EDITOR’S NOTE: This review was written back in late 2015/early 2016 before I gave films an official score or added puns. This was the only review I had written that wasn’t initially added to this site upon the site’s creation. In honor of the new “Star Wars” film coming out, I thought I would post this review. Better late than never. Enjoy…
“This No Star Wars Spoilers thing is the closest I’ve seen Americans work together since 9/11” -GonzoHac
I’ve spent weeks now with Star Wars on my mind. Saw the premiere a day before the film opened, let it sink in, saw it a second time, let it sink in some more and have discussed it with numerous friends, swapping thoughts about it, then saw it a third and final time in IMAX 3D. So I thought I would give a review of the film and why I loved and hated it at the same time. I assume everyone I tagged in this has seen the film but if for some reason you have not then know that there will be SPOILERS in this review so if you haven’t seen it, what the Hell are you waiting for? Stop reading, go see it and then come read this overly long review from yours truly…
Ok so first off let me preface this by saying what an enormous task it was to have made this film at all. Coming off of the garbage prequels (I think Planned Parenthood co-funded those films because they were straight up abortions) and coming up with a good story that appeased fans who saw the original trilogy in theaters while at the same time trying to bring in a new audience from today must have been incredibly daunting. Especially when you add the fact that J.J. Abrams and the writers wanted to delay the film until summer 2016 to work on the script a little more, but Disney said they would delay it from summer 2015 to December 2015 because it had to come out in 2015. So the film makers got a little bit more time to work on it, but I think an extra six months to work on the script would have definitely paid off. Expectations on this film could possibly be the highest any film has had, especially due to the die hard fan base. Add the fact that the film makers had to keep everything they could a secret so people wouldn’t know what happened long before the film came out. The fact that I am taking the time to write this review and to go this in depth shows how much I love and appreciate the Star Wars franchise. I don’t think I have nitpicked a film harder than this in years, which just goes to show how much I respect this film. It is like making fun of people. If you make fun of a stranger you come across as a dick but if someone is truly your friend you know you can make fun of each other all day long. So I view Star Wars as a friend and I am gonna nitpick the Hell out of it because I love it so damn much. That having been said, here we go…
WHAT I LOVED/THE PROS…
1. The Star Wars we know and love. Star Wars is back and boy is it great that the movie didn’t suck. So first off this film actually FEELS like a Star Wars film. The prequels felt very different from the original trilogy and this brings it back to that original universe masterfully. No longer is Star Wars just overstuffed with lifeless CGI. No longer does it focus primarily on trade federation negotiations or the most unbelievable romance in film history (yes, way worse than Twilight). No longer does George Lucas have a say and that is a wonderful thing. Even though Disney slightly rushed it, you can tell they genuinely care about the property and aren’t just making the films for a cash grab (for now at least; let’s hope this doesn’t turn into the Fast & Furious franchise).
2. The cast and characters. Damn near every new character introduced I loved. I only had a minor issue with one and a bigger issue with another (more on that later) but overall, they introduced very well thought out, likable characters that I am excited to see progress as the trilogy continues on. Casting these characters was spot on as well. Not a single Hayden Christensen type actor in the cast.
3. The music. At first some people complained that John Williams just reused/remixed his old Star Wars scores and didn’t provide much new music but upon my second and third viewings I realized that really isn’t the case. Sure he does use and remix some of his old themes but there is WAY more new music than old and the new music he wrote definitely delivers.
4. Other technical aspects. Besides the score, the cinematography, visual effects, costume design, production design, direction, editing, etc were all of the highest quality. There wasn’t a single moment in the film when I thought the visuals looked fake or were distracting. The cinematography was outstanding too. In particular the incredible long take where Poe is blasting bad guys out of the sky and you see Finn watching this take places and it goes from Poe blasting enemy aircraft to Storm Troopers on the ground and then the camera lowers down and focuses back onto Finn. From a technical aspect this film was extremely well made.
5. The emotions. I have never cried in a Star Wars movie before. That is until The Force Awakens came along and hit me right in the feels. This is the most emotionally invested Star Wars film. Partly because you have known these characters so long and partly because unlike Anakin Skywalker in the prequels, we actually genuinely care about these characters, new and old. When Han Solo died and Chewy yells out in pain because he just lost his best friend, you really feel it. Same when Leia senses that something has gone horribly wrong and then once she sees Rey she knows there isn’t much either of them can say because they are both devastated. I really connected emotionally with this movie. Not just the sad moments either. When the opening crawl came up I got goosebumps. When Poe was blasting mofos out of the sky I felt like a kid again. Job well done.
