So I got Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Digital Download, and have watched it and the bonus features. I was curious to see if I still liked it as much now that a little time has passed, and I still think it’s a great movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it once again, although I do have some strong criticisms of it. While I don’t really mind a lot of the parallels with A New Hope, my major issue is with the so-called Star Killer basically being yet another Death Star menace to be destroyed. Been there, done that; time to come up with a new menace. And the WORST and most egregious part of the movie is when the First Order uses it to destroy the New Republic’s home planet (I’m assuming it was the home planet), which is in a whole other star system, yet Han Solo and the others can see the destruction in the sky from the planet they’re on. RIDICULOUS. I mean, I get it, it’s a movie/it’s fantasy/blah blah blah…but each show has to retain a set of rules that it exists by, and it’s obvious Abrams did that for “dramatic effect”, but instead he undermined the audience’s sense of belief in the Star Wars universe. I mean, if somebody destroyed Mars, we on Earth wouldn’t even be able see its destruction that clearly, and that’s in the same system. Anyway, yes, it’s a movie/blah blah blah…but it was a horrible decision. All that aside, all the Marvel/DC superhero movies inevitably end with some huge, dramatic set piece battle that almost always involves the destruction of a major city, so…if you’re going to criticize one, you need to criticize the other.
And I don’t agree with the criticisms of Rey’s character being a “Mary Sue”. Did things come a little too easily for her? Sure. But some people are just that naturally gifted—wasn’t Mozart composing symphonies by the age of five or something?—so I totally accepted her being “just that good”. And there’s obviously more to her story that will eventually be revealed which will justify her rapid progress in this movie.
Other tidbits: Han Solo didn’t outright say this, but his fortuitous appearance as soon as the Millennium Falcon was out in space seems to indicate he was actively looking for it, and not knowing for sure how much time passed between Finn and Rey’s escape from Jakku and Solo’s reveal, it’s “somewhat” plausible he was somehow notified of it’s location wherever he was at and enabled him to arrive when he did. Yes, I’m reaching, and a simple line of dialogue to that effect would have gone a long way. R2-D2’s timely reactivation was another point of criticism, but I’m not the first one to note that he only rebooted as soon as Rey set foot on the planet. Again, it’s plausible Luke programmed R2 to reactive for that reason (which would require a sci-fi explanation that R2 could detect her presence somehow).
Another big criticism is Han Solo’s death “copying” Obi-Wan’s death in A New Hope…I guess. But while I hated seeing Solo die, narratively it was vital to Kylo Ren’s development as a villain, so I’ve come to accept it.
Ultimately, it remains an incredibly fun and entertaining movie. I’ll have to see Batman v Superman to have a proper perspective to weigh them against each other, since that movie has been panned, yet still has its adherents. Just curious to know how consistent they are vis a vis their criticisms of Force Awakens.