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Review – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens


FILM REVIEW – STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS
. With Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Jon Boyega, Oscar Issac. Written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt. Directed by J.J. Abrams. Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence. 135 minutes.

“This will begin to make things right,” are the first words you hear in this seventh episode of the “Star Wars” saga. For all intents and purposes that’s a promise made not just by co-writer and director J.J. Abrams, but also by the folks at The Disney Corporation who recently spent billions of dollars to purchase this galaxy far, far away. No more will we have to hear about trade routes, taxation disputes, nor any of those tedious Jedi council meetings. The mortification of George Lucas’s widely-despised prequels will soon be lost to the sands of time alongside his Crystal Skulls, Jar-Jar Binks, and Hayden Christensen.

STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS is the “Star Wars” movie you think you’ve been waiting for. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted from one of these pictures, and also a heck of a lot less. A lean, mean nostalgia-dispensing machine, the movie is designed to ring bells and elbow you in the ribs with familiar sights and faces constantly as it hurtles from scene to scene at a breakneck pace. It’s sleekly engineered to be the kind of film you point at and nod in appreciation–because you remember “Star Wars,” and those memories are quite fond. Abrams gets the tricky tone and jokey exhilaration down pat, the feeling of (re)visiting a rusted-out, slightly sarcastic fairy tale. Still, a few hours after the credits rolled it’s all evaporating and I’m struggling to recall a remotely original or inventive moment in the entire goddamn thing.

After the departure of “Toy Story 3” scribe Michael Arndt, Abrams enlisted Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the best (“The Empire Strikes Back”) and the worst (“Return of the Jedi”) films in the original trilogy for this mix-tape mashup of the series’ Greatest Hits: A pure-of-heart, resourceful young nobody from a barren desert planet just so happens upon an adorable droid containing information that’s vital to the rebel army currently battling a fascist intergalactic empire. The Force is strong with this kid, leading to misadventures across the stars with a chaste love interest, a cocky space jockey, and a kindly old mentor who knows more than he’s letting on, all aboard a ramshackle smuggling ship with a fuzzy co-pilot. There’s a tall, scary dude in a mask with a long black cloak toting a red lightsaber taking orders from an even creepier grotesque on a throne. Eventually we’re surprised to find out that somebody unexpected is somebody else’s father, and the villains have once again constructed a gigantic battle station capable of destroying entire planets that can still somehow be blown up by X-Wing Fighters flying wicked fast through narrow steel canyons.

So no need to fret about spoilers, because this is déjà vu all over again.

But there are people to enjoy on this over-familiar trip. I most liked Daisy Ridley’s take-no-guff heroine, Rey, flummoxed by the men who keep attempting to rescue her while she can handle herself just fine, thank you very much. (“Why do you keep grabbing my hand when we run?” becomes an early recurring gag.) I was also fond of John Boyega’s Finn, a reluctant Stormtrooper who abandons his post and joins the Resistance, kicking up a few questions of morality the rest of this film would rather not address during the routine mass slaughters. Oscar Isaac pops in for a scant handful of scenes to be ridiculously dashing and movie star-ish, hopefully securing a larger role in the next six-hundred sequels.

And then there’s that old rapscallion space-smuggler Han Solo, earning every bit of the thunderous ovation with which the audience inevitably greets his return. Harrison Ford hasn’t been this delightful in decades, clumsily wise-cracking once again with his shaggy grey hair, deferring to his seven-foot sidekick, Chewie. (Comparing Ford’s eye-rolling non-performance in “Return of the Jedi” to his work here is like night and day. Maybe it was the dump-truck full of Disney money but I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen him so invested in a role.) We even get a couple of too-short scenes in which Han bickers once again with Carrie Fisher’s General Leia. Forget whatever’s awakening, I’d pay twice as much to watch a movie about their divorce.

That’s another big problem with “The Force Awakens.” It’s in an awful hurry to get nowhere new. Abrams apes Lucas’ old-timey screen-wipes from side to side, often knocking us unto the next scene during a line of dialogue, without even a moment to breathe. Pretty much every character interaction ends with a big blaster shoot-out and a pointless chase sequence that almost never has any bearing on the plot. (I liked these characters so much I’d rather have spent more time with them when they weren’t running.) The breathlessness of the pacing turns a monumental death into a throwaway that everyone seems to be miraculously over a whopping two minutes later.