6. The villain. Despite the hilarious fake Twitter account of emo Kylo Ren (http://www.hypable.com/emo-kylo-ren-is-the-best-new-twitter-account-of-2015/) Kyle Ren is a great character. I am going to get a lot of hate for this but after having rewatched the Star Wars films I will say it anyways. Darth Vader is NOT the best villain of all time. Not at all. Is he iconic and badass? Absolutely. But as a character he is very one dimensional. No real layers to him. He is just pure evil. You don’t really see his struggles or motivations. He is just all bad and not much else. Not until the end of Return of the Jedi when you see him kill the Emperor to save his son do you see some layers to him. But other than that, there isn’t much. That’s why it was so refreshing to see a villain who isn’t just all pure evil for no reason (think The Joker) but who struggled with keeping on the Dark Side and being tempted by the Light Side. He is still young, hasn’t finished his training and because he comes from good people, his transition to the Dark Side is fascinating. It is cool to see a villain in transition and not just some bad guy who has been evil his whole life for reasons unknown and looks cool. Even the moment when he gets mad and just starts destroying crap around him with his light saber, that was awesome. It felt realistic. Some people laughed but I felt like that is how many people react when they get bad news and we don’t get to see that super often so I liked that. This is a layered character who was well acted and I can’t wait to see more of him.
7. The humor. You are going to see “the humor” in my Con Section of this review as well but I will go into what I loved about it. Anytime I hear film makers say they want to inject some humor into any upcoming movie that isn’t a direct comedy I get worried. So when the film makers said that The Force Awakens had heart and action and humor, etc., I got worried by the word “humor.” Half the time adventure or drama films try to add humor it either comes off as forced or just flat out isn’t funny. That being said, the vast majority of the humor that was in the film did not feel forced at all and actually made me chuckle or laugh out loud. BB8 giving the thumbs up, the two Storm Troopers walking away when they see Kylo Ren going apeshit, etc. All funny moments that helped lighten the mood and I appreciated how well done that was.
8. Leaving questions unanswered. This movie could have been loaded to the brim with exposition and explaining literally everything. What all happened between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, the back story of every new character, how Maz got Luke’s lightsaber, how Snoke turned Ben Solo away from his family, etc. Instead, we do get a good number of answers but they realize there are still two films left in this new trilogy and they can answer some of those questions later instead of feeling the need to wrap up every loose end and shove exposition down our throats. I loved the cliffhanger ending and not knowing a lot of what is going on but knowing questions can be answered in episode VIII.
WHAT I HATED/THE CONS…
1. The Plot/Story. First off, let me be clear and say not all of the story was bad. I loved that Luke was basically the MaGuffin of the film and they saved him for the end and left things on a cliffhanger to really get you excited for the next one. However, this movie basically rehashes so much of the original trilogy. Let’s see if I got this… A droid contains secret plans and then becomes marooned on a desert planet. A young orphan inadvertently gets mixed up with the droid and other space travelers, and the crew embarks on an action/adventure that culminates with an attempt to destroy a new Death Star. If that’s not familiar enough, the movie borrows from Return Of The Jedi by featuring a subplot (on a snowy Hoth-like planet, no less) where a small squadron of rebels have to deactivate a shield in order for the weak spot of said starkilling machine to be made vulnerable. Any of that ring a bell folks? I thought so. Not only did they repeat all of that but they had a distractingly large amount of callbacks to the previous trilogy. One or two here and there would be fine but some just felt forced. When Finn is on the Millennium Falcon and he sets his hand down on the table and the holographic monster chess piece game pops up, that seems a bit heavy handed to me. The worst case of this was after Finn, Han and Chewy capture Captain Phasma and Finn asks what they should do with her. Han does his best to not look directly at the camera, wink and asks if they have a trash compactor, just so we remember what happened 30 some years ago. Like come on, we get it. This is a Star Wars movie. We have paid for our tickets so you already have our money. You don’t need to remind us what universe we are in every 10 minutes. If you are trying to create a new trilogy and pass the baton to this new generation, it probably isn’t too wise to dwell so much on the past. Along these lines, a lot of the new characters are basically newer/cooler/updated versions of older characters. Rey is similar to Luke Skywalker. Poe has shades of Han Solo. Maz is surprisingly like Yoda. BB8 is just R2D2 but better/cuter. Captain Phasma is almost a carbon copy of Boba Fett. Supreme Leader Snoke is Emperor Palpatine, etc. Even Maz’s place of residence was a newer version of the Mos Eisley Cantina, complete with live music and aliens of all races/backgrounds mingling together who all simultaneously go silent whenever something major happens.
