Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

No need for me to tell you what Star Wars: The Force Awakens is because you have to be living under a rock not to know about it. Breaking box office records left, right, and centre, the latest Star War movie is also the first from Disney after they bought out the franchise from George Lucas.

The hype for this movie is such that even non-fans of Star Wars had to see the film just to see what it was about. Kudos to the marketing team at Disney; they deserved a raise for the promotion of the film. That is especially the case now because after seeing the movie…I have to unfortunately say I didn’t like it.

Now I know the movie has been a hit with audiences and it is already one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, but I’m afraid that has more to do with the Star Wars brand than the movie itself. Now I won’t say Star Wars: The Force Awakens has no redeeming features or that it’s worse than the Star Wars prequels, but it’s nowhere near as good as fans say it is.

On the plus side, the actors in the movie gave strong performances and it was especially great to see Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford back as General (no more Princess or golden bikini) Leia and Han Solo. Ford especially seems to be having a great time and stole every scene he was in. The newcomers fared less well but there’s no Jar Jar in this one.

The movie also boasts many action sequences that were very good. The air battle at Takodana between the Resistance and The First order comes to mind, but there were others like Rey's and Finn's escape from Jakku in the Millennium Falcon.

However for me, the minuses far outset the pluses.

The main problem I have with the movie is the simple fact that it's not a "new" Star Wars movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a remake of Star Wars: A New Hope!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens’s chief protagonist, Rey (Daisy Ridley), is basically Luke Skywalker in A New Hope. The relationship between Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) is similar to what Luke and Han had in A New Hope. BB-8 is R2-D2 (with a secret map/message included). Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is Darth Vader and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo is Alec Guinness’s Obi-Wan Kenobi (in more ways than one). Now having characters that are similar to the characters in A New Hope is one thing, but having the same plot as in A New Hope?

The opening scene has The First Order arriving on Jakku, a desert planet like Tatooine. We have Rey and Finn escaping The First Order guided by a smuggler, Han Solo. We have a superweapon, The Sunkiller, that’s capable of destroying planets which the heroes need to destroy by attacking a small weakness in it. Hell, the final X-Wing assault on The Sunkiller is almost a carbon copy of the attack on the Death Star!

Halfway through this movie I thought I was watching a remake of A New Hope. When the credits started rolling, I knew for a fact that I was watching a remake. I mean the prequels sucked, but at least Lucas was trying something different. This one is more like director J. J. Abrams wanted to remake A New Hope but decided to call it Episode VII instead.

I know Abrams is a great Star Wars fan but there’s a difference between paying homage to something and…well, rehashing everything. There’s not a shred of originality in this movie, almost everything was recycled from the other Star Wars movies. That is just ridiculous.

As a rule, I don’t write review of movies I don’t like but I have to make an exception for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I wanted to like the movie so much and I think I would have…if someone had told me beforehand that I would be watching a remake of Star Wars: A New Hope. 

I mean it's not even A New Hope version 2.0. It was simply "Star Wars: A New Hope (The Remake)"!


Billy Jean.. said...

"Force Awakens" wasnt all that great...but it was better than the prequels.

Ghost said...

Dude, that's a low low bar to cross. Also, at least they were trying to do something new in the prequels. This one is a remake.