The Force Awakens smashed box office records left and right. It’s a great film. Although, it certainly has its flaws that make it perfect for a review like this.
I picked up the recently released blu-ray copy, jotted down some notes & downed some drinks. This is what came of it. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the most dysfunctional family story in the universe. As usual, enjoy my limited grammar with this due to drunkenness. Obviously, this has tons of spoilers.
Ok, the opening crawl is promising. I don’t see anything about taxes or trade disputes. I’m sold. So the old guy from the movie Minority Report is handing over a futuristic flash drive to a resistance pilot (Poe Dameron) in a hut on the boring planet Jakku. It contains a map leading to Luke Skywalker. We will find out later he is just being a little bitch and chilling on an island with a kickass view as planets are being destroyed and main characters are dying, no hurry Luke. Take your time.
Anyway, cue bad guy Kylo Ren and The First Order stormtroopers who land on Jakku and slaughter the entire settlement looking for this flash drive. At least these storm troopers appear to be able to shoot things. One stormtrooper gains a conscience and doesn’t kill anyone. BOOOO!! So, Poe hands off the flash drive to his little BB8 droid. The cute little soccer ball / R2D2 mini headed droid rolls off. Ren (who sounds like he could be the child of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises) kills the old guy who won’t give him any information. Poe tries to get a blaster shot off at Kylo Ren but Ren decides to display how cool he is by not only stopping the blaster shot, but keeping it suspended in midair. Ok, you got me. It looked badass.
Ren orders that Poe be put on board and the rest of the villagers killed. Shit, that got dark. Kylo Ren doesn’t fuck around.
In another region of planet Jakku, we are introduced to Rey who is kinda cute. Not hot, but she has a cute thing going on. I don’t feel weird saying that because I checked online before typing that and she is 23 in real life. She seems to live day by day cashing in any scrapped parts she can find for food. Life is tuff on planet Tatooine. Sorry, I mean Jakku! It looks like she was marooned on this planet and is keeping track of days. On this particular day, she rescues BB8 from another scavenger who looks like he is riding a midget version of an AT-AT. She allows BB8 to spend the night with her & will bring it/ him into town in the morning to find its owner. She can also understand BB8’s beeps and whistles.
The stormtrooper (whose name is a bunch of numbers at this point but will eventually go by the name of Finn) who grew a conscience at the beginning of the movie, is ordered by a metallic female stormtrooper “Captain Phasma” (stupid name) to submit his blaster for inspection.
In Poe’s holding cell, Kylo Ren successfully uses his force powers on Poe to get information on the whereabouts of the map and learns that the information is still on planet Jakku and rolling around in the BB8 droid.
Instead of going to submit his blaster like a good little brain washed stormtrooper, Finn decides to go AWOL and gets Poe from his cell because he needs a pilot. The two hijack a TIE fighter together. After a brief complication, they fly out of the hanger. Eventually the fighter gets hit by a laser canon on the star destroyer and tumbles back down to planet Jakku.
Rey trades in more junk for little food. The dealer is willing to offer her a ton for the BB8 droid, but she refuses. It’s almost time for her to consider becoming a hooker at the local cantina.
After somehow surviving the crash, Finn wakes up in the Jakku desert surrounded by TIE fighter debris. Poe is nowhere to be found and presumed dead as the ship sinks. Finn grabs Poe’s coat. In the heat of the desert you might need that buddy. Actually, maybe at night. From a writing standpoint though, this is the only way BB8 will be able to point him out later. Ugh, do we really need more cliché movie moments where a character is in possession of an item that originally belonged to another character, then they reunite later in the film and the character in possession of that item says something along the lines of “this is yours” then the other character is so happy to see the other guy and responds with something like “No,keep it. It’s yours now.” Well, these writers apparently fucking thought so! Anyway, Finn grabs the coat. The fighter sinks into the sand and explodes.