2. Rey and The Force. Ok so Kylo Ren is interrogating/torturing Rey to get info out of her head and she fights back and then realizes she has some strange abilities she didn’t know she had to be able to not only stop Ren from getting into her head but also see into his. Makes total sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is the next scene. She suddenly goes from, “Hey I can stop people from getting into my head” to “I can control and manipulate everyone’s minds.” So she makes that leap of logic and assumes she can use Jedi mind tricks on a Storm Trooper (played by James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, by the way) and that it will work. There is no way she would have made this connection and it was simply put in the film as another call back to when Obi-Wan Kenobi used his Jedi mind tricks to say, “These are not the droids you are looking for.” And even if she did mentally make the jump, I assume you have to be trained in the Force or a legit Jedi to be able to do something as complicated as controlling someone’s mind. She found out she had some abilities two minutes ago and is able to do this already? That’s like a college freshman passing the final exam on the first day of class and I call BS. But even worse comes the lightsaber fight with Kylo Ren. This girl has never wielded a lightsaber in her life AND just got thrown 30 feet up into the air, hit a tree with enough force that should have broken her back and then falls 30 feet back down to the ground and yet she suddenly pulls some Mask of Zorro shit out of her ass and not only holds her own but DEFEATS Kylo Ren who trained with Luke Skywalker and has been honing his Force skills for years. I know his training wasn’t completed but Rey was cleaning droids parts yesterday and today she is a master with a weapon she has never used before. The two arguments people have used against this is A) Well Kylo Ren got shot by Chewy so he was bleeding and injured and not at full strength. To which I point out that she just got thrown 30 feet in the air, hit a tree and fell back down and laid unconscious for a couple minutes so she wasn’t at full strength either and B) Well Rey was skilled with her staff and she beat up two bad guys in the beginning with it so it makes sense. To which I say, first off a staff and a lightsaber are way different. That’s like comparing a pistol to a rocket launcher. Sure they are both considered weapons but just because you are good with one doesn’t make you an expert with the other. Lastly, she beat up two low level street thugs in the beginning (and even that was a struggle), not one of the most powerful people in the galaxy. No way you can compare those two goons to Kylo Ren. So yes, I get she has the Force and the Force is strong but in all actuality Kylo Ren would have done the same thing to hear as he did to Finn…beat the Hell out of her.
3. The humor. Even though most of the humor in this film definitely worked, there are several problems. First of all, the few attempts at humor that didn’t work (“Droid please” might be the worst line in all of Star Wars history) obviously. Secondly, even though it is fine to put humor in to lighten the mood, I feel like they did that too often. There was almost too much humor for a Star Wars film. Also, upon watching this movie three times, the humor definitely doesn’t hold up as well upon repeated viewings. What was funny the first time and made me laugh out loud, made me smile the second time and by the third time I just sat there like I would during any other part of the film. Lastly and most glaringly, they gave most of the humor to Finn, which makes absolutely no sense. When talking about Finn’s betrayal, General Hux says that his “…Storm Troopers are programmed from birth…” So if Finn was taken from his family at birth and programmed to work for this evil military, where in the Hell did he develop his sense of humor from? Not once do we see The First Order cracking jokes or making wise cracks. They are training (very poorly, but more on that later) to kill and follow orders. Each person in a position of power walks around terrified to deliver bad news to Kylo Ren for fear that he will kill them out of frustration. So sorry if I don’t buy that the only major character in these new movies programmed/trained from birth to be a killing machine has the biggest sense of humor/jokes the most. And all of the aforementioned humor that I felt fell flat came from Finn as well. They had him repeat stuff for comedic effect, which wasn’t funny. I took notes when I saw this film for the third time and here is every example in which Finn repeats himself for failed comedic effect…
1. (After destroying one of the huge guns/cannons on The First Order’s ship while flying with Poe) “Did you see that?! Did you see that?!” 2. (Soon after meeting Rey when she asks if he is with the Resistance) “I’m with the Resistance. I’m with the Resistance.” 3. (With Rey on the Millennium Falcon when she tells him she wants to go back to Jakku) “Why do you have a boyfriend? A cute boyfriend?” 4. (After capturing Captain Phasma) “I’m in charge. I’m in charge, Phasma. I’m in charge!” Then of course you have Han Solo doing his head nod to Finn to get him to look at Rey and even though Finn magically has a great sense of humor he doesn’t understand what it means when someone nods their head and motions somewhere else for you to look at where they motioned to. UGH.
