The Force Awakens – But I Still Have Questions

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD – TURN BACK NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED EPISODE VII YET!

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So, I took some mental notes while watching The Force Awakens that I wanted to share while it is still relevant.  AGAIN, do not read if you have not seen the movie yet!  It is spoiler rich!

 

  1. The music seems 90% recycled or refurbished to fit the new film.  We played a lot of Star Wars music in my middle school band, so, it’s ingrained in my brain to notice that.
  2. About a week ago I posted on the Is Luke Evil Now theory, where it was suspected that he was Kylo Ren.  The theory was very, very good and well argued, but, alas, it did not happen.   It seems like we fell for the trap that the director wanted us to fall for with his classic misdirection!
  3. I like that the film shook up some gender/diversity roles by having Fin (the black dude) and Rey (the young white woman in all the previews).
  4. Rey is clearly the person the Force Awakens in, so I expect her to be the daughter of someone important (since her family’s identity was never revealed).
  5. Rey was totally great, but Fin felt like he was borderline retarded and overly loyal for no logical reason.  Now, Fin was a Storm Trooper who just decided to bail on his job, so maybe he was just clinging to whoever said a kind word to him, but he seemed ready to jump into danger over people he had known for only a few hours (at best).  So perhaps that accounts for why he seemed kind of slow too, but I couldn’t help but repeatedly think to myself “is he this dumb because he’s a Trooper or because he’s black?  WHAT are they trying to say?!”
  6. Jakku is clearly a discount Tatooine so why bother to make a new planet that feels exactly the same instead of just setting the beginning on the familiar planet to begin with?
  7. Is Rey a slave that works for food, or did she work off her slave debt and now she works for food to survive?  I mean, if this was going to be a Watto situation, and we have no timeline for the lifespan of most aliens in Star Wars, then, again, why not just use Tatooine and Watto and let all the prequel haters groan a little?
  8. Why does Rey care about BB-8?  She immediately befriends the machine for no good reason.
  9. Fin gaining his own identity and rebelling against his Storm Trooper training made no sense.  If they are trained and conditioned, why did he appear to regain his personal ability to think for himself after seeing one fallen comrade?
  10. The New Order lost the one Storm Trooper in history who can actually hit his target.
  11. Why does Fin assume Poe died when no body was present?
  12. When Poe reappears, why do we hear Fin’s side of what happened at the crash, which we already saw, but we hear nothing about how Poe escaped or got back to the Alliance?
  13. When Fin ejects from the Tie Fighter he wakes up sweaty. You actually can’t sweat in a desert like that, the moisture is so low that the sun evaporates it before you ever had a clue you were sweating.  The Storm Trooper helmets, though, should have caused very sweaty heads. Ever have a Halloween costume with a plastic face mask on a string?  You were ready to throw it away half way through the night because you were so sweaty, now imagine your whole face stuck like that.
  14. How in the heck did Han Solo get his ship stolen from him, and he could track it so quickly after it was in space, yet he couldn’t find it for anywhere from 1-30 years while it was parked in a pretty desolate desert?  Didn’t they have to turn the thing on to get it to the junker’s place?
  15. How is the Falcon still running?  The thing looks half ripped apart and rusted when Rey takes it.
  16. Why does Rey keep calling Luke and Han myths?  The Empire collapsed 30 years ago, not 500 – how is this old enough to be mythology already?  Kids these days… *sigh*
  17. So, anyone can use lightsabers?  Not just Jedis?  A close range weapon seems like a really poor choice in an age where blasters can hit people from across the room.  So, since Fin can wield a lightsaber does that mean that we should stop assuming that anyone with a lightsaber is a Jedi?  I guess so…
  18. I’d love more information on how this new Storm Trooper recruitment policy.  The hinted at thing was that kids are abducted and raised to be soldiers, but, wouldn’t that have hugely negative side effects and cause people everywhere to revolt more and more against the First Order?  They don’t say they take orphans or accept recruits like an Army, but they are no longer clones and are “taken from families.”  It’s confusing as to why anyone thought this was a good plan when they purchased/custom made the last batch of Troopers.
  19. Our big baddy, Kylo Ren, is quickly revealed to be Ben Solo, Han and Leia’s son who went Jedi training and went to the Sith side.  But the kid looks nothing like either parent – more like Anakin cloned himself through his daughter somehow.
  20. Kylo Ren removes his helmet way too much – is the point not to help hide his identity (which I’m sure would be tarnished if his lineage were well known in the First Order)?  Ren doesn’t need the helmet to breath, and it seems very heavy (symbolic for carrying on Vader’s legacy), so if he doesn’t want to keep it on, why the heck does he even have it?