Finn wanders the desert and arrives at the same settlement that Rey trades her junk in for food. What a coincidence! It’s a fucking planet. How the hell did Finn manage to crash land near the same settlement where Rey and this BB8 droid are located!? I mean, if its a planet it has to be several hundred miles of area right? You could land anywhere. While Finn is scrapping for water he witnesses two men trying to take the BB8 droid from Rey but she beats the hell out of them. BB8 spots Finn and basically tells Rey in beep language that Finn is wearing his masters (Poe) coat. Rey runs at Finn and knocks him down thinking he stole it. Finn explains that Poe helped him escape from the first order, but is now dead. Rey assumes Finn is a resistance fighter and looks at him like she wants to have his babies. Finn plays along with it because he has been a cooped up stormtrooper his entire life and is probably a horny virgin. Rey tells Finn that BB8 is on a secret mission. Wow, glad to see that Rey trusts practically anyone after not even five minutes of knowing them. Finn then explains that that BB8 is carrying a map to Luke. Seriously, the both of you just met. Shut the hell up!
Stormtroopers show up and start chasing Rey and Finn. TIE fighters start blowing shit up. Now it’s a party. Rey and Finn try to find a ship to escape. The Millennium Falcon just happens to be sitting around. Rey claims its a piece of junk that hasn’t flown in years, but they don’t have any other choice. Rey showcases her awesome flying skills and Finn shoots the remaining TIE fighters that pursued them during a very kickass scene. They fly into outer space.
On the First Order’s destroyer, Kylo Ren is notified by an officer that the droid got away in a stolen freighter. As the viewer, your anticipating him to do something to the poor messenger. Kylo Ren then throws the shit fit equivalent of a 10 year old who just had his favorite toy taken away. He goes light saber bonkers in the room and destroys the console in front of him. Ren then asks, “anything else?” I personally would have waited for him to cool down a bit before telling him the next part. Or better yet, leave and hope someone else gives him the news. The officer then mentions “the girl” (Rey) As expected Ren flips out again and uses his force levitation to bring the guy over to him and choke him as he asks “what girl?”
Back on the Falcon, it’s having issues and needs some quick fixing. While Ray is repairing the ship, she keeps asking Finn about the location on the secret rebel base. Finn obviously doesn’t know because if he did, he would surely blab about it. He confesses to BB8 that he isn’t part of the resistance. He then somehow convinces BB8 to give the secret location. Even the droids blab in this movie?! How can you convince a droid? They have reasoning skills now?
The Falcon gets caught in some form of tractor beam and pulled into a larger freighter. Finn & Rey hide in a secret compartment. It turns out to be Chewbacca and Han. Do Wookies get younger looking as they get older or has Chewie been getting groomed? He looks better than he ever did in the original trilogy. Harrison Ford looks how you would expect. Han and Chewie discover Rey & Finn in the floor compartment. Rey explains everything they just went through including where they got the Falcon. Han explains how it was stolen from him sometime ago.
Rey and Finn are told to hide. It turns out, Han has gone back to being a smuggler. I guess hooking up with a princess and leading a rebellion to help defeat an Empire didn’t take. You would think he would be doing something else now, but nope. So, Han is transporting some dangerous creatures called Rathtars. They look like something you would get if a squid, blob and the cartoon interpretation of the Tasmanian devil somehow mixed together. Han is approached by some asshole and his crew from one end of the hallway. Han apparently screwed them over. They are then joined by another party on the other side of the hallway who were also screwed over by Han. Just as it looks like these two gangs are about to “shoot first” and kill Han. One of the members notices the BB8 droid and mentions how the First Order has been looking for one. In an attempt to save Han and Chewie, Rey messes with some wires below deck in an attempt to close all the blast doors surrounding him. However, she screws up and accidently releases the Rathtars. Once released, the Rathtars pretty much rampage around the ship eating everyone. This gives Han, Chewie, Ren & Finn time to escape into the Falcon.
