‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Review


Sorry, Star Wars fans are crazy though, and without a proper warning I ran the risk of being tarred and feathered out of the school.

This past December, writer/director Rian Johnson (“Looper”, “The Brothers Bloom”) delivered the eighth episode in the saga that has taken over planet, Star Wars, to some mixed reviews.

Personally this is not my favorite in the franchise, but is still much better than any of the “prequels” had to offer.

Luckily for Johnson, director J.J. Abrams (2009’s “Star Trek”. “Super 8”) who directed the previous installment and has been announced to direct its sequel, gave Johnson a lot to go off of, which Johnson seemingly ignored.

Every choice Johnson makes in this movie seems to be a way of saying “I don’t have to do it HIS (Abrams) way!” As if a child throwing a tantrum about the fact that he has to play with his older brothers hand me downs. 

He has written plot holes in this story that you can drive an imperial cruiser through. The entire movie mirrors a slow police chase through nothingness. Just the bad guys waiting for the good guys to run out of gas so they can catch up to their faster lighter ship and blow it up. That’s the story.

The only character that doesn’t like this plan is left in the dark about the true plan happening, forcing him to give the story a completely useless and unneeded B-plot that also has no clear resolution.

Meanwhile the promise given to fans at the end of the previous movie, that Rey will learn the force from Luke Skywalker, goes nowhere either. This whole movie is just a time killing device to get to the final scene, which would be worth it for a fantastic finale, but we don’t get that either.

The movie ends on a planet with a force projection Luke who can not do anything but, you guessed it, waste time to give the other characters time to escape out of the situation they got themselves into in the first place. 

Though the story is what it is, the actors in the movie did as much as they could with it. I hate to think what an untalented cast could’ve done to this movie.

For this I thank Daisy Ridley, (“Murder on the Orient Express”, “Ophelia”) John Boyega, (“Attack the Block”, “Detroit”) Oscar Issac (“Ex Machina” “X-Men: Apocalypse”) and even Adam Driver (“Logan Lucky”, “Midnight Special) for sticking around and putting up with this. NONE of their characters were developed any further past was already established in “The Force Awakens”, if anything they felt held back and just given busy work for two plus hours.

That being said, I’d like to apologize to Carrie Fisher (“When Harry met Sally…” , “Drop Dead Fred”) and Mark Hammil (“Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” , “Batman: The Killing Joke”) even though I had nothing personally to do with this movie.

Mark Hammil has been pigeonholed and type cast ever since he debuted as the character of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars, “A New Hope” So much so that many of his acting credits come from voice over work he has done over the last few decades.

This was Hamill’s chance to come back as the original Jedi we all fell in love with and wow the audiences, and he just wasn’t given that choice. Rian Johnson wrote the character like a crabby old man with no hope left in him. He is also extremely stubborn waiting to the last possible second to be the guy we wanted him to be from the start and “save the day”

Then there’s Carrie Fisher to consider. Unfortunately we lost our real world princess when Fisher passed away on Dec 27th 2016, and instead of sending her, and her character, off in peace, Johnson had the character perform an act that has Star Wars fans reeling.

We all know (or maybe not) that Luke and Leia are siblings. If one is a Jedi, it only makes sense the other sibling would be as well considering we now know that the force manifests in tiny organisms inside our cells called mediclorians. Though Leia never has shown the ability to use the force, it is still acceptable to know that she can, but not in the fashion we were given.

Recently blown out of the bridge of a giant spaceship, Leia floats helplessly in the vacuum of space, until she decides not to anymore that is. Her eyes snap open, and using the force, she flies through space back to the safety of another ship. This is just not Star Wars anymore, Johnson made her look like a wannabe Superman flying around with one fist in front of her as if that would reduce the drag of the non- atmosphere of space. It really rubbed people the wrong way.

Though not winning any fans hearts, in my opinion, this movie really could have been worse, lets not forget Jar-Jar Binks.  I seem to have really run this movie through the ringer but it is just because I love the franchise so much. I am more than excited that J.J will be back in the directors chair to finish up the trilogy he started.