  21. For that matter, why does the First Order want a moody kid as their frontman again?  He seems to not be fully converted, and is repeatedly chastised by Snoke, yet, Ren is the face of this new Empire.
  22. Is there no couple’s counseling in space?  It seems like Han and Leia should have really been working their crap out instead of doing their default jobs from Episode IV.
  23. Is Leia not a Jedi too at this stage?  I get she may not have done the training, but if she is Luke’s twin, it stands to reason that she should also have at least minimal force powers without going into full Jedi training.
  24. When Rey touches Luke’s old lightsaber, she gets a vision of his robot hand transmitting information to R2-D2, yet she doesn’t get the actual information, nor does she see where Luke went (that would be too useful, I guess?).
  25. Right before that scene – how does BB-8 get down those stairs?  I was ready to see him do some awesome twirl/climb with his wire-thingys, but alas, he goes from top-of-stairs to bottom-of-stairs with zero gratification…
  26. All of these planets get blown up, quickly, and yet the audience is left with no emotional feeling towards it.  That action doesn’t even really push the plot forward, it’s just a nice visual effect to show the Empire’s power levels needlessly.  We don’t even know what planets just exploded – anything we happen to be familiar with?  Fans would like to know!
  27. Rey has an obscene amount of Jedi powers that she learns to work very quickly and without training.  Luke couldn’t do anything until Obi Wan told him that he could, but Rey seems to break all the rules and master everything on her own – which means she’s either got all the midichlorians (sp?) left in the universe coursing through her veins, or every other Jedi who went through training courses completely wasted their time.
  28. Harrison Ford either agreed to return for only “one more Star Wars movie,” or else Han Solo is not dead.  I did not get enough visual or emotional closure to feel anything when that scene happened, so I am skeptical that it’s all that meets the eye.
  29. Was Kylo Ren really conflicted, or was that just a ruse to get Han Solo close?  If Ren is wavering, again, seems like a weird person to have in such a powerful position.
  30. Did Rey chop off Kylo Ren’s hand?  It wasn’t highlighted enough to tell for certain. I thought I saw his head come off too, but I was mistaken.
  31. Why are the baddies still using Tie Fighters and the goodies still flying X-Wings?  These are iconic vehicles, and I assume the marketing people thought that the kids don’t care what toys they buy, but adults will be very likely to purchase nostalgia – so, profits are my only reasonable assumption for why 30+ year old vehicle designs haven’t become improved or replaced for the new movie.
  32. Since Luke is not Kylo Ren or part of the Dark Side, why in the heck is he on this hidden journey?  They say it’s to find a Jedi temple over his guilt of Ben Solo turning evil, but that seems like a very poor judgement call to just vanish with such a convoluted way of finding him.  I have to assume that Luke was afraid of being converted to the Dark Side (which he heavily favors by the end of Return of the Jedi).
  33. The film mentions that Luke was training the next generation of Jedi’s, so where are they?  If Ben was his only student, that is more of a dying hope than a training camp.  If he had others he was working with, what, did he just up and abandon them too because one student turned Dark?
  34. Does Luke not realize that people need him?  Obi Wan talks about feeling Alderaan get blow up, but here we see multiple planets get decimated, his close friend gets murdered, and Luke just stays where he’s at?
  35. If Leia became a General specifically to find Luke again, why does Rey go to fetch him without Leia?
  36. I would also like to know the circumstances by which Leia remained a Princess after Alderaan was destroyed, but she no longer has a royal title now.
  37. What has Luke been doing all this time?  Just standing on this tiny island’s mountaintop?  There’s no sign of food, shelter, or a Jedi temple anywhere in sight.
  38. Clearly, Luke is being shown/referenced as the new Obi Wan Kenobi as they look as identical as two non-related people can.
  39. Now, if Jedi are basically monks who cannot marry/love/reproduce, where do baby Jedi’s come from?  This film has again confirmed that the Force is essentially in your DNA and is passed down from parent to child, so if Jedi’s aren’t supposed to have mates – where do Padawans come from?  I guess Force-using parents aren’t a prerequisite for being a Jedi/Sith, but with this film’s muddy clarification on what “the next generation of Jedi” means, number wise, it stands to reason that the best way to promote the Jedi order would be for said living Jedi to have children.
  40. There is no hint or reference to Jar Jar Binks as an evil Sith Lord, which, after seeing that fan theory, I am very disappointed over…
  41. There is no end-of-credits scene.  In this day and age, everyone expects that from a live-action Disney-associated movie.

