker like I thought. I clearly did not pay enough attention in that third movie.
But if you ignore all that, it's still an entertaining film to let yourself get absorbed into. Adorable nerdy Boyfriend said it exceeded his expectations - and that's even after listening to my stupid clueless comments. And it seemed the same for others during the film, kids were leaning forward in their seats, and adults cheered at moments that clearly referenced in-jokes from the past. So even if you don't go invest 13 hours into the film's six episodes - there's no reason you can't enjoy it. It's cute that parents can now share this sort of film with their kids with the same sort of wild-eyed magic and wonder kids in the 80s would have experienced. Just with an older Harrison Ford.
Predictions for Star Wars 8:
- Rey will discover her full name is actually Rainbow. Rainbow Skywalker. Cause her dad is going to end up being Luke, who had an illegitimate child which he ran away from. No matter how much Force you have, it's no good at paying child support.
- Chewbacca will get a new girlfriend. Cause every movie needs a romantic subplot.
- The black guy Finn will find out the history of his parents dating back to the Resistance. (This actually sounds the most likely.)
- The new version of the dark side will involve light saber nunchucks and be led by an Asian general. Cause if the evil Black maskheaded guy in this film had a sword, it's only a matter of time for nunchucks.
-R2D2 and BB3 will have its own mini subplot with Wall-E. Just to really drive it home to those Disney kids.