4. The Starkiller Base (AKA Another Death Star). Like The Force Awakens, Jurassic World is a very fun, entertaining film that reinvigorated the franchise in 2015. Also like The Force Awakens, Jurassic World was a very flawed film when you step back and analyze it as a critic. I remember while watching Jurassic World and thinking how there is no way that park would have ever opened in the first place due to the many glaring safety concerns/problems that the park had. Once the crap hit the fan I thought, “How could they not learn from the problems the first park had? How did they just repeat the same mistakes and allow this same type of scenario to happen all over again?” Well just like repeating a problem riddled park in Jurassic World, The First Order took the problem riddled Death Star, fixed absolutely none of its problems, just made it bigger (which actually just makes it a bigger target if anything/more costly) and somehow expected to get different end results. First off, the construction of the Starkiller Base. After Return of the Jedi, most of the bad guys were destroyed, the good guys won and balance had been returned to the Force. So how then does The First Order start construction on what would take YEARS if not over a decade to build without any of the good guys noticing and stopping it before it even starts? That would be like if right after WWII ended Germany started building a bunch of nuclear reactors so they could nuke anywhere on Earth they would like and America and the rest of the world just stands by, lets it happen and then only decides to destroy it after they have used it once. Ummm…..no. Then of course the security. Do they not have security cameras on their most important military base/planet destroyer? Rey escapes and not only is there not one security camera for someone to spot her, but the thousands of Storm Troopers running around can’t find her either. Is Paul Blart the Head of Security for The First Order? Can any dumbass break in and out of that place like it’s the US/Mexico border? When Han, Chewy and Finn break in they shoot the first Storm Trooper they see. Kylo even sensed his father was there. Yet they are free to walk around with ease and not get caught by anyone. No one notices that missing Storm Trooper who got shot and was supposed to be on his post. 20 year olds can’t even get into a club with a fake ID but an old man, a former Storm Trooper and a hairy ass creature who is well over 7 feet tall can just stroll onto the most important installation The First Order has with backpacks full of explosives and shit. Just let that sink in for a minute. Finally, when the Empire had the Death Star they had the fatal architectural flaw of making it so if you blow up one tiny section of it, the entire place explodes. Although not EXACTLY like that, this new Death Star is pretty similar. By blowing up the core reactor section of the base (which granted is a lot larger than the small area of space that had to be blown up in A New Hope’s Death Star), the Starkiller started collapsing like the LA Dodgers in the post season. Imagine if by blowing up the bathroom in the White House, that the whole White House would explode. Doesn’t really make any sense, right? Well apparently The First Order thought that was a good idea. Sigh…
5. Captain Phasma’s Bitch Ass. OK so Disney built up Phasma as being the first major female Star Wars villain ever and how awesome/badass she would be. They even hired actress Gwendoline Christie who is 6’3” tall to play her. She plays an intimidating badass on Game of Thrones so it seemed like the perfect fit. And boy did they waste this character. She really is the Boba Fett of this new trilogy. Looks cool, is liked for no reason, doesn’t actually do anything or kill anyone, goes out like a bitch. That basically sums them both up. In the opening scene Kylo Ren commands Phasma to kill all the villagers after she asks what to do with them. She gives the command to the Storm Troopers to fire and they do so but she doesn’t actually pull the trigger once, she just gives orders (not so badass). Her worst moment of course is her capture. Not only does she get captured easily but then she shows her true colors right after. When Finn, Chewy and Han tell her to power down the shields I thought for sure she would either A) tell them to go screw themselves and they’d have to kill her because there is no way in Hell she would betray Kylo Ren and the entire First Order or B) she’d say, ok I will push the button to power down the shields and then pushes an emergency button instead that locks them all in the room or calls for more security and then they’d be screwed. Nope. She gives in without putting up any fight and just does what she is told. I’d love to see her in a POW camp singing like a bird. She’s that kind of solider. Then once they are done with her and Finn asks what they should do with her Han makes the callback to the trash compactor from the previous trilogy and they decide that is the best course of action. My question is why in the Hell didn’t they kill her?! They clearly have no problem killing soldiers from the First Order (all three of them have at several points in the movie up to that point), she poses a threat and by putting her into the trash compactor the idea was to kill her anyways so why not just shoot her point blank in the head right then and there? I’ll tell you why. Because they want to bring her back for the sequel. Which creates another problem. Fans have all complained (rightfully so) how she did neither jack nor shit in this movie so I am sure Disney will give her more to do/make her a badass in Episode XIII, which then just becomes out of character. We see her as doing nothing but giving orders, not putting up a fight and giving in easily. If you show what a badass, great fighter, cool character she is that would just be unbelievable and out of character for her, knowing what we know about her now. You could literally have taken her character out of the film and the movie wouldn’t have changed AT ALL. Replace her with any random Storm Trooper (which would have made more sense for a random low level Storm Trooper to give up so easily) and the movie wouldn’t have changed at all.
6. R2D2 and the Map. Again, ignoring what I brought up earlier in the plot/callbacks complaints that this has pretty much already happened before with giving R2D2 valuable information to get to someone else, let’s look at the newer problems it brings up. First off, who put that map into R2D2 (excluding that small portion missing)? Luke Skywalker I assume since only he knew where he would be going. He fled everyone and everything and wanted to be left alone. So why even leave R2D2 with a map in the first place? And if you wanted to for whatever reason, why take a small chunk out of the map out and leave it with Max von Sydow’s character? But let’s say for argument sake Luke did want to be found but not for a long time so he left R2D2 with the majority of the map and figured he’d have a good 30 years of alone time before everyone put the pieces together and found him. Sounds like BS but ok. The bigger problem is that R2D2 conveniently goes into “low power mode” out of sadness (?) when Luke abandons him. It has never been hinted at that any androids/robots go into hibernation when they get sad in the Star Wars universe before, but I guess we will just make shit up as we go along. After all, he had a jet pack in the prequels that he never used again in the original trilogy so who am I to judge? Herein lies another problem with that. Finn tells BB8 that Poe died in the crash early on in the film, you see BB8 hang his head in sadness and roll away. Why didn’t BB8 go into low power mode? Surely hearing your master/friend/companion has DIED would make you want to hibernate more so than having your master/friend/companion go on an indefinite vacation like Luke did. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Abrams. And worst of all, right when the plot needs R2D2 to wake up so we can have some good news after the death of Han Solo, he magically wakes up. You don’t say. If he is in low power mode, how would he even know that the map piece to Luke had been found? Wouldn’t someone have to push some buttons, manually wake him up and let him know? Did he just sense that they found a piece of the map to Luke? Does that mean The Force alerted him to this information? Is R2D2 a Jedi?! Look out “Jar Jar Binks is a Sith Lord” fan theorists out there, I’ve got a new BS theory for the internet to spread around! R2D2 hibernating for 30 years and then magically waking up right at the exact moment is such lazy screenwriting (that even Abrams has admitted didn’t make a ton of sense) that the only possible thing that could have made it enjoyable would be if when R2D2 booted up, they would have played the AOL sign on/dial up sounds (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1UY7eDRXrs).
