Being able to get to the movies and watch The Force Awakens on the third day after its release was a pleasant surprise for me: originally, I wasn’t going to watch it until the 28th, (tenth day), but there was space in the theater, and it was raining anyway.
Before anything else, I will issue a SPOILER ALERT!!! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT (OR WILL NEVER) SEE THE MOVIE.
Luke Skywalker has vanished. Those were the first words of the opening crawl. That was when there was no more doubt about The Force Awakens.
There has been an awakening, in both the light and the dark. And the light side has awakened in Rey–big time. Kylo Ren was severely injured from Chewie’s shot, and unfocused (he just murdered his father). Nonetheless, Rey defeating him only a day after discovering her force abilities is no mean feat. Is she Luke’s daughter? That would explain a lot. (The reason she is not of Organa/Solo parentage is that Leia and Han would care so much for their first child (Ben Solo/Kylo Ren), that they would forget about the other.)
Many fans, including me, were fooled by the trailer and thought Finn was the new Jedi. However, we were right in that he is a stormtrooper (trooper FN-2187) who defected and joined Resistance.
Despite holding the symbolism to the first movie in each previous trilogy, TFA also brings in entirely new elements to the plot. Poe Dameron is one of those elements. Leader of Black Squadron, he entrusted BB-8 with the last piece of the map to Luke Skywalker.
BB-8 completes the droid due to a trio, immediately accepted by the other two. Despite playing a central role in TFA, (holding the remaining piece of the map to Luke Skywalker, who has mysteriously vanished), what BB-8 does best is simply being cute.
Maz Kanata resembles Yoda in more than just looks. She is not a Force user, but she is wise in its ways.
Lets talk about the baddies, leaving Kylo Ren last (you’ll see why).
Supreme Leader Snoke is the one I don’t know what to do with. The ten meter tall holograph we see is probably not his actual size, but it is intimidating. (Maybe he’s tiny, and that’s why he likes appearing big.) Either way, he is deep in the dark side and as much of a threat as the Emperor, if not more.
Phasma, captain of the First Order’s troops, is not nearly as awesome as she could have been. Some posters, including the one on my door, (not the one pictured above) lead to speculation that there may be a romance between the her and Kylo Ren, which would be interesting as we haven’t seen one between villains in the Star Wars galaxy. This turned out to be a false alarm. In the end, she was thrown into a trash compactor by Han, before the planet imploded, and although she may have gotten away, her chances aren’t too good.
General Hux, basically a younger, and far more brilliant version of Grand Moff Tarkin, is as good as promised. He has a lust for power, and is desperate to restore the First Order to the glory of the Empire. Like Phasma, he probably died when the planet imploded.
Whenever a new villain is introduced, we need a demonstration of how evil they are. Vader killed Obi-Wan. Maul killed Qui-Gon Jinn. But both of those characters had only been known for one movie (at the time; Obi Wan was made legend by the prequels, but we saw him die before they were released). Han Solo had been known and loved throughout the original trilogy, becoming everyone’s favourite smuggler-turned-hero. There has been an awakening in the light and the dark. And the dark has awakened in Kylo Ren. Chewie’s shot of fury hit him square in the chest, and he hardly took a step back; this guy is not kidding. Kylo Ren is not a Sith, but he is a threat to the Republic.
Which brings us to Han Solo. Han’s death was perfect. We basically knew he was going to die in TFA, but I was afraid he was going to go in a shootout with stormtroopers or by crashing the Falcon. But to be murdered in cold blood by his own son was not one of the likely candidates. Kylo Ren is deep in the dark side, but he’s no Darth Vader. Even Vader was not beyond redemption, so we can excuse Han trying to help him. Ren removes his helmet, and while he may have been faking, I believe he really was unsure of which path to take. And in one fateful moment, he ignites his lightsaber into his father’s heart.
Overall, The Force Awakens was a success. The plot, dialogue, screenplay, soundtrack… everything. JJ Abrams did a good job, and with episode 8 coming May 2017, the third generation of fans has started.
Star Wars is no longer a movie; its a culture. And forty years later, its still expanding.