Oh man. Guys. Where do I even start?
WARNING!!!! MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
I realized about halfway through the movie that I had never seen a Star Wars movie without knowing who everyone was and what was going to happen. I had played the video games, I had seen clips, I had asked my dad questions about it. By the time my parents deemed me old enough to watch the Star Wars movies, I already knew Darth Vader was Luke’s father and all that jazz.
So going into Episode 7 with NO prior knowledge of Kylo Ren or anybody? Wow. Scary.
I was actually really disappointed with Episode VII. I shouldn’t have expected it to be like the other ones, but somewhere inside of me, I was. I expected the Stormtroopers to be comically ineffective, for Hans Solo to be as carefree and charming as always, to root for the Jedi and boo the Sith that never really succeeded at anything anyway. I was looking forward to some epic lightsaber battles and the loss of a limb or two.
None of that happened. The movie wasn’t bad, but none of that happened.
The Force Awakens was way darker than any of the previous Star Wars movies. I mean, the story started out with Stormtroopers firing on a bunch of civilians! And they were actually hitting them! That’s borderline evil, guys. That’s murder. And the whole blowing up planets thing, I mean, the Death Star did all that but in this movie we had a ground level view of the destruction. We saw people screaming in terror and running for their lives. That’s actually scary and disturbing. In the other ones we just got “There has been a disturbance in the force” and a bunch of rocks from Alderann. All the chill is gone for Episode VII.
That’s the word for it. Disturbing. I was expecting this movie to be a blast from the past, a flashback to my childhood and all the good times me and my brother had. I was expecting the stereotypical but still well-loved good-vs-evil plot, where the good guys always come out on top. Like the original three Star Wars. Walking out of Episode VII, I felt like I had just watched Disney Princesses in the Hunger Games. Someone screwed with my childhood. I didn’t appreciate it.
I’m slowly getting used to the idea of this new, darker Star Wars. It’s like the plot is growing up a little bit, entering the real world. I just wasn’t prepared for it to be this cutthroat. The stakes are higher. The bad guys are badder. And no characters are safe.
No characters are safe. Can I take a moment and let out a Wookie cry of anguish?
THEY KILLED HAN SOLO!!!! WHAT SNOTFACED GENIUS THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA????? HE WAS THE BEST CHARACTER IN THE FRANCHISE AND YOU KILLED HIM. WHY????? WHY???????
I cried. I really did. I had hopes for Kylo Ren. He dropped his mask/helmet and looked like he was about to cry. He made me trust him. I was like “Hey, maybe this dude isn’t so bad after all. I mean, the only thing he’s actually done is beat up some walls. He’s nothing like Darth Vader, and Darth Vader didn’t kill his son. This guy isn’t really evil. This is fine.”
And then Kylo Ren stabbed him with his funky lightsaber. And I was like “There’s no way they’d kill off one of the only decent characters George Lucas ever made. This is fine. Han will live.”
And then Han Solo fell off the catwalk and I lost it.
Stupid stupid stupid
Now, I do like Rey and Finn and that one pilot, Poe. Actually, Poe was my favorite and then they killed him off for half the movie. Thank goodness he came back, or I would have lost all hope for the new Star Wars series. And BB-8 is super. Almost as adorable as R2-D2, just not as iconic. Yet, anyway. Kylo Ren… Well, I like saying his name. It just flows really well. Kylo Ren. Yeah, I’m okay with him. I was thinking he was a pretty crappy villian until he killed his father (which really made no sense) (how could someone be motivated to kill their own father?). Now I would like to start a Kylo Ren hate club. He’s an acceptable villian. One really evil, hateable dude. If anyone would like to join, let me know.
The part I had the most trouble with was the lightsaber battles at the end. I love lightsaber battles, don’t get me wrong, they’re super cool. But Luke Skywalker had to train for half of Episode V to be able to wield his lightsaber. Rey just picked it up and was able to fight/almost defeat a fully trained Sith dude. Now, maybe you could say that she was “strong with the force” or whatever, but then what about Finn? He was wacking away with Luk’s old weapon too. Those guys had no training whatsoever and were able to battle Kylo Ren and live. Kylo Ren must be a pretty terrible Jedi/Sith then. I’m rethinking the hate club. Is he good enough to have a hate club? He couldn’t defeat a girl who had never even touched a lightsaber before. (Whom I also think is his twin sister. But they didn’t say anything about that in that movie.)
I also noticed the guy that played Matt Parkman from the TV show Heroes was a pilot at the end of the movie. That was weird. And there was an actor that was definitely in Lost at some point. Also weird.
I don’t want Han Solo to be dead. I’m about to start crying again just thinking about it.
I went into this movie thinking that maybe I’d have a new favorite Star Wars movie. That maybe I’d love Rey more than Princess Leia and just enjoy getting to see more of something that I love.
But what I really love is the nostalgia and the memories that are attached to Star Wars. I love watching the pod racing scene and complaining with my brother about how hard that level was. I love saying all the classic Han Solo quotes along with my favorite character: “Yeah, but droids don’t tear people’s arms off when they lose.” “What a lovely smell you’ve discovered.” “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” I love making fun of the bad special effects in the original three and the horrendous dialogue in the other three. I love discussing with people whether Han Solo or Greedo shot first. (It was definitely Han Solo).
So Episode VII just never had a chance to beat the other movies, or even really come close to them. I was expecting this movie to be spectacular. In reality, it was just a good movie. Nothing really set it apart from the other sci-fi movies. Maybe once people start quoting it or once Rey defeats Kylo Ren or whatever we’ll all laugh and enjoy it more. But Episode VII is a little too dark and gloomy to laugh at.
You know what would make the next Star Wars spectacular? BRING BACK HAN SOLO YOU SOULCRUSHERS.