Movie Review: Star Wars, The Force Awakens (2015)

The Force AwakensInformation

Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: George Lucas
Release: 2015

Spoiler warning

Disclaimer: I’ve seen the other six movies exactly once each, so I’m aware of the existing canon but not exactly an avid member of the Star Wars fandom. I don’t have particularly strong opinions on whether Episode VII is “correct” or purist enough, etc.  I do have opinions on whether Episode VII is, in the simplest terms, a good movie.

I enjoyed The Force Awakens, even as I recognize it has major problems with plot and logic.  The visuals are stunning, the dialogue is far less cheesy than it is in previous Star Wars movies, and there’s something undeniably awesome about all the strong female characters.  Rey may be Mary Sue-ish with her abilities to pick up the Force and light saber fighting skills so quickly, but she’s badass enough with her engineering skills and sense of justice that I want to overlook her flaws, at least for now.  I also enjoyed the humanization of a Storm Trooper, though I would have liked to see him struggle more with his past.

Unfortunately, the premise of the entire film is shaky.  Everyone’s after a map to find Luke Skywalker…because he left a drive with a map to his secret location with an elderly man on Jakku??? (Well, we don’t actually know how that guy got it, or who the guy even is.)  And that drive has only a fragment of the map, but it’s not good enough because these people with super-advanced technology can’t tell what part of their galaxy the map is of?  And they can’t destroy evil unless they find Luke, even though they take out the Starkiller without him and Rey is clearly conquering the intricacies of using the Force all on her own?  This all seems absurd to me, and there even more silly contrivances to make it all work–such as R2D2’s being in low power mode for most of the movie but inexplicably awakening at an opportune time to provide the rest of the map–which for some reason doesn’t just mark out Luke’s current location, but apparently the exact route he took to get there.  (And this is from the Empire Archives?)  None of this is necessary and little of it makes sense; I wish the story writers had thought it out a bit more.

Overall, I liked watching individual scenes.  I cheered for the characters, laughed, and even cried a little.  But I have to ignore the inconsistencies overarching plot in order to really tell myself this is a good movie.

Come back tomorrow for a guest post with a different perspective on the movie!


8 thoughts on “Movie Review: Star Wars, The Force Awakens (2015)

  1. Panda says:

    I loved this movie and am an avid fan of the series. Given there are 2 other films already scheduled, I’m pretty sure they left so many loose ends on purpose because they know that there’ll be at least some audience for each film but I completely understand your thoughts. To be honest I was just so excited to see a Star Wars film in the cinema to pay attention I guess… 😛


    • Briana says:

      For me, it was one of those movies that starts out good, but the more I think about it, the less sense it makes. :p

      I also thought the loose ends were intentional, and maybe the whole new trilogy together will make sense, but for now they’re really leaving fans scratching their heads!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Krysta says:

        See, I don’t understand why the pacing had to be so fast if they were going to have at least a trilogy anyway. If you’re going to have loose ends and leave room for more stories and all that, why make Finn overcome his past immediately and Rey know how to use the Force immediately? It seemed like the film just wanted to get these things out of the way to move on with the story and get to Luke. Who easily could have been inserted into the second film as he has no purpose in this one.

        But as you mention–why do they really need Luke? The Resistance didn’t even know about Rey when they began looking for him. And they seem to be doing all right without him, though I suppose they might eventually need someone with the Force to take on Kylo Ren. But a very small Resistance with what seemed to be a very random plan easily took out the Starkiller without any assistance. Which begs the question of why they waited so long and just allowed the First Order to take out five planets–with no comment. Mass casualties were everywhere in this film just to a) move the plot and b) look cool/ be exciting. I found that problematic, to say the least.

        I did enjoy all the women in the film, though. I enjoyed the other films well enough, but I felt like I could finally get excited about this one and be a fan. I felt included. Even with all the problems I have with the film and it’s totally ridiculous premise and faulty logic.


  2. jubilare says:

    “I also enjoyed the humanization of a Storm Trooper, though I would have liked to see him struggle more with his past.” This bothered me. I like Finn, but he makes zero-less-than-no-sense. Am I supposed to believe that such a nice, well-adjusted chap was abducted at birth and raised to be a killing machine? How does that work?

    I like the film. Overall, I give it a B. The pacing was very problematic (should have been 1.5 films, I think) and there are plenty of plot-holes and convenient chances, but I like the characters and I feel like they’ve given us the Galaxy back. They have a chance, if they can pull it off, to tell meaningful stories in this context again, and I hope they do. 🙂


    • Briana says:

      I was a bit perplexed by the apparently brainwashing and training system that must take time and resources but isn’t apparently visible in the movie. Also…they must have kidnapped A LOT of children.

      I’ve been seeing a lot of statements that the “rest will be revealed” or “everything will finally make sense” when we see the next couple movies, but I’m not convinced that it’s good movie writing to have a rather illogical movie and then tell people to wait two more years for it all to make sense. You’re too likely to lose viewers in the interim.

      That said, I still really liked watching it.


      • jubilare says:

        “Also…they must have kidnapped A LOT of children.” No kidding! I wondered about that, too. Maybe they don’t have enough cloning facilities left, or something? I can’t think of another reason for them to go through all that trouble to create stormtroopers.

        I watched it a 2nd time and loved it even more. It really is a good movie, even if it does leave a lot of questions, so I doubt they will lose many in the interim. ^_^


  3. DoingDewey says:

    I loved the old Star Wars movies as a child, so something I did enjoy about this was that it felt like Star Wars to me – unlike episodes 1-3. However, I actually really hated the dialogue. It seemed very cheesy to me. Except for the actors from the original, the acting felt very forced and cheesy to me too, so I’m not sure if I really didn’t like the dialog or if it was the delivery, but either way, I didn’t love it.


    • Briana says:

      Interesting. I think there were a few moments I thought the dialogue was a bit off, but compared to the rest of Star Wars it seemed so much better to me. :p


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