The Force Awakens to Put Me to Sleep

In all of the ongoing discussions as to whether or not Rey from the Force Awakens was a Mary Sue, I seem to have missed anyone warning me just how boring Episode 7 was.*

Keep in mind, I’m someone who loved Rogue One and has gone to bat for it a few times – it restored in me a love of Star Wars I haven’t really felt since playing TIE Fighter. That said, if I HAD seen The Force Awakens, I probably would’ve skipped out on Rogue One.

Absolutely nothing in The Force Awakens seemed to have any real weight, and everyone was just sleepwalking through their roles. Han and Chewie looked as if they couldn’t wait for it to be over and done with. With Carrie Fisher’s passing, seeing Leia show up as tired and old and barely relevant to the story is even more of a gut punch and should’ve undercut anyone’s excitement that ‘hurr hurr, she’s a general now, because women are important in sci-fi for a change!’

Despite how much he’d been hyped everywhere I’d seen in fandom, Poe felt about as relevant as Biggs did before all of his scenes were cut.

Finn’s affections for Rey can only be excused as thirst, cuz she treats him like crap through the whole movie. He’d’ve been much better as an “I seen some shit” vet who’d finally had enough. He needed a better “God is not here today, Priest” moment.

Rey was more annoying than I’d expected because I’d never heard Daisy Ridley speak before. Her character comes off as a whiny scold. I disliked her from the moment she bullied that random desert nomad guy into giving her BB-8 for no reason. We’re told over and over that she’s special, but we’re never told why. We’re told Chewie likes her, and since Chewie is Han’s morality pet and supposedly a good judge of character, we ought to like her, too.

Starkiller was just there to have another Death Star in the background. It barely felt relevant. I don’t even remember if the not-Rebels were concerned about figuring out how to destroy it; it kinda felt like “it’s all good, we’ve got this, done this twice already”, so there was no tension.

No, the big secret everyone was after was Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts, because the Star Wars universe is obviously just as full as people obsessing over the canon as real life.

And what’s up with Snoke? Emperor just happened to have an ugly darkside giant tucked away somewhere to pick up the reins? No! I’d’ve much rather seen a Hellenistic Empire split between ex-governors and former moffs playing and being played by the Rebel Alliance against one another. Yet Hux and Kylo Ren are the best the Imperial remnants have to offer.

I’ve seen complaints that the characters in Rogue One were flat because they didn’t get much onscreen development. I think it worked there, though, because Rogue One relied on Tropes – you knew enough about the characters because you understood their functioning role in the story: Pilot, Heavy Weaponry Guy, Kung-Fu Dude, so on and so forth. It’s black and white cowboy hats and Henry Fonda’s blue eyes. The Force Awakens had nothing. It had neither character exposition/development nor fictional tropes to rely upon in the absence of development. As terrible as they were, the prequels were a hundred times better at character development and storytelling than The Force Awakens, and that’s saying something!

On a final note, Captain Phasma was a hell of a wasted character. How great would it be to see a Star Wars movie where the dashing rebel pilot ends up stuck with ice queen stormtrooper captain lady?

“Take the helmet off.”
“I said take it off!”
::pretty dame under the stormtrooper helmet::
“I can see why the Empire would want to hide a pretty face like that.”
“Sh-shut up!”::angry blushes:: “I’ll have you executed when we get back to the Star Destroyer!”
“IF we get back to the Star Destroyer…”
::giant space monsters show up that they have to fight together before they fall in love::


@corduroyalist summed it up quite well: I found force awakens a disjointed pointless movie with the trauma of watching Han Solo be a loser & then die.


18 responses to “The Force Awakens to Put Me to Sleep

  1. Great write-up, Alex. I agree on pretty much every point (except the Rogue One stuff, since I haven’t seen it yet). Another soldier in the war against HP’s irrational like of TFA!

    But seriously, felt like a lot of missed opportunities. Hadn’t occurred to me, but I dig the “Phasma could have been a hot love interest” thing, sorta a ‘la Willow.

    • It can’t be that hard to get permission to be an EU (or whatever they’re calling it) writer. If you wrote my proposed Enemy Mine meets The Princess Bride but Star Wars story, you’d be filling a niche that desperately needs to be filled.

  2. Have not seen Rouge One yet (yes, I know), but agree with your description of TFA.
    What a waste all around.

    Now will someone please get started on that dashing pilot/evil space warrior story?

  3. The Death Star Deluxe was my biggest complaint, it just felt lazy. It wasn’t even well defended, just take out a building on the surface and boom.

  4. I was never a huge fan of Star Wars. I grew up with Arnold movies as my childhood loves, and preferred Star Trek. I haven’t’ seen TFA or the new one. I just don’t care. I knew it was going to be a turd mainly on the fact that J. J. Abrams was behind it.
    The guy is a hack whose work is just soulless imitation of much better directors.

    TFA would have been interesting if Leia was the bad guy. If post episode 6 she ran the galaxy and slowly succumbed to the dark side.

    • I have been a Star Wars fan since 1977, and I agree with you about JJ Abrams. He has ruined everything he ever touched. TFA was done before, and better–it was called Star Wars. TFA made me swear off something I once loved.

  5. I would agree forthr most part.

    Spoilers ahead…

    I was actually hopeful in the beginning because I felt that Finn and Poe had a lot of chemistry and that the movie might actually be good and different for Star Wars: A Buddy Movie featuring a Hot Shot pilot and a reformed Storm Trooper. This idea has tremendous potential. Almost as much as the Enemy Mine/Princess Bride idea…

    I was hopeful. And then Rey, Darth Mary-Sue, Go-Grrrrl!, She-Who-Must-Put-A-Sock-In-It arrives on the scene. If there is a better example of Hollywood shamelessly propagandizing the Diversity/Women can do anything men can do better theme, I don’t think I can find it. Her arrival means there is no longer the possibility that the movie will be fresh in any way whatsoever: it’s not only 3rd Wave Feminist Agitprop, it’s a stale retread of Star Wars (I hate using the term Episode IV):

    -Child of Destiny on a Desert World. CHECK.

    -Deathstar Vista (this is going to be way better that Deathstar ME, hur hur hur…) CHECK

    -Trench Run on Deathstar Vista. CHECK.

    -Death of a Mentor Character to further Darth Mary-Sue’s character arc. CHECK.

    -Knights of the Round Table in Space/Military Strategy session outlining ludicrously stupid Weak Spot on Deathstar Vista.

    I’m sure I could think of more. But, after all of that, the final, worst f@&$ing insult of the movie:

    When the victorious New-Rebels return to the Neo-Rebel base, and after the death of one of one of Star Wars most beloved characters who does General-Princess Leia console? F@&$ing Rey?! REY!?!?! She knew Han Solo for all of an hour or so.

    What about poor Chewbacca, J.J.? What about Chewie, Mister Abrams? Do you know anything about the Star Wars Universe? Anything at all?

    That right there gives the lie that he is a fan, or was ever, truly a fan at all.

    I loathe that man.

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