Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. You’re not going crazy. This “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” review is not a reprint. After reading Mike Eubanks’ review of “Star Wars”, we decided we didn’t share the same vision of the galaxy. If you didn’t get a chance to read Mike’s article, don’t forget to go online to read it. In the meantime, here is a very spoiler-filled defense of “The Force Awakens.”
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…” Yeah, you know the line. If you’re like us, you probably cried when it appeared on the big screen. Nothing else transports us back to childhood than those words, but the similarities between the original trilogy and this new installment don’t end there. The familiarity wraps itself around our nostalgic-hungry brains. It’s like seeing an old friend after being utterly let down (looking at you, Jar Jar).
In fact, the greatest task of “The Force Awakens” is to fix the sins of the prequels. And does it ever! Kylo Ren is everything we wanted Anakin Skywalker to be. We see a new hope in Rey, a new hero in Finn. Their similarities to the original heroes is welcomed starting point, yet they grow into more unique characters. Even BB-8, though reminiscent of R2-D2, is unique though some think the fact that both droids carry vital information is weak writing. We disagree, though, droids are commonplace in the Star Wars universe and, let’s be honest, the only way they affect the plot is by carrying vital information. They are walking, talking computers after all and this isn’t so much a cheap cop-out or plot hole.
That aside many “plot holes” or unexplained storylines (such as how Poe got off Jakku) don’t need to be explained or filled in. It’s what made “Mad Max: Fury Road” so spectacular; you don’t need to spoon-feed the audience the story. Nobody cares about little details, visuals or repeated watching, especially when they can be discovered from context. Simplicity in storytelling can go a long way.
The simplicity of both the original movie and “The Force Awakens” is what is so engaging about the plot. The simple hero’s journey is a staple of storytelling. In this case, what matters is the characters and the setting. Archetypical quests and concepts are elaborated and built by the sci-fi setting to create a new unique look. More importantly, this simplicity in the plot allows for more complex storytelling in further installments.
Speaking of sci-fi, you can’t have science-fiction without some science. One particular criticism levied against the movie is that the infamous Starkiller base is scientifically impossible and impractical. Contrary to this, the famed astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, actually stated on Twitter that the unlikely aspect about Starkiller base is that it could destroy ten-thousand planets not a few.
The base could easily wipe out enemies of the First Order without needing to motor around the cosmos. Starkiller has also been accused of have glaring vulnerabilities and, despite a single small exhaust port that acts as a self-destruct button, it seems much more incredulous than a large area that needs to be destroyed from the outside and in.
In the end though, like choosing the light or dark side , what you take from the movie is what’s important. It could be the worst B-movie sci-fi flick in the universe, but if it made you happy, if it made you feel, if it gave you a memory, then that’s all that matters.