A Penguin Watches Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Last

Star_Wars_LogoWelcome back to Icygeek.  It has taken several weeks, but we at Icygeek have finally watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  This May it will have been 39 years since we first saw the original Star Wars in the movie theatres, so this is a franchise that has been with us all our lives.  So, how was it?  Well…

…it is like someone gave J. J. Abrams over $100 million to recreate and film the best session of the Star Wars RPG from West End Games he ever did.

We are not saying it is a bad movie.  It is definitely better than Episodes 2 and 3, but definitely not good as our favorite (4), so it is somewhere in the middle.  If we had to slot it after watching it once, we’d put it in fourth place, ahead of Empire but behind Phantom Menace, and that may have much to do with the fact that the fear of nostalgia overrating Empire making us put Awakens above it.

What did the movie have going for it?  Three characters: Finn, BB-8, and an old Han Solo.  The idea of a stormtrooper who feels guilty about his occupation and reforms is a great idea for a character, especially if he isn’t a Jango Fett clone.  There are times he gets dangerously close to the comedic relief of Jar Jar Binks, but he manages to hang on.  Honestly, I think I had rather he had have his own solo movie first, like they are doing with Rogue One, as a reformed stormtrooper having to make his way into the world is a solid story worthy of 2 hours of movie by its own.  BB-8 might have the most personality of a non-talking robot in any movie…I’ll take him over what Michael Bay did to Bumblebee any time.  BB-8 is a fine successor to R2-D2 and C-3PO, the two of whom I ended up not being that disappointed in how much they were used.  Also, Han Solo is what he should be as an older Han Solo…battle-scarred, has seen too much of the world, but has the right amount of experience yet cockiness.

Then we come to Rey.  We saw the SJWs were lauded that a female was the star of the movie, and how now the SJWs now have meaning to their lives…which of course means their lives have no meaning and likely never will if this is what they think it will take for this meaning to take place.  Is the exemplary female supposed to be androgynous?  You could have made the role of Rey be a 12-year-old boy and it would make no difference.  In the prior films if you gender-swapped Leia, Padme, or even Mon Mothma and their characters would be very different…so different as to be unrecognizable.  It is said that back in the day that Ric Flair could have a 4-star wrestling match with just a broomstick…you could have replace Daisy Ridley with a broomstick and it would not have made much difference.  Also, the lead bad guy, Kylo Ren, might as well be a LARPer who got the big gig of being the lead bad guy because his folks own the property the LARP is taking place, and being slightly better than you had expected.  An Eric Watts type, if you will.  Add to this the fact that we did not see now General Leia until 2/3 of the movie was over, and Luke did nto show up until the last 15-20 seconds of it.

We saw this in a  rather crappy theatre, so I might try to watch it again in a different theatre that I might be able to appreciate the graphics better.  But then, this means I got to pay more attention to the actual story…a story meant to allow for more stories to be built upon it, but does little to help the story that already has been written, both that of canon (I loath the relationship status of Han and Leia during the movie) and of the now-defunct Extended Universe.  Having read comic books I am used to the idea of separate universes where the same characters did different things in the different universes, and my preferred universe will contain the Thrawn trilogy and the knowledge that eventually Luke and Mara Jade got together.  It is better this way.

If we had to give it a final rating, we would give it 3.5 snowflakes out of 5.  It is a fine film.  So far we have seen four films from 2015, and Force Awakens comes in at #2, ahead of Santa’s Little Helper and Avengers: Age of Ultron, but behind A Walk in the Woods.

Quoth the penguin…evermore.

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