When you reach the age of 40…ish, you become used to certain failures and disappointments in life. Certain disappointments and failures like politics, political debates, society, taxes, and the cancellation of one’s favorite television shows (Forever and just recently announced Mike & Molly) and the list goes on and on. However, after seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens; I can say I was a bit confused following the storyline, but not disappointed. Like every other true Star Wars fan (who is old enough), I have seen every Star Wars movie in the theater.
I still remember sitting in the movie theater watching Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV) as Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker saved Princess Leia from an almost certain death and the epic death of Obi-Wan Kenobi; the robot camels attacking on Hoth and Luke getting his hand chopped off by his father in The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V); and the adorable, yet at the same time very annoying, Ewoks help the rebellion defeat Darth, the Emperor, and the Empire in The Return of the Jedi (Episode VI), using rocks and spears; even though they understood cosmetology (i.e. Lea’s hair) and could play instruments (i.e. storm trooper helmets) to aid in the singing of the “we just defeated the evil empire” song.
I was excited beyond words when Episode(s) I (which left us scratching our heads saying…what the Phantom Menace?), II (again, scratching our head, Yoda walks with a major limp and cane but is able to move like a Muppet on steroids during a light saber fight), & III (the making of Darth Vader after he is burnt and chopped up by Obi-Wan) were being made. I, II, & III, were not the prequels Star Wars fans had hoped for; however, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi did help ease the pain of characters like Jar-Jar Binks. The Phantom Menace (Episode I) did have the cool spiky-head bad guy, which gave us hope that, just maybe, he might use his light saber on Jar-Jar and spare us the agony of the character, but that didn’t happen and we still got through the next three episodes.
When I learned episode VII was being made with J.J. Abrams assisting in the writing of the script and directing, the light bulb went off and I was overcome with happiness and joy. The mathematical equation became very clear: Star Wars Episode VII + J.J. Abrams attached to direct/assist in the writing of the script = jackpot for all Star Wars fans. Perhaps, I was overcome with so much joy, that I foresaw a movie that would exceed every expectation; I ever had for any of the Star Wars movies. A franchise like Star Wars, combined with the sci-fi-mystical genius of J.J. Abrams, there is no way we lose on this one. Fade in: Story-line seems a bit confusing since this is supposed to pick the story up after Return of the Jedi (VI).
Enter main character: A storm trooper with a conscious, not likely, but let’s see where this goes. Enter next main character: A female that we have no idea how she ties into the movie or how she ties to the last episode (VI), since this is the aftermath of defeating the Emperor and the Empire, which we quickly see that all that singing and dancing at the end of The Return of the Jedi was for nothing; so, thanks for the disappointment there Ewok people. Enter bad guy: Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) with obvious ties to the Skywalker family but someone has to be the bad person in the movie who is corrupted by the dark side. Enter our beloved hero’s: Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and Leia (Carrie Fisher), C3PO (Anthony Daniels), and R2-D2 are back (finally) to once again save the galaxy from the dark side and the First Order (the new empire). Enter the last Jedi: And then there’s Luke…and then there’s Luke…well, we’re waiting…and still no Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens begins where Return of the Jedi left off…ish in the storyline. The plot and storyline was a bit confusing at the beginning as you are left trying to figure out if the empire and the emperor were destroyed why is there a threat to the galaxy. Shouldn’t everything be cool now? Well, I guess not, but without good and evil, light and dark, then the storyline would be non-existent and the movie would just be called Star People: No issues here, we’re cool.
The First Order is a left over remnant of the empire on a mission to once again rule the galaxy with an iron fist and the dark side of the force. Like all of the other episodes in the Star Wars franchise, there are those who stand up to the Empire and the dark side. The plot and storyline was a bit confusing because I was looking for the movie to pick up right where The Return of the Jedi left off. Rey (Daisy Ridley), is on a distant planet, much like Luke Skywalker was in Star Wars: A New Hope. And remarkably, Rey is dressed similar to the way Luke was in A New Hope.
If I was to guess I would say the Rey is Luke’s daughter and was placed on the distant planet to protect her just like what happened to Luke; however, that of course is speculation at this point. The force is strong with Rey even though she has no knowledge or training of the force and its power in the galaxy. The journey for Rey is intertwined with a droid (BB-8) and a storm trooper with a conscious named Finn (John Boyega).
Like previous episodes, the new droid is being tracked and hunted by the First Order (new empire), because it contains information the First Order and Kylo Ryn is wanting. The droid is owned by Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac), the best pilot in the star fleet for the rebellion. After Poe Dameron is captured by Kylo Ryn and the First Order, he is forced, after being tortured by Kylo Ryn, to give up the information that the droid has stored, which is wanted by both the First Order and the Rebellion. Finn decides that he no longer wants to be a part of the First Order and helps Poe escape with the droid. After the ship they stole crashes on Rey’s planet. Finn and Rey team up to get the droid to the Rebellion and out of the hands of Kylo Ryn and the First Order.
Rey, Finn, and the droid end up in the Millennium Falcon to escape the First Order. Their journey crosses paths with Han and Chewbacca, leading them eventually to the Rebellion and the leader of the Rebellion, Leia. Rey, Finn, Han, and Chewbacca assist the Rebellion to destroy the new and improved death star built by the First Order. Rey is captured by Kylo Ryn, in the hopes he can extract the information form Rey without having BB-8.
After being captured, Rey discovers her power using the force in her attempts to withhold the information she has from Kylo Ryn. This leads to the best scene and character in the movie (after Kylo Ryn leaves the torture room). Enter: Storm trooper JB-007 played by James Bond himself (Daniel Craig – unaccredited). The exchange between Storm trooper JB-007 and Rey is priceless making the movie worth seeing. The plot keeps the characters moving in a fast paced action movie that has joy and sadness combined with an epic light saber battle between Kylo Ryn and Rey.
The big fight scene between Kylo Ryn and Rey is a great action scene, which is probably the best light saber battle in all of the Star Wars movies. The show down between the two characters highlights the struggle between the light and dark side of the force. Though the action was good and the plot kept the movie going forward, there were many unanswered questions that left the plot a bit confusing.
The ending, while a huge disappointment, is apparently showing the next segment of where the story is actually heading. Hopefully, the next episode will shed more light on the plot and the character Rey as it moves forward. To rate this movie I took the average of the ratings from my wife, daughter, son, and me.
Our ratings ranked from 4.5 to 3.0 making the average rating of 3.75 out of 5.00. If you are one of the twelve people who have not seen the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, keep an open mind and may the force and Jesus be with you when you do see it…it might just help give you a better understanding of the plot until Star Wars Episode VIII comes out.