Kylo Ren is consulting his master “Supreme Leader Snoke” in some sort of dark cave like room. Snoke is sitting a throne on an elevated center of the room. Snoke looks like he belongs in a Lord Of The Rings film. Actually the actor portraying him technically was. Come to find out Snoke is a bit of a pussy and isn’t really in the room. Its just a hologram. Snoke grants the human General (General Hux) permission to fire the “Star Killer Base.” Snoke tells Ren that the droid is on the Falcon with his father. Ren confesses that he is feeling a pull to the light side. Blah blah blah
Rey helps fix the Falcon while Finn is trying to bandage up Chewie who was shot in the arm during the escape. Han wants to know why they are fugitives, so the two knuckle heads blab again. BB8 projects the map to Han, who explains that Luke disappeared after trying to rebuild the Jedi order but failed when his apprentice / nephew (Kylo Ren) turned to the dark side and killed everyone. Wow, Jedi academy’s are not a safe place! This is the second time young Jedi’s have almost all been wiped out by a single person. Get better security at your schools Jedi’s! So Luke felt guilty and went off crying and possibly searching for the first Jedi Temple.
Han, Chewie, Finn and Rey land on planet Takodana seeking help from an alien named ‘Maz’. Maz is thousand year old female alien who is or was a smuggler like Han. Since The First Order is now looking for the Falcon, Maz might be able to help get the BB8 droid on a clean ship back to the resistance. She runs a cantina that looks very much like the Cantina on Tatooine that we saw in A New Hope. It also looks like she has a lot of horded junk around. Finn isn’t interested in going to the resistance base and just wants to get as far away as possible. Good plan! Finn comes clean that he isn’t a resistance fighter and is in fact an stormtrooper gone AWOL who just wants get away. He finds a crew that is willing to trade sexual favors for transport to the outer rim. HAHA possibly some Rim for the outer Rim. 😉
Ren obsessively looks into his Uncle (Darth Vader’s) burnt out mask and skull seeking guidance.
If you think this skull is talking to you, then you need psychiatric help buddy. How did he came in contact with it anyway? Did Luke take it as a souvenir then Ren stole it from him?
Rey follows the sound of a crying girl to the cantina basement. She is drawn to a small wooden crate and decides to open it. She discovers the light saber that Luke lost when his hand was cut off at the end of The Empire Strikes Back Rey grabs it and suddenly has visions of Kylo Ren surrounded by bodies, her being left on Jakku and a bunch of other junk that will probably be important later, along with the voice of Obi-Wan. I later read Yoda could be heard also. However, I never heard Yoda. Rey’s vision ends. She freaks the hell out. Maz appears and doesn’t explain how she obtained the light saber. She only says “that’s a story for another time” Fuck that! Tell me now! She tells Rey that the light saber calls to her but Rey doesn’t want anything to do with it. She runs off into the woods.
Meanwhile on “Death Star 3”, sorry I mean “Star Killer Base.” This time the bad guys managed to convert an entire planet into a super weapon that can deplete and harness the energy of a nearby sun and fire it across the galaxy to wipe out planets. How this thing works is ridiculous & basically gives the middle finger to laws of both physics and gravity. Since this planet needs to get close enough to a star to drain it, that means its mobile. You can drive it! Imagine the kind of street credit you would get bragging about how you drive this thing. You could be sitting at a cantina and listening to someone brag about a new land speeder they bought, you turn and say…. “well I drive that thing!” then point at it in the sky. I can give a free pass to the ridiculousness of how the base operates because it’s damn cool. What annoys me, is the fact that this is a frigin ice planet! If you need to get close enough to a sun to drain it’s energy & then store that energy within the planet, I am willing to bet it would get a bit on the warmer side. Don’t you think? If they wanted such diverse climates in this film, they could have just made Jakku an ice planet and Star Killer Base a desert planet. Maybe the writers were starting to get lazy at this point and said “well we already have a desert planet. We can’t have two & I don’t feel like doing a rewrite about Jakku.” Then someone said “naaa, fuck it. We can come up with some sort of bullshit reason later why it has ice.” Anyway, on Star Killer Base, General Haux is giving a speech on wiping out the resistance to legions of stormtroopers in a very Hitler-ish Nazi Germany kind of way. The planet then fires a massive red beam of light from its equator into space and across the galaxy. The beam splits and wipes out several planets.