It is interesting, I think, to compare the two blockbuster 1970s franchises recently surrendered by their auteurs and taken over by new directors for their seventh installments during this particular holiday season. Ryan Coogler’s “Creed” reconfigures the “Rocky” formula as a question of legacy, embracing old tropes and melodrama while staying very much rooted in questions of race and class in the here and now. The movie is vital, about something in the year 2015, occasionally winking at the past, but also always looking forward.

“The Force Awakens” exists in a rearview mirror. It’s a product-launch slash refresher-course designed to remind us all how much we love “Star Wars,” introducing enough new and exciting talent to at least leave us hoping–once again–that maybe the next film will finally be the one that lives up to the promise of those first two.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 2.5 out of 5.Sean Burns’ reviews, interviews and essays have appeared in Philadelphia Weekly, The Improper Bostonian, Metro, The Boston Herald, Philadelphia City Paper and RogerEbert.com. He stashes them all at Spliced Personality.

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About Sean Burns

Sean Burns is a Staff Writer at WBUR's The ARTery. His reviews, interviews and essays have also appeared in Philadelphia Weekly, The Improper Bostonian, Metro, The Boston Herald, Nashville Scene, Time Out New York, Philadelphia City Paper and RogerEbert.com. He stashes them all at www.splicedpersonality.com

178 responses »

  1. Nice review! Captured my sentiments almost exactly!

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    • I’ve just got out from seeing this. Couldn’t wait to get out – was so bored. No emotional involvement, and the woman who played the lead can’t act for toffees.

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  2. Agreed, it seems like we’re in the minority here. Somehow I think the response to this film will be much more critical in a couple of months, after the hype and nostalgia wear off (remember “The Phantom Menace” was also well-received at first). The script is the weakest point here and the story isn’t one that stays with you as with the originals. The characters and their actors have potential, but they were kind of wasted on a $200,000,000 fan film.

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    • The phantom menace was not well received at first. It received a 55% on the Tomato Meters and most of those reviews were from the original release reviews.

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      • I don’t think that’s the case, though you’re right about the Rotten Tomatoes site. I remember going to Rotten Tomatoes a few years ago, and Phantom Menace had high positive numbers. I wonder if they somehow revised their reviews?

      • That’s not correct…when this movie hit the theatres, people were “phantom menacing”, meaning they were convincing themselves that the few good things in the movie were enough to make up for the bad things. It was only after a while when people calmed down that they started to admit how bad the movie truly is. I do think, though, that the number of level-headed critics was a little bit higher because, well, a lot of those fell into the generation gap, meaning they were young enough to not experience the first Star Wars run, but old enough that they were indoctrinated by their parents either (since they were too old to be interested in it). The current batch of critics is falling exactly in the age group of the second generation of fans. Plus, the new movie is not THAT bad…if you have never seen IV and V.

    • George was out of practice, he made up for it with Revenge of the Sith, the prequels had excellent casting, Hayden Christensen was perfect as Anakin Skywalker, his look made up for the acting.

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      • I agree with you. the revenge of the sith was a great film and attack of the clones was’t that bad either. I think George lucas is getting a bad rap for the prequels because the phantom menace was so bad.

      • I feel the exact opposite. I think Revenge of the Sith has too many of its sins excused just because it doesn’t try to force Jar Jar Binks down our throats. People ignore how bad Episode III is just because it’s not as start-to-finish garbage as the other two. But just to refresh your memory, Anakin falls to the dark side because he had a bad dream where his girlfriend died, and then later, his girlfriend dies of “sadness”. That’s the medical explanation given by the doctor droid.

        This is what we needed three movies to accomplish. This was the story the prequel trilogy was tasked with telling. Why did Darth Vader become Darth Vader? Because he had a bad dream. Me, I get myself a glass of water and maybe watch a little TV when that happens. But grabbing a lightsaber and murdering a bunch of little kids is an option too, I guess.

      • Sorry, you lost me at hayden Christianson was perfect for Annakin.

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  4. Why did you have to use the word “apes” in this review? That sounds like a racist aside directed at Boyega’s character. Please reconsider the words you use. They carry meaning.

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    • Dude, I hope you warmed up before writing that comment, because it was a big stretch.

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      • Could not agree more. This film righted many of the (perceived) wrongs of the (mostly) male-centered, Caucasian universe visited before. I thought it was awesome in that regard. And ONLY in that regard. Joseph Bentjen, you need to watch YOUR words. They have meaning too, and tossing racist accusations where none simply exist reflects poorly on you.

    • Absolutely no one else would make that assumption. You are an idiot of the highest order

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    • Microagressions are everywhere…

      If you look hard enough…

      P.S. Good review.

