Wow, did I luck out. I got up this morning thinking I was going to be cleaning house today and my husband says, “You’re going to opening day of Star Wars!” Didn’t see that coming! A friend had a couple of spare tickets because of last minute cancelations, so I put my hair up into Leia-like buns over my ears and off we went.
When I heard that Disney had acquired this franchise I was relieved that Lucas wasn’t going to be spinning out any more faux-marketable characters like Jar Jar or Ewoks (BB8 was as close as they got, and I’m good with that). I trust Disney to know entertainment, and I was not disappointed. The movie was absolutely a fun romp. It was a cross between a remake of the original, an homage, and a family reunion. I think they were smart to remind us what we fell in love with oh so many years ago, to show us the way again past the abysmal movies that are now labeled parts one through three.
Harrison Ford did not disappoint. I loved visiting with Han again and was happy it was more than a walk-on cameo. And with Chewy, it was like we were never away. The actor could have stepped right from the last film into this. All the beloved and familiar mannerisms were there. You just can’t go wrong with Chewy and Han.
I was happy with the acting of the new round of hero-leads and was willing to buy into their characters. Kylo Ren, the Darth Vader-like character, was pretty good, but suffered in comparison to the footsteps he had to follow in. In Lord of the Rings, I heard they hired body coaches so that the elves could move in a more “otherworldly” fashion to make them more ethereal. I wish they had done that for Adam Driver, the former marine who played Kylo Ren. The body coaches gave the elves a presence that Kylo Ren could have benefitted from. But I’ll give him a break. Following in the footsteps of one of the iconic movie villains of all time can’t have been easy.
Practically no need to mention the graphics; it’s Disney. They were great. I loved the look of the whole movie.
It wasn’t all sunshine, though. In the In-and-Out-Burger postmortem our crew did of the movie, we decided the movie suffered a little in originality. They didn’t really have any innovations that felt new to this iteration, either in look or tech or plot. The ships were pretty much what we’ve seen already, and there were no real surprises. You knew Kylo Ren would be related to someone we knew, you knew the good guys would save the day, and even the one big “shocker” of the film was predictable (no spoilers, but you’ll know when you see it). We even came up with a few potential memes…Supreme Leader Snoke, the emperor-type character, looked a little like “What happens if Gollum had Kept the Ring,” an association reinforced by the fact that Andy Serkis played both characters. And we decided the Harrison’s next movie might just have to be Indiana Jones and the Jedi Temple.
The movie was fun, and it was comfortable. All in all I enjoyed it more than most movies…
I wanted to fall in love with it. I wanted to feel the way I did after I saw the first Star Wars, or Avatar, or Lord of the Rings, or even the first Indiana Jones movie. I’ll never forget how I heard the entire theater sigh in relief when Indie jumped out of the way of the boulder…and then how they groaned when he looked up and was surrounded by spears. Only time I’ve heard folks collectively and literally gasp in a theater was for that film and the opening of the original Star Wars when the battle cruiser flew over my head. There was no gasping in this film.
I enjoyed it. I would tell you if you ever liked any of the Star Wars movies, go and see it. But it didn’t take my breath away…not literally like the first one did.