7. Convenient Escapes. For my last major flaw in this film I turn to all the convenient off screen escapes that characters made to defy death, even though they should clearly be dead. It started with Captain Phasma. They throw her in the trash compactor (we assume since we don’t actually see it happen) and then 20 minutes later the entire planet/base blows up as the Millennium Falcon flies away from it. How did she get out of the trash compactor? How did she manage to get so quickly to an aircraft to fly away in such a short period of time? I remember thinking that it was super improbable for her to have lived but then remembered she was coming back for the next movie and immediately got pissed. Even worse is how Kylo Ren escapes as well as Finn, Rey and Chewy. Chewy was last seen going HAM on Storm Troopers after his friend Han was killed. The place starts collapsing so it makes sense that he would go find Rey and Finn and high tail it out of there. But finding them? Almost impossible. On that huge ass planet with buildings collapsing all around him, heavy snow falling and trees obscuring any view of the ground, Chewy had to look through the cockpit window of the Millennium Falcon and find Rey and Finn in a matter of minutes. How did he know where to find them and get to them so quickly? Same with General Hux getting to Kylo Ren. In those same terrible conditions he finds him and flies off just in time as the planet is exploding. The way it is edited too is odd because we see Chewy pick up Finn as Rey follows them onto the Falcon. The next shot is the Falcon flying away and the planet exploding. If General Hux got Kylo Ren out with enough time to survive, he would have had to have been there at pretty much the exact same time that Chewy was picking up Finn and Rey. And he would have had to carry Kylo Ren by himself to the ship, strap in, take off and fly away all before the place exploded some 20 seconds later. I call BS on all of those escaped deaths.
Now that I covered the biggest pros and cons I thought I would cover the little things that bothered me, but were not huge deal breaking problems like the 7 cons I just listed. Upon my third viewing of the film, I literally brought a pen and notepad and took notes at every minor flaw/nitpick that stood out to me. Here they are…
1. Why does Finn even go to fight in the opening scene? We find out later he worked in the sanitation department. We also see later during General Hux’s speech that there are THOUSANDS of Storm Troopers. So why then do they send the garbage man in a group of like 30 Storm Troopers for a combat mission when they clearly could have used any of the other thousands of Storm Troopers at their disposal?
2. After Finn gets back from the battle and is a bit shell shocked, he CLEARLY looks around to make sure no one is nearby, then he removes his helmet and breathes heavily. You then hear Captain Phasma’s voice and she is standing right next to him. OK, I can buy that she snuck up on him. But then after she tells him to put his helmet back on she walks away and you CLEARLY hear very loud footsteps hitting the floor as she leaves. So how are you gonna tell me she didn’t make a single sound walking up to him but then walks away like a T-Rex? Minor but ridiculous nevertheless.
3. This next nitpick my buddy Adam actually told me after we viewed it for the first time and I wouldn’t have even really thought about it but once he said it to me, it made a lot of sense. That problem is the casting of General Hux. Now don’t get me wrong. Domhnall Gleeson is a great actor and he has had the best 2015 out of any actor working today when you look at the films he was in that came out this year (Star Wars, Ex Machina, Brooklyn, The Revenant). But he is 32 years old and he looks roughly around age 30. To cast him as a GENERAL in The First Order is a pretty huge stretch. Generals are the top ranking officers in the military. And Hux was basically tied for 2nd in command over the entire First Order along with Kylo Ren. How does someone that young get that high up in the ranks? It just wouldn’t happen. They should have casted someone much older to make it more believable that they would actually be old enough and experienced enough to be a General in the military.
