Monday, February 15, 2021 Star Wars: Episode VII

The sequels draw me in more than the prequels do. I haven't seen them as much which may be part of it, but its also because they feel more atmospherically connected to "my" Star Wars, I think.

The Force Awakens  starts out looking, sounding and feeling like a Star Wars film with an all new cast, and it probably should have stayed that way.  The Sequel Trilogy tries to be both a new direction, and a "where are they now" for the original characters. While that idea creates some of its greatest moments, it's also responsible for the uneven bits.

Starting from a Stormtrooper's perspective is a new and cool way to begin.  It also kind of ties it to the Clone Wars show.  Thinking about the whole series now, Finn's journey pretty much echoes the Dark Forces video games.  There's also a lot of nifty bait and switch about character archetypes for the heroes and villains at the start. 

I am interested to know how the other two movies would have gone if Poe died like he was supposed to. His character arc was key to much of what happened. I wonder what the original game plan was?

Want proof that Rey should be called a Skywalker?  She instantly treats a Droid she just met as a sentient individual and not property.  Poe and Finn demonstrate their hero like qualities by acting similarly, though Poe seems to treat BB8 more like a really smart pet.  Note that See-Threepio expects Han not to recognize him with a different colored arm. That's how low and interchangeable Droids view themselves.

I'm really starting to believe there was too much of the classic cast in these. It was great to see them, but the new folks work really well together.  Yes, Rey and Finn's story should be about friendship.  That's the core of the hero's journey like fantasy tale.  I maintain that Poe and Finn are adorable together  from moment one, however.

Back to my unpopular theory-  Making the original characters do so much heavy lifting of the plot seems more wish fulfillment for the movies we didn't get after Jedi.  They really should have focused on the new people. It would have given them more time to develop, and allowed the classic characters to be used for shorter, but still important moments, preventing invalidating their happy endings from the original trilogy,

Rey being taken by Kylo should be a prime focus event in the film, since her and Finn's friendship between two loners who've never had a friend before is a keystone of the story.  But Han and Leia's reunion, as wonderful as it is, steals the thunder from that.  Then our childhood heroes get used for exposition.  It may have been better with only brief contact with the classic characters, and hints at what we had missed.   More Maz Kanata would have been welcome- maybe having her do some rudimentary training of Rey, and decoupling Kylo from the family to explore a new kind of villain.  

Poe is clearly scripted to have the job of highlighting the goofiness and unbelievability of the scripts that Harrison Ford did naturally.  Having Han in the film as well makes Poe's moments seem that much more artificial.



This film was set up to clearly parallel the original Star Wars returning to themes, concepts, and lightsaber fighting style.  Yet the differences, due to many of those bait and switches, lead towards expanding in other ways from the previous films.  The fact that each sequel went in a different direction from the other was a whole different issue.

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