Main Features No 24
May the Long Awaited, Star Wars VII Spoiler Filled Review Be With You..
General Leia Organa, now head of the Resistance is looking for her brother Luke and has dispatched her best pilot..
Star Wars: the Force Awakens [All 3 Trailers] IIIBO0M, http://www.youtube.com
Star Wars: the Force Awakens [All 3 Trailers] IIIBO0M, http://www.youtube.com and photographs © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
So, firstly Happy New Year..and thanks for coming back if you have returned for part 2. Or if you are just reading now. I’m assuming that you’ve now seen the movie, or want to…or you are on the verge of going out to see it now and looking for some last minute advice before you take your husband/wife/ kids etc to see it. If you haven’t seen – or read – about it yet.. go you on the willpower. But sorry, but there will be spoilers. So I will cut off before they start just in case you don’t want to know. So read on if you want.. may the choice be with you. OK I will try not to put in too many amended Star Wars quotes. So if you were one of the zillions of kids who didn’t get in to see it as you were too young and your fake moustache didn’t work. Or you are a wee person like me, with the face of a child (doesn’t work now, sadly) who the powers that be who work at the cinema didn’t believe when you produced your genuine ID card….or there was a really tall person sitting in front of you chewing his toffees really loudly..on with the review…
It’s got the dubious honour of being only Star Wars film I can remember scene by scene. and even discussed with a good female friend. This friend suggested I release the review earlier as it was on the verge of completion and just about ready to be published as I wrote it just after my review part 1. I had thought and said originally I would release it on the DVD release date. This date many a devotee will suggest will inevitably be May 4th, by which time the next film will be being plugged… probably. So after discussion with my editor – aka my darlin’ husband – I’m releasing it now as the Force is strong
Luke (Sorry) look. And why not. But despite the fact I’ve been gittering non stop about it to my poor suffering husband (as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone). I don’t want to get it wrong and confuse you so just to keep things right, my darlin’ Star Wars crazy husband will collaborate with me on this one when I need him. As my Yoda he is.
So, where to start……ONLY READ ON FROM HERE AS THERE WILL BE SPOILERS…
The film started with the familiar plot setting, rolling screen of script which luckily for me was easy to follow. This was a relief for both Darlin’ husband and I as I didn’t get lost or confused or have to nudge him frantically and ask what was going on. Which I did in Episode 3. Basically the Resistance led by General Leia Organa are looking for Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts and have dispatched their no1 pilot to track him down. Unless you have lived a very sheltered life with no access to media of any sort you will know that Carrie Fisher, every one’s favourite wee actress will be playing Leia again. (woo hoo).
On with the action. Because that’s how it started, no dreary talk as in Episode 1 about trade routes blah blah, blah.. which even the lovely Irish accented Neeson couldn’t make it sound interesting. To prove this point, long before this, I once asked a male friend who had a similar accent to talk to me about concrete, his then passion, and with his accent alone he had my full attention throughout his enthusiastic explanation..but anyway back to the film review. So, so far so good. The new Star Wars film started with a cameo I didn’t recognise but Darlin’ husband did. (He’s good at that). This Ben Kenobi lookalike hands over a map of the whereabouts of the missing, Luke Skywalker to a new face. On introduction to this friendly new face, we find out he’s Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Leia’s no1 pilot. Dameron didn’t immediately wind me up or make me become defensive or even angry. Which was how it felt when I met Jar Jar Binks in Episode 1. But the prequels now feel irrelevant. They are on a new planet too Jakku, which has shades of Tattoine.. and the initial scenes of Jakku were transfixing and inviting. The sand covered AT-AT, Star Destroyer and other vehicles littered in the junkyard scenes were sad but hypnotic.
As a battle with some stormstroopers from the First Order commences – also looking for the map and Luke Skywalker – Dameron hides the map inside a friendly droid, BB8 and asks him to take it to safety. We are introduced to a stormtrooper, named FN-2187 but he is different from the rest as he has a heart as he withdraws from the battle scene. This is a nice touch and shows not all the stormtroopers have a dark side (sorry) shows that they were real – but nameless – people, and not people indoctrinated into believing. He was likeable and believable and was played excellently by John Boyega. The sheer pace from the first scenes was maintained throughout the movie. I felt a hugh sigh of relief and felt immediately transported back to the time before the prequels. At home.
As Dameron and FI-2187 escape from Jakku, we get some bromance and some light comedy before the dramatic crash. We lose Dameron’s character just after he renames FN-2187 as Finn. We then meet Rey (Daisy Ridley), a feisty, young girl who looks a wee bit like Natalie Portman but with a lot more oomph, independence and fiestiness than Padame. She also is likeable and when she meets Finn – who keeps his true past secret – you hope that the will not end up as Padame and Anakin did in Episode 2 falling down a hill, laughing hystericaly and her telling him she loves Obi. Sorry, but I remember Auralnauts’ parody better. There is a wee bit of frisson between Finn and Rey. Anyway, any ideas of romance are merely suggested. Then more battles and back to the action.
