When the original Star Wars movies were re-released in theaters in 1997, I distinctly remember seeing them with my sister and possibly my babysitter against my will, and promptly falling asleep through 90% of The Empire Strikes Back because I was not a fan of the loud noises. I’m not sure when I re-watched them, or if I ever did, and I certainly never saw the newer Episodes 1-3, but for some reason I just had to see The Force Awakens. Well done, Star Wars marketing team!
**SPOILER ALERT: I don’t think I’m supposed to give away too many details about this movie, so proceed with caution!**
So it’s been a few decades since Luke Skywalker killed Darth Vader, but the galaxy far, far away is in peril once again due to the rise of the First Order, manned by Darth Vader’s grandson, Kylo Ren. The good guys, the Republic and the Resistance, are falling apart without the strength of their fearless Jedi leader (Luke), who’s been AWOL for many years. Everyone good and bad is after this map that leads to where they can find Luke, and a few new characters get added to the mix: Rey, Finn and BB-8 (the new R2-D2).
Rey appears to be the new Jedi superstar (and bears a striking resemblance to Keira Knightley) but hasn’t figured out how to harness her powers yet, while Finn is an escaped Stormtrooper who suddenly realizes he’s on the wrong side. (There isn’t really enough of an explanation for that, to be honest.) Rey and Finn team up and run into a few familiar faces — Chewbacca, Princess-turned-President Leia, and of course, Han Solo. (Seriously, how does Harrison Ford still look so good?)
Turns out Kylo Ren is the son of Han and Leia, which is how he’s Darth Vader’s grandson (remember Luke and Leia are brother and sister and “Luke, I am your father” and all that?), and they’re still trying to get him to see the good in himself and come home. You can imagine how well that goes.
I think I have to stop there with plot details or the Star Wars Police will come after me, so now I’ll just share a few opinions:
- With the “It was all true” hoopla, the previews for this movie make it seem like the original Star Wars stuff happened hundreds or even thousands of years ago, when it was really like 20.
- Showing Kylo Ren’s face is a big mistake; Adam Driver is most commonly known for being a complete DOOFUS on Girls. It really takes away from the whole evil-mysterious-dictator-in-a-mask thing.
- WHO THE HECK IS THIS SUPREME LEADER SNOKE? Was he in the other movies?
- They did a great job of getting a new generation (or two or three) to care about this franchise. I know it’ll be a few years, but I for one can’t wait to see what happens in Episode 8!