WARNING! SPOILERS WITHIN!
Two memories come to mind when the words Star and Wars are entered into my thinker. I don’t reminisce often about them since I’m not a die-hard Star Wars fan, but once in a blue moon they’ll pop up. Consider this review one of those blue moons.
The first memory is summer of 1977, when I was eight and my brother was six, and our mother’s boyfriend, Lee, took us to see the movie. I kind of remember already knowing something about it from the TV commercials. I remember Lee not even asking us if we wanted to see it, he just told us he was taking us to this movie. I also remember asking him if there were monsters in it during the car ride. I can’t remember what he told me. The cinema he took us to was one of those old fashion ones where you had to buy your ticket at the booth outside before going into the building. It was called the Mohawk Theater. I also saw Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) there too.
The next memory is a double-edged one, there’s some bad in it as well as good. I had a friend in grade school named, Mike. He was basically my best friend until we hit Junior High when he got all douchy on me, but this memory is way before then. I can’t give you an exact time frame either. You know how you have in your in-school friends and then your out-of-school friends? Friends you pal around with in school but not necessarily outside of school and those friends you normally hang out with outside of school? You can also apply that to work too. Well, sometimes you don’t know the difference until you spend some time outside of school/work with someone. Mike was an in-school friend, but I didn’t know it until me and my brother slept over his house one night. Mike and I had only spent two times hanging outside of school. The first time was him coming up my house and even that wasn’t quite a pleasant experience, but I still didn’t think he was an in-school friend. It was during that sleepover when I realized he was someone I would only pal around with in school. Thinking about it now this had to be the same year Star Wars came out, or the following year. Anyhow the sleepover went fairly well, until the next day when we were all gonna play guns. No, wait this had to be a following summer, because I had with me a toy of Han Solo’s blaster I got for Christmas. To give that extra oomph I also had a black cowboy holster, which it fit perfectly into. I brought that blaster and that holster with me for the sleepover because I knew we’d be playing guns the next day. When Mike got a look at that gun and that holster, holy shit, I planned on wearing it myself, but he took it and belted it around himself and took full control of the game. Yeah, he was that kind of kid. Play a game with him and he had to be in control of it somehow and any cool toys you might have with you at the time suddenly became his during the game.
This is where I learned he was one die-hard motherfucker of a Star Wars fan too. I was just cool playing guns, but he wanted to play Star Wars now and kept telling me the scene we were going to be duplicating and here’s the dialogue I needed to say because he knew the dialogue backwards and forwards. I even remember telling him, when I screwed up the line, that, yeah, I saw the movie and thought it was cool, but I couldn’t remember every goddamn piece of dialogue said in it, or words to that effect.
But that wasn’t the part that ruined the game and got us hating one another for a bit. It was when he wanted to take the game onto the tarp-covered boat his parents had in the driveway. His mother even told him, and us, not to play on the boat, but he started climbing onto it, and I didn’t want to because we were just told not to. I had yet to climb the ladder, he was already on it when his mother caught us and yelled at us. We got into an argument right then because I remember saying to his mother, “I told him not to go up there,” and I think he got pissed at me because his mother singled him out and read him the riot act. And she was pissed too.
For the rest of the day he hung out with my brother on the swings in the backyard while I hung out with his brother in the front yard. I think we made up before my mother came and got us, but after that I remember not liking him that much and I was certainly not ever going to hang out with him after school anymore. We were cool in school afterwards, but that’s as far as our friendship went.
Actually I used to be more of a Star Wars fan back in the 80s with the original trilogy. I’ve seen Lucas’ prequel and thought it wasn’t bad, but it doesn’t hold up to the later chapters he made at all. And now we have a sequel to Lucas’ science fantasy mythology and I have to say it’s a lot better than those first three chapters. But this is only the first movie of what I understand is going to be an ongoing franchise with no end. Well, until they stop making money and people get sick of Star Wars that is.
Initially when I heard they were planning on doing sequels I wasn’t interested in the least and that continued right up until they released the first teaser. I hadn’t followed any of the news during its production so I didn’t know they were bringing back the main characters from the original trilogy and was genuinely surprised to see Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca in that teaser.
And what’s become of the core group, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C3PO and R2-D2? Well, the two robots don’t have major roles, with R2 only in 2, maybe 3 scenes, if I can recall, but Skywalker has gone missing. Not unwillingly either. He purposely took himself out of the picture when a pupil he was training turned to the dark side. That pupil goes by the name of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and he’s Solo and Leia’s son. Skywalker had a kid too, she goes by the name of Rey (Daisy Ridley), and she’s our main character in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Han ended up losing the Millennium Falcon, but works making questionable deals with alien races, hauling “things” here and there for them, and getting nearly killed every time. Chewbacca is still his friend and right hand Wookie.
Not surprising that the now collapsed Empire has a new incarnation of their evil to spread throughout the galaxy. They call themselves the First Order, and the stormtroopers are still very much a part of them, but they have something worse than a Death Star at their beck and call. It’s like the Death Star but it’s the size of a planet and this new planet-vaporizer can destroy many planets during a single shot and gets its power from the local sun. Oh, right, and they’re still committed to destroying the New Republic and the Resistance. Kylo Ren is our new Darth Vade-esque villain, and Ren is so in love with the dark side he refers to Vader as his grandfather, keeping the destroyed relic of Vader’s mask and helmet in his room. Ren even cloaks himself in garb reminiscent of Vader and also wears an interesting looking helmet with an equally menacing voice box worked into it. But he does eventually take it off so we can see he’s just this kid who still needs to prove himself to his master, Supreme Leader Snoke (voiced by Andy Serkis). This will entail the killing of his father, which does indeed happen.
Who seduced Ren? Snoke did. As the movie goes on and we learn more about Solo and Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) relationship we get the feeling Han wasn’t around much for his kid, which might explain how Ren was so easily seduced.
As I mentioned the story focuses on Rey who lives on this desert planet called Jakku. She was taken away from Skywalker at an early age, but why we don’t know yet, probably won’t until the next movie. And she doesn’t know she has Jedi abilities until we get into the final act. Our other main character is a newbie stormtrooper who miraculously has a conscience. During his first mission where he was ordered to help execute a whole village, he refused to participate. During that mission a resistance fighter by the name of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) was captured. He helps Poe escape and their crash back on Jakku is when Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) meets up with Rey. There’s also a R2-like droid involved called, BB-8, that needs to be protected. Poe gave it a piece of this map to where Skywalker has exiled himself and you know how the Empire has always felt about Jedi’s who walk the path of good.
Mark Hamill makes a cameo at the very end when Rey finally finds him. That’s where the movie ends. Between then you get everything a good Star Wars film should have, characters you love, hate and feel indifferent towards, mindblowing battle sequences in space and righteous light saber battles, of which there are two. One with Ren and Fin and one with Ren and Rey. Is Ren killed at the end when this new Death Star goes boom? It sure looks like it, but we all know he probably isn’t.
Back on April 5th Walt Disney Studios released Star Wars: The Force Awakens in separate DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Copy Combo and DVD editions!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 2.40:1 high definition widescreen—7.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio, 5.1 French Dolby Digital, 5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital—English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras included . . .
- Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey (1:09:14)
- The Story Awakens: The Table Read (4:01)
- Crafting Creatures (9:34)
- Building BB-8 (6:03)
- Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight (7:02)
- ILM: The Visual Magic of the Force (7:55)
- John Williams: The Seventh Symphony (6:51)
- 7 Deleted Scenes
- Force for Change (3:22)
Buy The DVD And DVD/Blu-ray Combo Here At Amazon!