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    • Full Definition of ape
      aped or ap·ing
      transitive verb
      : to copy closely but often clumsily and ineptly

      Think before you speak.

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    • Wow. Seriously? Looking for race triggers everywhere in your life must be daunting. I feel sorry for you.

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    • “apes” is a VERB – to imitate, copy. PLEASE.

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    • Jesus — you have got to be kidding me. GROW UP! Enough sensitivity mining.

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    • @Joseph Bentjen
      YOU are being waaaay too PC and shockingly intrusive here. I showed your comment to several of my friends from varied ethnic backgrounds & we all find that you have carried your own pre-occupations into your reading of the review. In fact, the real “racism” here is in thinking that Apes “ape” …they do not. They are thoughtful, watchful primates and are quite cunning. Our use of the word derives from 19C and 20C stereotypes of the monkey in a cage on display. If you’ve ever had one of these animals wandering around in your yard or your home, you’d see they don’t “ape”.
      Meanwhile… just about e v e r y b o d y read this review in peace without racially driven baggage. We knew he meant unthinking unreflective imitation of the original film.

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    • I’m not in total agreement with you on the ‘apes’ jargon, but I do believe that Boyega’s character is the same old Hollywood stunt we’ve seen for years – trying to include a black character just to appease African American movie goer’s.. He was type-cast as a stupid, always on the run, Eddie Murphy joke tellin’, Resistance jacket stealing, sanitation Stormtrooper worker (for the First Order). Abram’s only used his character to give the story balance. I’m actually surprised that he wasn’t killed off screen early. I seriously doubt he will have a major role in the future episodes. The movie itself lacked character building.

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    • He used the verb form of the word “apes”, which means “to mimic or copy closely”. While I recognize the problematic history of racial depictions/verbiage/comparisons between people of color & “monkeys”, in this context, that is not what’s going on here. He doesn’t even use it in reference to John Boyega or his character at all.

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    • “Ape” means to mimic or copy. Nothing racist about it.

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  5. Closed-circuit to Hollywood: stop messing with my childhood.

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  6. The line, “It’s in an awful hurry to get nowhere new,” perfectly described the movie. Like, popcorn, it was enjoyable but only for as long as you’re consuming it. Nobody will be quoting this movie in a year let alone 20 years from now.

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  7. Your Review is SPOT on. Thank you. I left the theater disheveled and disheartened.

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  8. I had a dream last night that my wife and I returned from the movie, I was silently raging over the dissapointment and suddenly lashed out at her, saying I wanted a divorce. I then found myself wandering the streets, broke and alone, missing her and her family. The police picked me up and accused me of arson, to bottom things out.

    Such is the mental anguish this dreadful film is putting me through. Years of hype and high expectations (I was 14 when A New Hope was released) of something new, creative and breathtaking. Instead, I got to ride on a remodeled amusement park ride, the same one I rode as a kid, but more brightly painted.

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  9. Man. If I could, I’d hug you, fist bump you or whatever you’re into to let you know how much I appreciate your courage to write the truth. I saw it last night with my 10 year old. We waited in the rain for 4 hours. I was pumped. I WANTED to love it. I teared up when William’s score boomed through the speakers and then… it happened. I had the realization that you so eloquently summarized that JJ Abrams has done it yet again. Applied his craft of SFX and graphed it onto a story that was already over the hoop for him to dunk. it was LITERALLY a mash up of episodes 4-6 but without any of the actual connection or backstory. In episode 4 when we found out Luke might have powers, you could see them slowly developing along the way and you FELT it. Here, it just feels like a forced A, B. C. Jedi! progression. But even there, the arc was the EXACT same thing as the originals. Oh. But every once in a while he’ll flip it. See? It was KIRK this time who died? (Wink wink) See? This time it’s a GIRL on Tatooine…er…. a desert planet… It was all there, just like you said. Big round ball that destroys planets (wait. This is new. MULTIPLE planets!). X wings inside superstructures (wait, this is new! They are black!). Fights on gantries with shocking conclusions… I came home so disappointed I searched for reviews that mirrored my feelings and all I found were people talking about how it might be Oscar worthy. What?! Thanks for speaking the truth in an age of ‘go with the flow’ reviewing. Hopefully someone listens to you.

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    • I want to hug YOU! Might have to copy and paste this a few times, my friend.

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    • You are not alone in being disappointed. I’m a fan of a British tv show called Red Dwarf, and this movie felt like the Star Wars equivalent of Red Dwarf: Back To Earth.
      It’s set in the same universe, with the characters I love, but no matter how had I try to like it, it just isn’t great.

