Star Wars: The Force Awakens Fail

Emily Rodrigues, Staff Writer

Starting with Anakin Skywalker, fans have been on a journey of Star Wars for 32 years. There are people who have lived most of their life with lightsabers on the screen so of course they would be excited for the newest plot twists and awesome Force fights that are sure to come in the newest movie. As someone who has a deep and very nerdy love for the Star Wars universe, I was one of these people. I sat down in the movie theater with my popcorn and drink in hand and was bursting with anticipation at those famous yellow paragraphs floating among the stars across the screen. Imagine being that pumped for something and then seeing that it only turns out to be a rerun… my heart cried a little.We first start with a random storm trooper (we later find that his name becomes Fin) that stops fighting for some odd reason. No explanation of why until later in the movie, and even that doesn’t make sense. He says that he could just feel like it wasn’t the right thing to do. Storm troopers are raised since birth to fight and be trained to protect the Dark Side, so he wouldn’t have the feeling to stop because he would have known nothing else, and he certainly wouldn’t have felt it as strongly. So already the movie started off with holes in the story. Then we visit planet Jakku…

We have been to a desert planet to introduce new characters three times now in the Star Wars movies and to be honest, they have all been extremely boring.  Anakin Skywalker and his mother are the first to appear on such a barren planet, then, we meet Luke and his boring life on the desert plains. Lastly, Rae is introduced in this newest movie on another harsh and sandy wasteland before she finds her true destiny, totally unoriginal. Speaking of originality, what happened with Kylo Ren? They built his character up so much in the commercials as a new kind of dark side master following in the steps of Vader, but as soon as he pulls off that helmet all hopes of awesomeness fled the brain. The dude looks like he spends three hours alone on his hair, so seeing that he had a helmet on, I have no idea how it stayed that way. And the fact that he wasn’t at all attractive just adds on to the point that he is nothing like the legendary Vader that he says he is trying so hard to be. Kylo’s sense of the dark side wavers, but not towards the light, more to the whiny teenager inside of him. If he was really trying to be like his grandfather, Darth Vader, then he would have Force-choked life out of General Hux and wouldn’t submit to anyone. He couldn’t even get information out of a teenage girl with an identity crisis. Is he fulfilling his mission of following in Vader’s footsteps? I think not.

J.J. Abrams mentions that sometime you have to go back a little before you can go forwards. However, in bringing back Star Wars after so long, there was no need. The fangirls and nerds had several of the Star Wars marathons on replay, myself included. I understand that bringing back the old characters and reminiscing was essential, but in introducing the newer people, they had so many opportunities to do something really creative. Although I do think that R2D2 and C3PO were completely unneeded in the movie and did nothing to help continue the plot. Who cares if C3PO has a red arm? Justin Chang from the Variety said, “Marvelous as it is to catch up with Han Solo, Leia and the rest of the gang, fan service takes priority here over a somewhat thin, derivative story that, despite the presence of two appealing new stars, doesn’t exactly fire the imagination anew.”

The fan theories surrounding the movie will keep me coming back to see what happens to Rae and Ben Solo (Kylo Ren), but I am very skeptical. Seeing as Harrison Ford is already on the cast list for the next movie, I am very hopeful that they don’t do something unrealistic. Like that he actually didn’t die even though he took a fatal lightsaber stab to the chest and fell into the middle of a death planet. But who knows? They might pull out another already used plot twist and make Han Solo live to make another witty comeback. The list could go on about all the flaws of this movie, but I will just say that it was pretty much just a replica of A New Hope. Christopher Orr, a writer for The Atlantic said, “A dreamer on a desert planet, waiting for a chance to reach for the stars. A caped and cowled villain in a black helmet, seduced by the Dark Side. A lost droid, beeping and chirping the urgency of its secret message for the rebellion. An apprentice turned against his master. A son turned against his father.” They could have made the movie obviously similar with a lot more plot twists compared to A New Hope, but they tried too hard and ended up just remaking the movie.  It was a good try at refreshing the famous Star Wars movies of course, but disappointing in the fact that I still felt as if I wasn’t watching for the first time.