4.Poe is WAY too trusting. The whole movie revolves around the race between the Resistance and The First Order getting to Luke Skywalker first. The map to Luke is the most important piece of information both sides are trying to obtain. So you would think when discussing such a highly important mission, you might want to be careful who you spill this info to. Well when Finn busts out Poe from being held captive and they are flying away, Poe blabs to Finn that he needs to go back to Jakku for his droid because it contains the map to Luke Skywalker. I get Poe telling Finn he needs to go back for his droid since he trusts him for rescuing him (although he still doesn’t know Finn as a person at all or what his motivations are) but why give away what is inside your droid? Seems unnecessary and risky. Once Finn and Poe get separated, Finn tells Rey immediately about the droid with the map, even though he doesn’t know her at all and where her loyalties lie (the power of boners is strong with him I guess). As soon as they meet Han and Chewy aboard the Falcon, they tell them their mission and that they have the map without knowing a thing about their present company. Poe telling one person unnecessarily leads to half of the main characters knowing shit they probably shouldn’t know. Loose lips sink starships!
5. Poe’s jacket. Super nitpicking here but they crash land after being hit, right? Poe later tells Finn when he sees him that he got thrown/ejected from the aircraft and passed out, woke up and Finn and the aircraft were gone. Yet when Finn came up to the aircraft to find Poe, his jacket was there. Did Poe take off his jacket sometime between getting hit by the laser that brought down their aircraft and when he was ejected? Seems like wherever he landed after he was ejected, he would still have his jacket on. Maybe someone can explain this to me how his jacket came off and stayed with the rest of the aircraft because I sure don’t know.
6. We find out Rey’s pilot abilities basically make her Denzel Washington in the movie Flight. But she is basically a slave when the film starts out (not unlike Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace) who pillages for parts in exchange for food rations. So how did she become such an expert pilot? She even admits to having never flown the Falcon but does so extremely well. I get that she knows PARTS of droids and ships pretty well but to operate them with that level of precision is a whole other thing entirely. And don’t tell me her parents taught her how to pilot as a child because when she touches Luke’s lightsaber and sees flashbacks, it appears we see her being taken from her family at a young age. She looked about 6 or 7 to me. Sorry if I don’t believe her parents taught her at age 6 how to be an expert pilot. Bitch shouldn’t even have her permit yet!
7. The Rathtar’s appetite. Remember when Han and Chewy are about to be killed and BB8 taken by all those rival smugglers on board the Falcon? But then the Rathtars break out and start eating them alive? Well how come they chomp them down super quickly, but then when it comes to Finn, the Rathtar drags him around for a long ass time to go eat him in a more private setting I guess (?) instead of eating him right away like he did with all the other tasty smugglers? How convenient.
8. After Chewy gets shot, Han asks for his weapon and then shoots the Storm Trooper who shot Chewy. Later during the battle outside of Maz’s place, Han asks Chewy if he could try out his weapon. Chewy passes him his weapon, Han shoots it and blows two or three Storm Troopers away, their bodies flying high into the air before they come crashing down. Han, excited as a little kid on Christmas morning proclaims how he really likes the weapon. The problem with all that is that Han and Chewy and been together for well OVER 30 years. Probably 40 if anything. And mean to tell me that in all that time together Han never asked to fire Chewy’s weapon or to try it out? I call BS. If I was with my best friend cruising the galaxy for 30 or 40 years I promise you we would have each swapped weapons and been experienced with each others weapons. Because what happens if I lose my weapon and need to use my buddy’s weapon but don’t know how to? I’d be screwed. So I guarantee Han would have had lots of experience with Chewy’s weapon and not acted like this was the first time he ever fired the damn thing.
9. Kylo Ren’s training. After the Starkiller base starts collapsing, Supreme Leader Snoke tells General Hux to bring him Kylo Ren to him so he can finish his training. Which begs the question…why wasn’t his training completed? Who sends a half trained leader out there, especially when you know how vulnerable he is after having been raised into the Light Side? Seems like Snoke should have fully trained him and then maybe he wouldn’t have fought like a bitch against people who have never held a lightsaber before. Just sayin…
10. This bothered me a lot too. So Han and Chewy fly Finn and Rey to Maz’s place to go seek her help. They know they are being tracked and that the First Order has put out a hit on them and will reward people who can bring them the droid and the traitor Finn. The flaw is that when they go to see Maz they leave Chewy back in the Falcon but they take BB8 (who has the map) with them. Now every single creature at Maz’s place sees the droid that everyone is looking for and it puts a huge target on them all/puts them in great danger (which turns out to be exactly what happens when the enemies all show up). Why the Hell didn’t they leave BB8 in the Falcon with Chewy so no one would see it?!
11. This one is more of just a question. In the original trilogy what made the Millenium Falcon unique was its ability to go into light speed and leave everyone in pursuit behind. I don’t recall any other ship having the ability to go into light speed. Now the Millenium Falcon is pretty old now and the Resistance and the First Order has all these newer ships that have been built LONG after the Millenium Falcon was built. Are there still no other ships besides the Falcon that can go into light speed? I feel like it should come standard with all ships now. Like light speed is equivalent to automatic windows. Everyone had ones you had to manually roll up like you were working a Jack in the box, the Millenium Falcon comes out with this sexy light speed feature (automatic windows) but no one follows suit. Everyone in these current made, badass ships that can blow up planets but still has roll up windows. What’s up with that?