At this point, I realize the Resistance really fucked up! Let me get this straight, thirty years ago Darth Vader dies, The Emperor dies, the Empire is destroyed. They won! So, what the hell happened? How did these First Order assholes gain this kind of support and pull together the space cash they would need to build this thing without anyone noticing or stopping them? After the Resistance won at the end of “Return of the Jedi” did everyone just decide to take a long vacation!? Jesus Christ!
Back on planet Takodana, the destruction that “Star Killer Base” unleashed is visible from the planets surface. Finn changes his mind about leaving. Maz gives him the lightsaber for him to give Rey. Rey is skipping through the woods and BB8 magically catches up to her.
The First Order lands and starts blowing shit up. Finn fights with the light saber but he is no Jedi and gets his ass kicked by a storm trooper with some kind of oversized baton. Finn is helpless on the ground. It looks like he is about to get clubbed to death. Wow, a main character is on the ground helpless. I wonder if at the very last second he will be saved by some type of projectile that emerges from off-screen to kill his attacker? I am so sick of this cliché in movies! Stop doing this! So, Han and Chewbacca save Finn. They kill some stormtroopers, but get captured. Finally, the Resistance shows up in X-wings led by Poe (who we thought was dead earlier) & starts kicking ass. Much like the last 30 frigin years, where has the Resistance been for most of this damn movie?!
Rey encounters Kylo Ren in the woods and starts shooting at him but he easily deflects each shot. Ren then restrains her with the force and realizes she has seen the map and now no longer needs the droid since he is confident he can extract it from her mind. He orders the First Order to pull out and knocks Rey unconscious as he takes her prisoner and carries her to his ship.
Wow, all this cheering and happy faces all because the Resistance was able to get the First Order to retreat? Moments ago the First Order destroyed a couple planets full of people. This is not a victory! Plus, they captured Rey. Han, Chewbacca & Leia are reunited. Oh, and 3PO with his red arm. Han tells Leia that he saw their son. (Kylo Ren)
Han, Chewbacca and Finn are brought to the Resistance base on D’Qar. We see R2D2. However, he is useless at the moment. 3PO explains that R2 has basically been idle since Luke went missing. The First Order has discovered the location of the Resistance base and begins draining the sun so they can destroy the planet. However, Finn knows how the base works. Get ready for this plan. I guarantee this is nothing you have ever heard before. First, someone needs to disable the shields from within the base. This will make it possible for Resistance fighter pilots to blast the vulnerable spot on the base. Oh common!? WTF!!! Why is this happening again and why is this vulnerable spot so damn big and visible. That shit should be buried deep below the planet surface! Han, Chewbacca and Finn volunteer to disable the base’s defenses from the inside. Leia tells Han to bring their son home. HAHAHA Lets see how that goes!
On the Starkiller Base, Rey is interrogated by Kylo Ren who is trying to get the map from her head. After an intimate mental chess match, Rey is able to see inside Kylo Ren’s mind. Ren is shocked that Rey has discovered that he is a giant pussy who is afraid he will never be as strong as Darth Vader. Ren storms out of the room so he can go suck his thumb and cry to Snoke. In a humorous scene, Rey convinces the guard to release her.
Kylo Ren tells hologram Snoke that she is strong with the force. Snoke then tells Ren to bring her to him. Once Ren returns to her cell, she is gone. He then throws another hissy fit. Damn, that’s the second time in this movie that someone escaped a cell. The First Order should really have pairs of stormtroopers guarding cell doors! Ren becomes desperate to find her on the destroyer before her powers grow any stronger.