They escape from the bad guys lead by Kylo Ren, who on meeting looks like a smaller – but not as small as Stewie from the excellent Star Wars parodies in Family Guy – Darth Vader crossed with a hairdryer and who sounds like Bane from The Dark Knight Rises (2012). He tells us who he is – Vader’s grandson – as he talks to the shell of a helmet that was Vader. This is reminiscent of of Hamlet. And his hair emulates his
emo grandfather. And it’s poetry (you can blame darlin’ husband for that one). We follow him, General Hux ( James Spader) as they talk with Snoke (Andy Serkis), the head bad guy who is a large hologram looking a bit like the Emperor. Serkis is compelling as the voice of Snoke, proving yet again he should be cast for a one man multi-charactered play on the radio. Ren’s parentage is hinted at as Hans Solo’s name is mentioned.
Finn and Rey flee using the one of nearest space vehicles in the local junkyard. Unbeknownst to them they are flying the Millenium Falcon. They hide on this vehicle, believing they are being pursued by the Stormtroopers. They are – cue the biggest pre sob gulp and handsqueeze moment so far – as not stormtroopers it is. It’s the Star Wars favourite smuggler, my personal Star Wars favourite, Hans Solo (yay), still is Harrison Ford (Double Yay) and… he’s got his wingman, Chewie with him (Triple yay then sob with major nostalgia.. but strangely no fear even after seeing the prequels). They are still very much a double act, looking out for each other with wee injokes, banter and chemistry. When Han takes a liking to the young uns after Rey fixes the vehicle, he explains – not mansplanes – or even Rickmansplanes – to our young friends (and the novice Star War cinema goer) a few Star Wars basics and when they ask him about the now legends about stories from his past, Han says “it’s all true” (double gulp, sob, and major handsqueeze). BB8 shows the map to all, he does. Anyway, more proof our favourite Star Wars bromance teaming hasn’t changed in the 30 year gap, they are still getting into hot water with the scene with a Weegie in space reprimanding them in full tilt Glaswegian. Finn confides in Solo, telling him his secret identity.
On arriving at Takodana, we end up at a cantina – with what seems as the only nod to the prequels (thank goodness) with lots of CGI dudes – where Finn deserts Rey as he plans to leave for another planet to escape from the pursuing stormtroopers. Which Rey takes badly, as they are now firm friends with an inkling of attraction. During more battles, Rey is guided to a light saber…and gets some visions of her childhood past and a subtle hint to the lightsaber owner’s identity. Which freak her (and the cinema audience) out. Rey is confronted by Ren
Dark Helmet who uses the force to take her back to the Starkiller base. From using the Force he can tell he knows she has seen the map. Finn returns to Chewie and Han to help rescue Rey.
Finn, Solo and Chewie head to D’Quar and remeet General Leia and… I burst into tears. Han and Leia, although older still have their chemistry, history and in jokes…and obvious romantic attraction. And height difference, which is bizarrely the same as me and darlin’ husbands. And with Leia are some surprise cameos. The scenes with Leia and Han are touching, and we feel first happy knowing the Princess got her hero, then sad as the evil Ren is identified as their son. And with Ren’s back story explained in a sentence, we find out he started good then turned bad. Also Luke’s disappearance is explained as he felt responsible for this change..as he was his then mentor. Han, Chewie and Finn rescue mission to rescue Rey, leaving Leia left at home with hope that her family will return and Han will bring back their son and Rey.
Meanwhile at the Starkiller base Rey uses a Jedi mind trick to escape a stormtrooper. This stormtrooper would have familiarity of helping her out of her holding device, as the actor had recently escaped. This cameo is almost like a spectre of a character, as he’s on and off-screen in about 007 seconds. So don’t blink or you’ll miss him. Rey then bumps into Han et al. Han sees his son as he and Chewie set up bombs and Ha confronts his son, After we believe they may reunite, Ren kills his father. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! On the dark side he is.
After the final good vs evil scene, where Rey uses the Force and a lightsabre for the first time, Finn is injured..to near death. As is Ren, as the writers tease us from their pens. Bastards. We return home to Leia, where the map is completed by a cameo. And Rey flies off in the Millenium Falcon – with the loyal Chewie in tow – leading to one last, breathtaking.. anyway maybe I don’t want to spoil everything so just take a
So, how to sum up, watch it..I’m more excited about the outcome to this than I was aged at 10, in finding out J.R. Ewing’s assassin in Dallas (1978). The scenery is transfixing, and the John Williams’ musical score used appropriately with new music for young, and familiar music for the original cast. I haven’t loved a young cast so much since The Goonies way back in 1985. Apart from the emo adolescent with serious anger issues, but now you know why. The original cast were used as Yodas – or mentors – to aid and guide the new characters and new fans alike. The cameos out of this world. The CGI was used sparingly, the props and costumes used predominantly. The script was loyal to the originals with the injokes and references that only loyal fans can identify.
And the ending, how it should have been…with many questions still to be answered in this new trilogy. Finally, it was a fitting goodbye for Han Solo. Harrison Ford got the hero’s death he wanted for Han from the start and I’m so glad the writer’s respected this and didn’t drag out his role for an eternity. Perhaps the writers will tease us by a wee Ford cameo here and there but let’s hope it’s by flashback.
Weeper Rating: 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 /10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 /10
Bonus Trailer: Yes, Lego and Parody
Lego Star Wars the Force Awakens: Teaser Trailer 2, Workshop Lego Animations, www.youtube.com