‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ has secured it’s place in the history books as one of the most successful films of all-time. Over the past month, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” quickly became the all-time domestic champ with $1.7 billion raked in at the box office and reinvigorated the love of the franchise for the ever-growing fan base. Icon Vs. Icon’s Dolores and Hank Price made their way to the theater this weekend to take in the larger than life flick. After sucking down a few road sodas, tossing back some popcorn and soaking in the magic of JJ Abrams amazing new chapter in the ongoing saga, the couple were cool enough to offer up their takes on the runaway hit. The results will both shock and amaze you!
I am a Star Wars fanboy. I’m 37 and I’ve been a fan of the franchise since I was 5. I tried to pretend the prequels weren’t crap because I love the original trilogy so much. I remember where I was when I read George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney and we would get a new trilogy plus additional media, including TV shows and videogames. When I saw the teaser for Episode VII in November 2014, I was all in. It looked like the Star Wars movie fans waited more than 30 years to see.
Going into the new trilogy, I had many questions. When would it take place? Where would the main characters be? Would characters believed to be dead come back? After all, when we last left off, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker were still with us … kind of. The Empire was destroyed, Emperor Palpatine was dead, Luke Skywalker became a (the last?) Jedi, and Han Solo and Leia finally declared their love. It could have ended there. Where would the story go? Thanks to the abundance of fan fiction and Expanded Universe media, the story could go in any direction.
When I was given a chance to see “Episode VII/The Force Awakens” on opening night, I couldn’t pass it up. I did my best to stay away from spoilers, and the Internet community was amazing in its refusal to spoil anything but the most minute details. That being said, SPOILER ALERT – if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read any further. I had a lot of theories in my head.
I figured Han and Leia would have at least one kid together, Luke would attempt to recruit and train new Jedi, and the Empire and Dark Side would still lurk somewhere. Turns out, I was pretty close. I knew right away, with the opening text crawl, J.J. Abrams knocked it out of the park. Those first three paragraphs tell you all you need to know about where our heroes have been the last 30 years. Luke’s missing, the First Order has taken the place of the Empire, and Leia is leading the Resistance and trying to find her brother to restore peace and justice to the galaxy.
It’s hard to sum up Episode VII in a paragraph or two. Basically, we meet new characters, Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron. We catch up with old characters, Han Solo, Leia, Chewie, C-3PO, and R2-D2. The old characters primarily serve as a bridge to connect the new characters to the original trilogy. Kylo Ren is really Ben Solo, Han and Leia’s son, who has been corrupted by the First Order’s leader, Supreme Leader Snoke. The true identity of Snoke is a mystery, but I have a hunch he’s connected to Palpatine or the Skywalkers in some way Rey is clearly connected to a character we have seen before, but it is left as a mystery. Finn may or may not be connected to a character we have seen before. The casting is perfect, and the new characters are layered and interesting. It is no small feat making a movie fans waited a lifetime to see, and “The Force Awakens” succeeds and leaves them with the ultimate cliffhanger.
I loved “The Force Awakens.” I accept the plot follows a little too closely to “A New Hope” and there are some conveniences, but it’s great to have Star Wars again. I expect Episode VIII will be different, but this is only the beginning for the new trilogy. It was important to anchor it to the original trilogy, and I think it will go in new directions, bringing a satisfying conclusion and perhaps opening the door for another trilogy in the mid-2020s. I give it an A- only because I wish it would have played things a little less safe.
Hank Price’s Five Burning Questions:
1. Who is Supreme Leader Snoke? (Dolores Price – what’s his deal being so big and weird with his weird face?)
2. Can Kylo Ren be redeemed? (Dolores Price – he killed Harrison Ford so … screw him. I love Harrison Ford.)
3. What is Rey’s lineage? (Dolores Price – how does she keep her nails, skin and teeth looking so fabulous? You go girl.)
4. What role will Luke Skywalker play going forward? (Dolores Price – I hope he gets a new cloak because that thing looked worn. Maybe a hot bath.)
5. Where my Force ghosts at, yo? (Dolores Price – Maybe Snoke is like the hologram of Tupac … think about that for a while).
People are excited about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The force was asleep and now it’s awakening and by the end of the movie it’s awake and looking for strong coffee, a cigarette and a nice BM.
There are nods to the previous series – a beloved franchise. There are new and improved storm troopers and a Death Star, old favorites like Han Solo (Harrison Ford … duh) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo), and new favorites with Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega). I get it. I just don’t care.
I liked the movie. It was fine, a little long but fine. I can see why people were getting nerd boners for it across the world. It just isn’t my bag, man.
The Galactic Empire is now First Order, which makes me think of New Order and “Bizarre Love Triangle” and now I’m off topic. So, Finn is a storm trooper and I liked the blood smeared across his helmet in the beginning of the film. Storm troopers are like the Predator, if it bleeds we can kill it. Nice. He’s not feeling the dark side and escapes with the dude from “Ex Machina” playing Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac with hair and a strong ‘70s vibe). Crashes happen, blah blah and Rey is introduced into the storyline. She’s an orphan looking for her family like Anakin Skywalker (yes I know the gist of “Star Wars”). She’s on some planet where they trade machine parts for Soylent Green-like food. She’s somewhat of a slave but has super nice teeth, dewy skin and a manicure – so that’s weird. Honestly, I don’t remember what happens next until Han Solo and Chewy show up and I smiled. Only the soulless wouldn’t feel warm inside when those two scoundrels make the scene.
Yadda yadda where’s Luke Skywalker? Yadda yadda Kylo Ren (Adam Driver – the dude from “Girls” even though I don’t watch “Girls” but know he’s from “Girls” because that show is shoved down America’s throat along with what’s her name) … anyway Kylo Ren has daddy issues (doesn’t everyone in “Star Wars” have soap opera style family crap going on? Definitely a space opera!). Some humor is thrown in and BB-8 is cute but it feels like you’re cheating on R2-D2. Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is a general now and Han Solo’s baby mama. She looks like she should look but with a chain-smoker voice – honestly, what’s the big deal? What did everyone expect? Christie Brinkley (who my husband describes as being “crazier than a chocolate covered turd”)? You wish you’ll look that good when you’re old, running a military operation and trying not to stress eat Bantha fodder.
No spoilers as my geeked out husband included enough in his review. I dozed off towards the end and then started checking my watch while mentally planning the rest of my day and contemplating life, the universe and everything. I came back to and the film’s finale was jam-packed with more spank-bank material for the Star Wars faithful.
It wouldn’t be fair if I rated this film as it wasn’t made for me. It was made for the millions of Star Wars fans yearning for the saga’s continuation. Will I see the next one? Probably not (probably will since my husband will watch it at least five times) but more power to the people whose panties are in a bunch over the year-and-a-half wait.
Following the movie (my husband’s second viewing), we get in the car and I guess he didn’t believe my apathy towards the movie. He asks, “So who do you think Rey’s parents are?” I respond, “I don’t care. Where’s the wine store?” The force awakens, it’s awoken, light sabers, melted helmets, dead dads and grandads, I don’t care.