(Spoiler free zone)
The news came out that Disney of all companies was going to make Star wars 7. Naturally most people had a very bad feeling about it. The trailer and forcing so much hype managed to win most of the crowd over and I went from thinking it would be awful to thinking mediocre, and I was right the first time. We all missed that Disney refused to put their name on the new advertising.
As word has come out this is more of a remake of New Hope (with pieces of the other films thrown in) rather than a new story I do not consider that to be a spoiler. It made it very easy to tell that since character B is character A from the original and X happened to A then X will happen to B instead of the red herring Y. The film was incredibly predictable as a result.
I remember the prequels were criticized for the Anakin/Padme romance, but this had one that was way worse and very Disney like. The original trilogy gave a famous and wonderful feeling of friendship amidst the characters. The prequels brought in a much smaller one. In The Force Awakens it felt like the plot demands a friendship. Only one had real potential, and it seemed more like mutual hero worship.
What really makes a movie work? Emotional attachment is how it works, and I had no care for these people, and that is a disaster in a fantasy. Fantasies will always have plot holes and this is no exception by a long shot. It is filled with sequel hooks I had no interest in making most characters just seem like morons that Timothy Zahn would have a hard time explaining. With no emotional involvement other than anger I noticed many holes. This combined every part of a bad sequel by just remaking the originals, while still feeling nothing alike them, and it undid the happy endings from A New Hope and The Return of the Jedi.
We start with a copy of Raymus Antilles
In A New Hope he has no name, but since he has no lines and we are not supposed to be sad with his non-dramatic death that does not matter. With this nameless guy. In Force Awakens he talks a lot and seems like he should be important, and his death is supposed to be dramatic, but without a name I feel nothing, since I need a name to really feel for them as characters and not plot devices. The villain, Kylo Ren gets an opening similar to Vader’s original opening, well almost. There is no different dark music making him seem different from the storm troopers. Unfortunately that foreshadows that he will seem completely incapable of leading the new, worse storm troopers. They then show a sort trooper with his face indicating he is important. Since they do not give a name I am stuck thinking of him s the black guy. A pilot gets captured making him our new Princess Leia. He is supposed to be our new Han Solo, but he comes off more like Princess Leia. He gives a very similar secret hologram to a very similar R-2 looking unit, because first movie. And it is just like New Hope except only the droid and the villain have names.
Like a New Hope the droid gets stuck in a dessert planet. Which of course makes it easy to correctly assume it will get saved by a dessert person who wants to leave. Who saves it? Another character with no name. It is portrayed as shocking that the character is female, but with this craze for strong female heroes and the trailer that was easy to figure out. Again no name given.
Nameless pilot is broken out by nameless black guy an they are finally given names, Poe and Finn respectively. Poe is left for dead, but there is no body, thus I know he is alive.
Way more scenes then happen with nameless girl that are mostly the same droids with Luke scenes except devoid of C-POs humor. They go through a few scenes very similar to the Death Star escape in A New Hope and some asteroid scenes in Empire Strikes Back. where black guy and girl are finally given names and fall in love instantly. All the chemistry of Cinderella and Prince Charming.
The two new heroes seem really incompetent by constantly forgetting to turn off safeties in their blasters. It does not help the storm troopers or Ren seem cooler as they are still wiped out by a person who never fired a blaster and a guy with a lightsaber who never knew they even existed until that day or the force, but the plot demands he become a Jedi. Apparently each storm trooper is given their own anti-lightsaber weapon just in case. I guess they only trained with that instead of basters.
They are then captured by an enemy ship that is no a Star Destroyer. Since it is not a star destroyer and they are not showing the intruders, and that the characters assume they are the First Order I know it is a hero. Since no one from the Original Trilogy has shown up yet one of them is bound to be coming in. Sure enough Chewbacca (looking like a bad costume now) and Han Solo come in determined to undo every happy ending Han had in both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. They also make them both look very dumb for getting in the exact same problem from years ago (the dynamic character is now flat), and that Han is freakishly good with the now magic crossbow. Apparently Chewbacca could never use it properly despite them being way more useful than a blaster. Han is constantly taking it to help stop the villains. As bad as Han and Chewie got messed up there scenes occasionally feel like Star Wars Since he opening crawl this has all felt like a bad rip-off to Star Wars.
The writers are introducing two new characters that they have no idea if to make them cynics or idealists along with cramming in Han solo (now as Ob-Wan) was not hard enough the villains get loads of screen time. There is a boring main villain who looks very similar to The Emperor named “Snoke.” One villain is really sympathetic, General Haux. The poor guy has an army paphetic soldiers and works with a terrible general in Ren who constantly destroys valuable computers and overestimates himself. He is no Tarkin, but he does wonderful considering his organization. Since they did it in the original they have a new planet destroying weapon that looks almost identical to the Death Star and is destroyed roughly the same way. Also Han and Leia had a failed relationship
Like we all spent years envisioning. I am surprised the marketers did not advertise that Ren is Han’s son, since I was revealed very early. Since Han is obviousy Obi-Wan I could tell he is going to die, and the red herrings I the scene were incredibly cheesy. Also with the best character dead things hit a new low.
With how much similarities it took to the original trilogy it should at least bring back memories of watching it, but it fails there too. Counting the opening crawl less than two minutes felt like Star Wars. The pacing was far more slow paced. Most the exposition in the originals were in the deleted scenes here it is filled with exposition we already know from the other films. Instead of primarily introducing the heroes and using them to make the villains better, this tries to make the villains more intimidating and hope it will make the heroes better. since the villain is defeated by a novice force user and constantly falsely assumes easy victory it just makes everyone look incapable of great heroics or great acts of villainy. Also one of the bare bones of the Star Wars structure is the idealist. Poe is the closest and he is just an advertised extra. Han is most of the role and his recent character development makes that hard to believe. The main two characters show no idealism until the end, and they only do it out of necessity rather than seeing someone else use idealism so well.
When A New Hope was made it had no chance of success. Lucas invested all of his money into Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The prequels were at least free of executive meddling. This had no chance of failure, thus nothing to inspire an underdog story or encourage its makers to push themselves to save their careers. It makes all the previous six movies worse. It ads nothing new but fan -fiction looking material.
This is far worse than The Phantom Menace and the second biggest disappointment I ever had in theatres. I now have no expectations for the next, and I have no plans to see this gin. It also made me realize we already ha the perfect Star Wars sequel one in “The Thrawn Trilogy.”