After a rough landing, Chewie, Han and Finn land on StarKiller base. Finn and his hormones are in full stride as he tells Han that his main objective is to rescue Rey. Han gives him a reality check that people are counting on them to get the shields down. Finn confesses that he is only a janitor and has no idea how to get the shield down, but they will figure it out. They capture Captain Phasma. How was this so easy? This wasn’t even a challenge and why is nobody else in this control room that controls the shields? This thing should be guarded as fuck! Phasma lowers the shields and is presumed to be thrown down a garbage chute. The resistance starts bombing the “sweet spot” on the base but it doesn’t do much. Han, Chewbacca and Finn find Rey. They then decide to plant thermal detonators in the base. Again, nobody is guarding anything!! How are they able to place detonators in these critical places & move so freely throughout the ship?!!
Han confronts his son (Kylo Ren) by calling him by his birth name “Ben.” Han tries to convince him to leave all this behind and come with him. You can tell Ren really is an emotional little tool bag. Just when it looks like he is about to give in to dear old dad, he puts his light saber through his chest. At first, I figured Han would somehow survive this, it’s Han frigin Solo, then he fell off the walk way and plummeted into a pit nothingness. They really didn’t want to leave anything for interpretation with that one. He is not coming back. Leia can sense that Han died. By the way, doesn’t Leia have the force too? I mean, maybe she decided to never pursue any training with it the way Luke did, but maybe at some point do you think she will use it in some minor capacity? Maybe she will use it to shut a door or pull up a chair?
Moving along, Rey, Finn and Chewbacca witness Han get killed and then open fire on the surrounding stormtroopers. Ren gets shot in the side by Chewbacca’s blaster shot.
We now have a chase through the woods. Ren knocks Rey out with a force push. I must say, I hate this whole Rey & Ren thing they have going on with the names. Finn shows up but is practically useless. He and Ren have a lightsaber duel. Ren wants the saber from Finn very badly. Ren is bleeding badly from his abdomen. Finn still can’t take him. Rey practically breaks Finn’s back. Just as Ren is about to use his telekinesis to grab the lightsaber that his grandfather built, Rey is able to snag it instead.
Chewie sets off the thermal detonators. Poe is then able to lead the x-wings down the trench so they can bomb the thermal oscillator.
In the woods, Rey is beating the shit out of Kylo Ren. Ren tries to tempt her by offering her training. I don’t think I would accept training from a person whose ass I’m kicking. Just a Rey is about to finish him off, the land splits them apart and causes a deep trench between them. The base/ planet is beginning to fall apart.
Rey runs over to Finn. Chewbacca just happened to be at the right place at the right time with the Falcon and picks them up. At some point in all this craziness, General Hux is told by Snoke to bring Ren to him so he can complete his training. The good guys escape and the base blows to shit.
The resistance flies back to base and celebrates. Han’s death is mourned. All the sudden, R2D2 picks the most convenient time to turn on. What the fuck R2! Together with BB8 they reveal the entire map of where Luke can be found. R2D2, Chewbacca & Rey fly off to the map location. The journey takes them to a water planet with lots of mini islands that we previously saw in Rey’s vision. She find Luke at the top of one of these islands and reaches out to hand him the light saber. – THE END-
Overall Score 8/ 10
+ Just an all out fun movie to watch
+ Great use of costumes and special effects
+ I liked BB8 more than I thought I would
– Not as much creativity with the story as I had hoped. Don’t piss on my shoes and tell me it’s raining! This is A New Hope rebooted and reimagined. Han is still a smuggler & Leia is still leading a resistance. We have another death star and a main character on a desert planet who hasn’t discovered their powers yet. Furthermore, we have a trench for the fighters to fly in and blast a weakness. I could go on and on.
– Lots of unanswered questions that I want to know the answer to now!