12. EVERYTHING ABOUT THE STORM TROOPERS! This was so close to going into my main Cons section just because there are so many flaws with them. Where to begin? Much like the newer ships, improved weapons, etc, you’d think over the years they would update the Storm Troopers body armor. I’m not talking about the look of them, which has obviously been improved/updated. I’m talking about the suit’s ability to actually protect each soldier inside. Watching this movie I really noticed how all it takes is one laser shot to the head or the chest or the stomach and they die instantly. Why wear heavy, bulky body armor that will probably slow you down if not to completely protect you? You might as well have them run around butt ass naked with their weapons because they would be equally as protected as they are now, but have less weight on their bodies tiring them out and making them run slower. Which brings up another classic Storm Trooper downfall. They have one basic job and they suck at it. They have been programmed and trained since damn near birth to shoot guns and attack enemies, basically be infantry for the First Order. You’d think if you had done something since birth you’d be pretty good at it by now. Nope. Their aim and accuracy is that of a henchman in a James Bond film. They are about as useful as any cop in any superhero film ever made. The only Storm Trooper who hits a target is the one who hits Chewy and even he doesn’t take advantage of shooting him again right away but instead waits five seconds for Han to grab Chewy’s weapon and then get shot by Han like a moron. Even their basic battle formations/fighting style make no damn sense. I get that most movie watchers aren’t looking at combat tactics but this stuff is common sense, people. If you are a Storm Trooper and someone like Han or Chewy is firing at you, would you rather be taking cover behind a wall, only popping out to fire and then going back behind it for cover…or would you rather just stand right smack dab in the center of a hallway with absolutely no cover or concealment? You’d think YEARS of training plus common sense would tell you to take some cover to you don’t get shot and die from where ever you get shot at, but as Han and Chewy were taking cover behind walls in the Starkiller Base, the Storm Troopers just stood side by side like they were marching down a fricking street for a gay pride parade. Good God, the stupidity blows my mind. I’d almost rather they eliminate Storm Troopers altogether from the Star Wars universe then just have them used as a cliche. During some of the fighting outside of Maz’s place, Rey shoots for the first time the gun Han gave her. She is so inexperienced that she pulls the trigger with the safety on. The Storm Trooper fires at her, misses of course, she misses her first shot and then gets a direct hit on her second. So these Storm Troopers who have been trained to fight since birth have worse aim than a slave girl who forgot to take the safety off and has probably zero experience with a gun up until now. Awesome.
13. Earlier I complained that it makes no sense for Finn to have had a sense of humor given that he was programmed from birth to fight for the evil First Order and I’m assuming he hasn’t been exposed to The Three Stooges on his off hours from the garbage room. Along those lines, where did his moral conscience come from that wouldn’t let him pull his trigger in his first battle? How did he decide what they were doing was wrong and that he would have nothing to do with slaughtering innocent villagers? Shouldn’t he be as blood thirsty for battle as all of his other fellow Storm Troopers? Not all questions need answered (not knowing how Kylo Ren got Vader’s mask isn’t the biggest deal in the world) but some questions like this (and how Maz got Luke’s lightsaber) definitely do need to be answered.
14. Han Solo is a badass. We get that, he has been the entire time we have seen him in four separate Star Wars films. But does he have Jedi powers? No. So during the battle outside of Maz’s place, when Han Solo literally looks to the left but then shoots his blaster to the right and blows a Storm Trooper away, I call BS. Like I said, I know he is cool and all but no normal human being can turn their head in the opposite direction or close their eyes in the middle of a battlefield, pull the trigger and magically hit an enemy. It may look cool but it is way over the top and just dumb.
15. Ok so the one Storm Trooper who yells, “TRAITOR!” at Finn and then they battle with Finn holding the lightsaber and the Storm Trooper has his anti-lightsaber weapon (whatever it is called). I just want to know why only that one Storm Trooper has that weapon. I would think none of them would because what are the chances of them coming across a Jedi? Luke is the only one left and he is in hiding and pretty much only Jedis use lightsabers. So why does this Storm Trooper have this weapon and why is he the only one with it? Another thing that LOOKS really cool but practically doesn’t really make that much sense.
16. I think it was Kylo Ren who said this line and if I remember correctly it was when he started to look into Rey’s head before she blocked him out but he says, “…I see the island.” This isn’t a flaw or even a nitpick but since this is a J.J. Abrams film, am I the only person who thought of Lost as soon as he said that? Lol
17. I know it was cool to have Daniel Craig cameo as a Storm Trooper but after the fact that he is in the movie wears off, it becomes more of a distraction that takes you out of the movie. If he would have played him but they used someone else’s voice instead (like they basically did with Simon Pegg in this movie) that would have been much better. But instead you clearly hear it is Craig and instead of being immersed in the movie you get pulled out of that immersion by saying, “Hey, that’s James Bond’s voice!”