Character Meetings – Star Wars Weekends

So, I had the privilege of getting to attend three different Star Wars weekends (weekends 2, 4, and 5).  Overall, the event seemed very well put together, with each weekend having different guests, but meeting characters was often tricky.

We did the Star Wars Sci-Fi Dine In breakfast, which had Stormtroopers, Jawas, and Greedo walking around inside (the only place to meet Greedo, I do believe).  Darth Vader and Boba Fett stayed exclusively at the entrance for Photo Pass pictures.  I’ll review that experience more in depth in another post, but the breakfast was a way to scratch some characters off of our to-do list.

Aside from the breakfast, I do want to warn everyone about meeting the Star Wars characters, because it can be a huge confusion if you aren’t paying close attention.  Some characters will leave and come right back – Chewbaca, for example, leaves every so often, then Chewbaca comes right back.  Same with the Chip & Dale Ewoks and several other Star Wars themed characters.

Other character stations, however, will have Character A standing there, then Character B will walk up, and Character A goes away.  They cycle out.  For instance, we got in line for Mace Windu, and a few minutes later, without warning, there was a different character standing there, and Mace was gone.  We experienced the same thing with Princess Leia walking over, then Luke Skywalker leaving, and again with Darth Vader Goofy and Storm Trooper Donald switching out for Luke Mickey and Minnie Leia.

Now, at least with the Star Wars MOVIE characters, I noticed a trend.  When the new character arrived, the leaving character would stick around for 2-4 photo sessions before taking off.  That means, if you time it just perfectly, you can get multiple characters at one time.

We had this happen twice due to our luck of the draw.  The first time was while waiting for Anakin Skywalker from Clone Wars.  The second time, I saw the second character walk up, and I actually almost got into a fight with a woman who cut the line, then proceeded to take her sweet time letting her toddler interact with Princess Leia (who was leaving for the day and the only character my daughter wanted to see, and had been in line for 45 minutes waiting to see).  I think Leia saw that the other family cut the line, or that my daughter was going to cry, because she showed us mercy and hung around a little bit longer than she was scheduled to.

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If you would like a multiple character meet to happen for your party, and you want to be more diligent about making SURE it happens, I did notice several people get to the front of the line, then let one party at a time go ahead of them until multiple characters were on the set.  If that sounds unclear, you wait in line, when it’s your turn, you just keep telling the group behind you that they can go ahead, you’re waiting for _____ character to return.  Then, once that character arrives, and is there with the other characters, you’re at the front of the line.  If you have a large group, the handler may push for you to get through the line, but I did witness a number of parties who had 4 or less people with them successfully get group character photos that way.

 

And, just a long-winded public service announcement for everyone out there – people come from all over the country and even the world to get photos with the Star Wars characters, you can’t FastPass+ them, many of them they don’t all stay out very late, they can be switched out with no notice, and Florida is known for sudden flash storms that close character meet and greet stations down for hours/days at a time, PLEASE be respectful of others when you get your turn with the characters.  Enjoy yourself and get some good photos and hugs in, but don’t hold the characters hostage.
What I mean is, if you are meeting a Star Wars character who is able to speak, please don’t start quizzing them about every detail of every film to see if you can trip them up.  That takes up so much time and is very rude and self-centered.  Likewise, if you have a group going up, don’t act like each child is an individual party and tell them to go up one at a time take 10+ minutes each with the characters.  Kids can all go up together and get autographs and photos done, and if there’s one kid who loves the characters more than the other children, let them get a solo picture, sure, but I have a huge pet peeve about people who want a group photo, then a kids only photo, then an adults only photo, now just the girls, now just the boys, then everyone individually, then another group with “serious face,” then another group with “silly face,” now everyone stand on one leg for no reason, then do it all over again with dad’s camera, then one more time with mom’s iPhone.  Seriously, if you’re doing that at a rotating character station, you’re a huge jerk!  Get your photo plans organized in your head before you get to the front, keep it simple, and make it as smooth and considerate of others as possible.  The actions you take on your vacation may ruin a vacation for someone else (what if it’s about to storm for the entire weekend, Luke’s about to leave, and the people two parties behind you came from Mongolia just to get a photo with that character?),  so a little bit of thought outside of yourself goes a long way.  Thank you.