An Unhelpful Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Up until yesterday, I thought Hayden Christensen played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films. Most people’s reactions have suggested that this is embarrassing, and I should keep it to myself.

I know next to nothing about Star Wars, and if a friend hadn’t invited me to tag along, I would have gone another twenty years without the franchise entering my orbit (no pun intended). But watch it I did.

First of all let me say thank God Oscar Isaac was in the movie, especially from the start. If he hadn’t been around, I would not have paid attention to what was going on, and I would have left only with confirmation that Natalie Portman is NOT in this movie. (While I don’t know much about Star Wars, I do remember reading somewhere that Portman skipped her Star Wars premiere to study for a final while at Harvard, so there’s that). God, I love me some Oscar Isaac, and that reminds me: I have to get around to watching that movie he did with Jessica Chastain. Did you know they went to Juilliard together? Chastain is such a lucky woman, but she’s so sweet and lovely you can’t resent her for any of her success and happiness. But I digress. What were we talking about? Yes: Star Wars.

The movie made over $200 million at the box office this past weekend, and that number is only expected to grow. From what I can tell the fandom hasn’t burned the cyber house to the ground, so I’m assuming that means the film has pleased fans overall. The Force Awakens is the start of the third trilogy in the chronologically tipsy Star Wars franchise. Star Wars premiered in 1977 and was the first in a trilogy chronicling the adventures of Luke Skywalker and some other relevant people. The trilogy released between 1999 and 2005 was a prequel trilogy, if you will, explaining how Luke Skywalker and those other relevant people became, you know, relevant. This latest trilogy (with sequels two and three set to come out in 2017 and 2019, respectively) is a continuation of the first three films, detailing what happens after the events of Return of the Jedi. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

Throughout the movie I had a lot of questions. I was especially curious about how they decided which characters would have British accents and which characters would have American accents, but maybe the fact that I’m curious about such things is a sign of my boring, earthly ways.

If you don’t care about Star Wars, but you’re willing to try something new, this movie is fine so long as you have snacks. If you have an appreciation of fight sequences and music that swells whenever the camera zooms out to show you the dangerous cliff the characters are on, you’ll have a grand time. It’s a nice chance to string together some meaning from all the Star Wars references you didn’t know you knew (Han Solo? Obi-Wan Kenobi? Chewbacca aka bae?) If you’re a Star Wars fan, well you’re going to watch it anyway in order to form an opinion on it – hell, you’ve probably already seen it – so you don’t need me to tell you what to do.

 Suggested search queries (if you actually care):

“george lucas”

“harrison ford young”

“carrie fisher young”

“james earl jones darth vader”

“I am your father”


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