18. So in the beginning of the movie Poe goes to shoot Kylo Ren. Not only does he get the drop on Ren but he is probably 15 or 20 feet away; fairly close. Ren stops the laser mid air, where it stays until he is leaving and lets it go. So then how does it make sense that he got shot in the hip/side by Chewy later on in the movie? He knew Chewy was there so his element of surprise was gone AND he was a LOT farther away from Ren. Ren definitely should have had time to put up his hand and stop that laser from hitting him. I guess they just wanted him to be a little weakened before his battle with Finn and Rey, so it would be more believable that he lost, even though it still totally isn’t.
19. Finn/Kylo Ren. I already discussed earlier how it was BS that Rey was able to defeat Ren but even Finn got a solid hit on him, which is unbelievable to me. People excuse Rey beating him by saying she had the Force or whatever, but Finn has only used a lightsaber once in his life (earlier that day) and he still got a big hit on Kylo Ren, weakening him, which wouldn’t have happened. Also, once Rey gets thrown into the tree 30 feet in the air and falls down, what does Finn do? HE THROWS DOWN HIS GUN and runs over to her. I get the concern of running over towards her but why would you throw your gun down? I get it probably won’t do much against Ren anyways but wouldn’t you feel safer with it on you just in case? And as a trained solider he should know to keep your weapon on you at all times. Boot move, bro.
20. In that same fight scene, once Finn gets owned by Kylo Ren, Luke’s lightsaber is in the snow and Kylo Ren and Rey have a little “Force off” to see who can pull the saber towards them. Besides the fact that he probably should have been able to easily, the real BS that stands out is that when Rey pulls it through the air, it LITERALLY goes right to Kylo Ren and he ducks back out of the way so it flies past him and right to her. If he literally would have just put his hand up and not ducked back, he would have caught the saber even though she pulled it. Would have been a solid interception but instead he moves out of the way of it for absolutely no reason.
21. The end of that final fight scene had some more BS as well. What a convenient coincidence that as the planet is crumbling the ground splits apart EXACTLY between where Rey and Kylo Ren are standing. If it would have been a couple feet more in any direction, things could have totally been different. Also, why didn’t Rey finish Kylo Ren off when he was laying on the ground? Before you answer that the ground conveniently split them apart (which it did), she had a good seven or so seconds before the ground split that she could have walked over and double tapped/dead man checked his ass and put an end to him once and for all. I get that it is because he has to be the villain again in future sequels but now anyone he kills in the future is kind of Rey’s fault for standing there for seven seconds staring at him instead of killing his ass instantly.
22. Chewy and Han Solo were BFFs. Rey knew Han for a day or two. So when Chewy, Rey and Finn get back from that final battle, why is it Rey that comes up to Leia and not Chewy to give their condolences and give Leia a hug? Chewy literally walks right past Leia and they don’t even acknowledge each other, even though they too were friends for all those years. Sure Chewy wouldn’t really be able to speak English to her but he wouldn’t have had to even say anything. Just give her a head nod and a hug and maybe a kiss on the cheek. Makes way more sense for it to be Chewy than Rey.
23. So they found the complete map and now know where Luke is. Awesome, now Leia can see the brother she loves and hasn’t seen in 30 years, right? RIGHT? Why the Hell does Leia NOT go with Rey and Chewy to go see Luke?! That made no sense and bothered me.
24. Lastly, this is a very minor nitpick but the very last shot of Rey holding out Luke’s lightsaber to him and Luke just staring at her lingers on a little too long. It was a good amount of time until the did a far away 360 degree shot spinning around them and then it just felt awkward that he didn’t take it or they didn’t speak. If they would have cut 3 or 4 seconds out of that it would have been more effective in my mind.
So there you have it folks, if you actually read all this crap, congrats! You are a Star Wars nerd. Was I too harsh on the movie? Did any of these flaws or nitpicks bother you guys or were you aware of them and just didn’t really care because it didn’t hurt you enjoying the film? Let me know in the comment section below.
Finally, since I spent far more time commenting on the negative aspects of this film, I will end on a positive note. Despite all its flaws, this was still a very fun, engaging, emotional, entertaining movie and I had fun watching it. More importantly than that though is just thinking how many lives a movie like this that reaches such a wide audience can touch. An 8 or 9 or 10 year old sat next to me when I watched this film at the premiere on the 17th of December. Just seeing him light up was amazing as this new generation of Star Wars fans was taking shape. I wondered how many little boys would watch and want to be a fighter pilot in the military because they loved Poe. Or how many little girls would want to do karate or kick boxing because of how badass Rey was. Movies really can inspire and change people’s lives and I am sure a movie like this will change countless people’s lives. Plus your average person watching this movie will love it because they aren’t an asshole like me picking every detail apart and taking notes in the theater. So despite its flaws, I couldn’t be happier than Star Wars is back and not going anywhere anytime soon