Sunday, December 20, 2015

Some more thoughts on The Force Awakens

Having not yet seen it a second time, but obviously thinking about it, and a few good discussions with fellow fans.  I want to quickly address two more minor quibbles (there’s that word again), then some other things I liked.

The score, though a John Williams score, was very lackluster.  There was no real standout motif or theme for me, the way “The Imperial March” or “Duel of the Fates” stands out. 

Secondly, and maybe I just missed this one, were there screen wipes between scenes?  I don’t remember them, though maybe I just didn’t notice.  I am a huge fan of those though in the previous six films, and they did not stand out for me here.

Now, a quick message for the 44 out of 45 detractors I saw on the comments section of’s film review:  You don’t get to spend 15 years bitching about Lucas and complain that this didn’t feel like Lucas.  You don’t get to complain that a modern movie didn’t affect you the way one did when you were seven; you’re not seven anymore.  And to that one guy who “doesn’t want to sound sexist” but isn’t sure a female lead can carry the new series, I have two very non-Star Wars words:

Fuck. You.

Sorry, not sure how else to possibly deal with that kind of asshole.  Of course, I am sure Rey can defend herself quite nicely without my help, but I've got her back.  Besides, pay attention jackass; the movie is called "The Force Awakens."  That's about Rey, and I think she carried it just fine.

Now, some things that have sat very well with me in the last 48 hours.  I am increasingly impressed with Adam Driver’s performance.  When he’s beating himself in his blaster wound just to will himself to the anger and pain to tap the Dark Side, just heartbreakingly wonderful.

Hux and his red-faced speech to the masses.  Just excellent.  He's a horrible human, and I like that.

The First Order.  Their Stormtroopers can shoot.  I’m generally a fan of the Troopers—Clone or Storm—and I have long taken issue with the idea that Troopers can’t shoot.  Stormtroopers managed to keep an entire Galaxy under the Empire’s thumb for more than 30 years, and apparently a good remnant stuck around after that.  We seem to forget that they kept missing in Episode IV because Vader told them to.  

The idea that rather than Cloning or conscripting, the First Order is taking children and pressing them into service before they even know their own names is a chilling concept lending to a great villain.

And given that, I am making my official prediction as to the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke:

That’s right, the "Star Wars: Rebels" Grand Inquisitor.  Follow the link up there to see an image of  from the "Art of The Force Awakens" book, and then follow my logic here.  We never hear Snoke or Kylo Ren discuss “The Sith.”  They talk about the Dark Side a lot, but not the Sith.  There’s an unhealthy fixation on Darth Vader, and Snoke is obviously somewhat deformed.  Now, The Inquisitor in all the Rebels merchandising was played up as a very big deal; but, not Sith, just trained in the Dark Side.  His “death” would certainly have damaged him even if he survived, but he could not have gone back to Vader having been defeated by a half-trained Jedi.  So he waited.  With Vader and Palpatine gone at the end of ROTJ, The Inquisitor sees a chance to gain power again.  He’s familiar enough with the Empire to form the First Order from its remnants, and take the rest of the Inquisitors and give them a new beginning as a separate entity: The Knights of Ren.  We know the Inquisitors were out taking children to meet their goals, something the Grand Inquisitor, now going by Snoke (his real name?) implements into the First Order Army.  None of that “Rule of Two” either; more than happy to stock the Knights of Ren with Force sensitives and the Stormtroopers with people who can shoot.  Seducing Ben Solo to the Dark Side was a coup, but incomplete due to Snoke’s limited power as not actually being a Sith.  Starkiller base?  A superweapon that perhaps used a kyber crystal to focus its power…like the crystal on the Inquisitor’s homeworld of Utapau in the Clone Wars story reel from the canon, but unproduced TCW season 7. 

Probably not, but I am going with it.


Remy Ren said...

Yes! I believe!

Anthony Anderson said...

Okay, a quick thought from my son and I as we talked after. Rey was too powerful in the force initially for my taste. I mean, she did things that most don't do until a bit of training. Either they needed to move the story along or she is the baddest of the bad when it comes to the Jedi. Even more powerful than Anakin (in his full body) or Luke. If she's Luke's offspring then I could almost buy her abilities, but seemed a little too much for me. Thoughts?


Dan said...

I could definitely see her being Luke's offspring; the part where Obi Wan's voice calls her by name in her vision is interesting though. I suppose there is some possibility the is also Leia and Han's daughter, and Kylo's sister. There's some precedent for covering something like that up, especially if Kylo had already started to fall when Rey was born, then hidden away.

Anthony Anderson said...

I guess we wait and see. The Han/Leia daughter was a thought, but I think they would of recognized her in some way. They can't be that callous to not let her know who they are. Hell, if they come out and say they are the parents, she might as well join her brother on the Dark Side.

Remy Ren said...

Let us rember: Luke accomplished in a few months which most, in cluding his father, took decades to achieve.

Remy Ren said...

About Kylo aka Ben Solo, Ren. Obviously a disturbed individual. I think calling him a "Vader groupie" is inaccurate. It's his grandfather. Vader represents for him an ideal he is trying for. Its more than hero worship or idolization. He's almost adolescent in his thinking. I would be willing to bet 20,000 Republic Daktaris that Snoke absconded with the younger Solo when he WAS an adolescent. Going with Dan's theory, it probably went something like this: "Join me. I can show you the darkside. I can make you great like your grandfather. I was one of his inquisitors." Not really sure if I buy Snoke as the grand inquisitor. Remember what the female inquisitor said:"Now that the Grand Inquisitor was gone, there were more opportunities for others to move up." Also I believe she mentioned his name.

James A. Dawley said...

That all sounds very plausible.

Kristina Cornwell said...

I totally got the impression from the movie that she is Luke's daughter. The way she is so drawn to his light saber and how Luke's theme music played when she took the saber from Ben Solo before their fight scene. Oooorrr! She could possibly have been a young, bright student of Luke and needed to be hidden

Kristina Cornwell said...

I totally got the impression from the movie that she is Luke's daughter. The way she is so drawn to his light saber and how Luke's theme music played when she took the saber from Ben Solo before their fight scene. Oooorrr! She could possibly have been a young, bright student of Luke and needed to be hidden

Brian Kohnlein said...

I just finally watched episode 7. After a short time debating Rey's lineage, it hit me. I thought the Luke love child theory, also, then I had a thought: Shmi Skywalker had another child after Anakin left. Rey is her grandchild. It would explain the pull to the lightsaber. After all, we have many year of Simi on Tatooine unaccounted for. Did she have the child before being freed and it had to be given up? Or did she have it after she got married and sent it away, afraid it would get caught up in the wars like Anakin? Wouldn't be the first time the Skywalker children were spirited away withour the father's knowledge. Thoughts?