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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII)

I am a HUGE Star Wars fan.  Loved the original series (now known as Episode IV, V, VI).  I did not care for Episodes I, II, III.  In fact, I don't think I ever saw Episode III, and I wanted to walk out of II when I saw it in the theater.  Note to self, don't sit away from an aisle in a crowded theater.

Then word got out in 2015 that the new installment was going to be released in Dec.  I had plans to go to opening day...until I found out tickets were sold out.  I really don't like crowded theaters.  So I waited a month, grabbed the Husband on a chilly Saturday morning and caught a 9a show.

I can safely admit, I'm glad I waited and that I didn't pay full price to see this.  It was well made, visually fantastic (loved the desert world Jakka and the broken ships), and ultimately, disappointing.   Yes.  Disappointing.  The Force Awakens was basically Episode IV (the very first movie) all over again.  The following may contain spoilers, but really, I doubt it.  How can I spoil something you've already seen?  But, you've been duly warned...  stop here if you have any qualms about spoilers.  

Luke grows up on desert planet under the care of aunt and uncle.
Ray grows up on desert planet as a scavenger for a slaver.

Han Solo flys the Millennium Falcon through a few tight spots.
Ray flys the Millennium Falcon through a few tight spots.  

R2D2 is our only hope.
BB3 is our only hope.

Han is wanted for debts (Boba Fet).
Han is still wanted for debts (two bounty hunters board his ship this time!).

Millennium Falcon flees large thing with teeth.
Millennium Falcon flees large thing with teeth. 

Bar on Tattoie to find a way off planet (lo! we met Han Solo).
Bar on some green planet to find Luke.   Music was better in the Cantina...

Yoda squints at Luke and speaks prophecy.
Little woman creature at bar squints at Ray and speaks prophecy.

A Death Star.
A very BIG Death Star that has the same structural flaw as the first Death Star. 

Darth Vadar chops off Luke's hand, Luke recovers on spaceship.
Ren slices up Fin (FN), Fin recovers on spaceship.

Han Solo served with the Imperial Navy.
Fin served with Imperial 1st Order.

Epic battle between Darth and Luke.
Not quite so epic battle between Ren and Han Solo.

Sword fight between Obi Wan and Darth Vadar.
Sword fight between Ren and Ray.

Have to blow up Death Star.   "Just like shooting womprats back home!"
Have to blow up Death Star.   "Wahooo!!!"   No womprats tho....

How does Ren, newly awakened to The Force, suddenly seem to know what to do and how to do it when it took everyone else years to master?   A couple of deep breaths and she's got it down pat.  Maybe girls do learn faster. 

Observation - doesn't anybody change their clothes in space?  Conceivable that wash machines and water are hard to come by, but one would think that would make it all that more important to change clothes every once in a while. 

And can we get any cornier with the Nazi reference to Nuremburg?  I thought we were done with Nazi's in Indiana Jones.

I'm sure I'm missing more than a few comparison similarities, but you get the idea.  Thankfully, it's only a 2 hour movie.  I admit, I got extremely fidgety at the 1.5 hour mark.

But all of this begs the question, why is so much the same?  To what purpose will all of this serve as the next two installments come out?  Wait, we must.  

I mentioned up top that I liked the movie visually.  Yes, some damn impressive scenery in this one - Jakka was just cool.  The x-wing fighters zipping across the lake was just cool.  The tentacled monsters on Han's salvage ship awesome.   So, yes, some very good CGI effects.   And I have to admit, JJ Abrams knows when and how to end a movie.   I liked the ending a lot. 

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