The Force Awakens

  • My star rating: 5 of 5
  • Kids? Yes, but it contains violence (not much worse than the earlier films)
  • Do I recommend it? Yes!

Part I: A story

This was me this year.

counting-down-to-star-wars

I was SO excited for this movie.  Star Wars pretty much runs in my family.  My uncle is one of those (awesome) nerds who owns a “Revenge of the Jedi” poster.  My dad tells me how he and his brother waited in a line around the building to watch Empire Strikes Back with surround sound (a cool, new thing back then).  My mom saw The Phantom Menace while pregnant with me.

Who am I kidding?  I am still so excited for this movie!  I’m the second-generation Star Wars fanatic.

So we find out that our long-awaited-for Disney cruise vacation (more articles on this to come) falls on the premiere night for The Force Awakens.  We read that typically Disney cruises showed movies that were in theaters and/or to be released on DVD/Blu-Ray.  We (my mom and I) did all sorts of internet searching to find out if The Force Awakens would be shown on the ship.  If it wouldn’t be showing, I needed to buy tickets!  My mom called Disney, but received an automated message.  Finally, about two weeks before we embarked, we read on a DISboard (a Disney forum website) that someone as obsessed as us had emailed Disney and had received a yes: The Force Awakens would indeed premiere on the ship!

Once on the cruise, we learned that they were prepared.  There were lots of Disney Cruise line/Star Wars souvenirs.  All of the crew/cast members were getting ready (As the animation class instructor put it, “We’re having ten hours of meetings for a two hour movie!”).  There would be five showings: two in 3D, three in 2D, including one at 5:15AM!

Voyage Through the Galaxy

We had the early dinner seating, which was moved to 5:15pm (rather than the normal 5:45).  We skipped dessert, and headed up two decks to join the growing line of excited Star Wars fans.  We opted to watch it in 2D because we suspected more people would go for the 3D and because Mom and some of the girls were apprehensive about the motion of the 3D while on the ship.

At about 6:40 the doors of the Buena Vista Theater opened, and at 7:15 exactly, the LucasFilm logo appeared on the screen.  The theater went crazy when STAR WARS started sliding backwards.

Before Disney bought LucasFilm, I’d sometimes ask my parents, “What was it like to see ‘STAR WARS’ appear on the big screen for the first time?”  Now I know.

I had to pee for an hour and a half during the movie.  I was not going to miss a single second of the greatest movie of the decade, maybe of the century.  As soon as the director’s credit appeared, I shot out directly toward our stateroom.  Let us hope that they stuck to tradition rather than the Marvel trend of after-credit scenes.

After the movie (and using the restroom), I felt like I could do anything.  On the drive home the next day, despite the break we took in South Carolina for Papi to fix the van, I was in a fantastic mood.  “How are you doing?” people would ask me to be polite. “Awesome! I just saw Star Wars!”

Star Wars VII - The Force Awakens review and Disney Cruise story

Part II: A short spoiler-free review

Like I said, I’m a second-generation Star Wars fan, so I was raised on the prequels as equally as the originals.  The Force Awakens doesn’t leave story of the prequels, but it’s definitely more reminiscent of the originals.  Some say it was too reminiscent, but I liked it.

The acting was great.  The new guys (Finn, Poe, and Rey) are going to do well holding up the franchise in their own, new, ways.

If you can afford it, see it now!  The theater offered some cool force sound effects that I don’t think will deliver the same effect my home TV does.  Also, how long are you going to be able to avoid spoilers?

Speaking of which…

Part III: STOP SCROLLING AND GO PLAY MINECRAFT.  DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT YET.  Spoilers ahead!

Y’all.

All da feels.

I’m a super nostalgic chick, and this movie fed me perfectly.  The new extra-giant-built-straight-into-a-planet Death Star was a bit much, but that’s okay.

Death Star and Starkiller Base Superweapon

The opening crawl was great.  It was traditional, but also simple and straight to the point: Luke Skywalker has vanished.

The new Grand Moff Tarkin, General Hux, is so good!  I mean, he’s so evil, which makes him… I can’t describe it correctly!  He creeps the heeberjeebers out of me and I love it!

Grand Moff Tarkin and General Hux comparison

During the scene Kylo Ren was trying to extract information from Rey’s mind, I was mentally coaching Rey with the thought-guarding techniques I learned with in the Inheritance cycle series.  Ren’s and Rey’s faces alone told the story of that scene, which shows amazing talent from the both of them.

When I saw the showdown approaching…
Two dudes with a special connection yet rivals…
A long, narrow bridge without railings…
The younger one had a lightsaber.
Yup, I just knew that Han wasn’t going to make it.

I’m not the sort of chick to cry during a movie, but when Han shouted, “BEN!”, my eyes began producing tears.  Oh, the passion and tension in his voice, and how Leia and Han named their son after Ben Kenobi!  TOO MANY FEELS!

Han kept stepping closer.  I was thinking, “No!  Not an arm’s length away!  Not that close!”  In retrospect, I realize that it doesn’t matter how many meters away you are from a force user, but I wasn’t thinking through it at the time.  But then, the conflict of Kylo Ren’s face had me unpredicting the predictable.  I was mentally congratulating Abrams for saving Ben.  So when that shaky red laser ignited, I was as shocked and heart-broken as the rest of the theater.

Leia wasn’t near sad enough to have lost her husband.  In my opinion, she should have sobbed.  The sad nod to Rey wasn’t enough.  Perhaps Fisher doesn’t have enough talent to act grief?

After Han’s death, the film was handled very well.  Hope was restored to us with the classic X-wings hitting the Death Star, R2-D2 awakening, and the map to Luke being completed!

The film answered a lot of questions, but left a lot of answers up to the sequels.  Who is Rey?  Who left her alone on Jakku?  Is Finn force-sensitive enough to become a Jedi?  Why did Luke leave a map if he didn’t want to be found?

I’m so glad we got to see Luke’s face at the end!  The way that ended there on the mountain: Rey (who I personally suspect is related) holding out Luke’s lightsaber to him.  Will he take it?  We don’t know!  Oh, but it’s epic.

Photo cred:
Poster: starwars.com
Comic: http://chelettesdecorandmore.com/
Voyage Through the Galaxy: http://www.pintradingdb.com/pin/10316
Grand Moff Tarkin: http://www.starwars.com/databank/tarkin
General Hux: http://www.starwars.com/databank/general-hux
Death Star: http://www.starwars.com/databank/death-star
Starkiller Base Superweapon: http://www.nuskool.com/learn/lesson/star-wars-science-of-star-killing/

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