“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

It is still 2015, and George Lucas’ characters are a bit worn. Instead of Luke,Han and Leia, we now have a new trio: Poe,Rey and Finn. It was fun to see Carrie Fisher in a new hair style and Harrison Ford re-cracking some familiar jokes,but the whole shebang was a tad retro for me. The new characters introduced are richer if one purchases and reads the  available prequel to  better understand their individual histories. I like deep characterization within a film, action or not. Buying a book to better understand the fledglings seems too commercial here. Franchised comics and toys tool this movie as much as nostalgia does. However, little girls are now slinging their own light sabers.  Yet, “May the force be with you” seems utterly hijacked.

Rey is a savvy pilot whose breathtaking zooms and swivels delight the game playing set the same way the light sabers and blasters do. I was more into gliding through the stars when the  action  cooled. Working as a scavenger for food portions, Rey played by Daisy Ridley is a fresher -faced Jennifer Lawrence in that she portrays a girl willing to fight for what is right in the world order. She is independent and is often annoyed by the cavalier  Finn (  John Boyega  ) wishing to take her hand. His “stay calm” is given Rey’s disclaimer, “I am calm”,only to have Finn retort with. “I’m talking to myself !”  This  rather rye tone of asides continues throughout the action giving everyone a little breather from all the zooming.  Harrison Ford’s Han Solo’s  “This is not how I thought this day was going to go” continues in the same vein.  Solo’s  “The girl knows her stuff”  makes certain that no one misses “the girl power”.

Oscar Isaac as Poe,the resistance fighter pilot, looks lovely even when he is presumedly sand -swallowed with the freighter wreckage. He is best being surprised by Rey’s prowess,and his absence leaves her with time to shine like Katniss “Ever after” of “Hunger Game” fame. Not much is newly creative in Episode VI of “Star Wars”. Getting the piece of  the map which may help locate the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker, is the quest.

Hidden in the droid by Poe, the map hints at the first Jedi Temple rumor. Could this be where Luke resides? Enjoy the bar-like shenanigans, the tender meeting of Leia and Hans,Nazi-like power symbols and a grizzled Harrison Ford. All the flying parts-and there are lots of them- are balanced by mind- reading magnetic forces. “Get out of my  head” takes on literal meaning. Dialogue like  “The galaxy is counting on us” , “It would take a miracle to save us now” and , “Escape now,hug later” is best written for the pre-teens who will rush to see this.  A juvenile throw back with oscillators and storm troopers, J.J. Abrams’ movie is raking it in.

On the dark side, the patricide bothered me . General Leia’s comment to Han that there is still light in their fallen son did not ring true ,at least in this episode. My favorite line was another of Leia’s ( Carrie Fisher). To her former husband she says, “No matter how hard we fought. I always hated to see you leave”. Has the collapse of the planet really begun ?!

 

 

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Christine Muller

Carrying a torch for film is what I have done for over forty years, thus the flambleau flamed when I was urged to start a blog. Saving suitcase loads of ticket stubs was no longer relevent so I had to change the game. Film has been important for me in the classroom and a respite for me outside of it. No other art form seems to edge the frayed seams of life as neatly as when a film is done well. I am happy that over one-hundred countries have citizens viewing my thoughts on Word Press, and a few leaving their own with me. Over eight- hundred comments to date, and over two-hundred films reviewed.

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