      Phasma does nothing. What is the point of practical sets if the movie is killed by poorly thought out CGI characters? I am DONE with this franchise.
      The fan service was insulting. Show something from the original trilogy and then turn it into a joke. C3P0 was in it for 2 minutes. R2D2 did nothing, but “Awaken” when the Luke teleported “on to the rock”.

      “They cycle is complete (shite)” and Luke is now a master (without his green lightsaber).

      Why, oh why, was the beginning set at night? It’s a lighting nightmare.

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    • You are exactly right. The classic Star Wars films were organic storytelling: subtext, backstory, subplot. Abrams is SETPIECE 1, SETPIECE 2, SETPIECE 3. It’s like going to a theme park and sitting there watching a series of attractions based on the franchise. The scary thing is the public finds this formula not only successful but wonderful, a tour de force. It generates blockbusters over and over. Of course, the ersatz cinematic magic does fade after a few months. The Abrams Trek movies now have the status of test patterns for home theater setups.

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      • As are you. I couldn’t discern a plot – just set pieces. And the illogic – finding Rey on the death star or whatever it was? On a whole planet? What drivel. What a disappointment.

    • I agree
      I was very disappointed with this film and the only thing that gave me relief from this tragedy was finding that I was not alone.

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      • I had a NEW HOPE …I kept saying Prometheus (Alien franchise) was an aberration. Star Wars will get it right. I felt there was enough sensible mythology in the SW Cannon (that the Emperor does, for example, own cloning technology and can come back in a younger body) JJA couldn’t ignore what’s grown up over the years.
        BUT stupid little things kept bothering me….like: could we expect Vietnam era jets to be fighting in the Gulf war of the 90s? If not, then how come the aged X-Wings are still around supposedly years later….what is going on?
        And when I walked out I felt so alone…. unable to speak my utter disappointment.

    • I concur. I’m 43, saw EpIV when it came out in 77 when I was 5. Had many Christmas/Bdays themed with these toys. My childhood (lifelong scifi) hero gets lightsabered by his son before my eyes. I can’t take my 5 1/2 yr old to see that. Action was fun, fun to see the old characters and the new faces, just not what I hoped. Nobody has criticized for killing off Solo – I said it! John Wayne, Roy Rogers, all the heroes live on forever – they don’t get killed by their son.

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      • Even in this JJ has failed miserably. Doing what he does best: plaguerize from those that came before. “You know what was shocking as hell recently?” Asks JJ. “The unexpected killing of major characters when you least expect it in Game of Thrones! I’ll throw some of that in! ” I never voiced it but I agree w you, our children need to have heros that are bigger than life, who can do the impossibe and do not give them (our children) a reason to say, “ah, what’s the point? No matter how hard I try to change the world darkness wins.”

  10. I thought it was great. Yes the end goal was the same as ANH and ROTJ (destroy superweapon), but all the stuff in between was fresh. Ya they had a cantina, so what. The planets they go to after Jakku are unique (Star Killer planet is nothing like Hoth. Hoth is like Antarctica, while Star Killer is like Colorado in the winter).

    It was the best Star Wars as a stand alone movie. It depends on how 8 and 9 turn out to see if it is the best Star Wars (meaning the OT movies enhanced each other, one by themselves is much weaker).

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    • The best standalone Star Wars was Star Wars. It was a complete story that was also open ended just in case it was well received so the story could continue.

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      • And yet the Original Star wars has holes in it as well just as much as Empire which is better than the 1977 film. Hell the 1977 Star Wars was built by Lucas through the inspiration of the story of the 1958 film “The Hidden Fortess” . A soft reboot bringing in new characters 32 years after the last decent Star Wars film was the safe and correct way considering the failures of 1999-2005. There was more commaraderie and feeling between Po and Finn in 5 minutes then anything in 6 hours of the prequels

  11. I have not yet seen the movie, but I don’t quite understand the basis for most of the comments here (or the review). Much of what is being complained about in the new film seems equally apt to the original movies, which were silly, munch-your-popcorn space-operas with endearing characters and the feeling of a rich and varied galaxy existing independently of the protagonists. There wasn’t much in the way of deeper meaning in the originals, so why should there be any in the new movies?

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    • How do people who haven’t seen a movie yet then comment on those of us discussing the movie??! It’s like saying, “I have never had chocolate. But I hear people like chocolate. I think that’s wrong.” Makes no sense.

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      • I have patience with the second set of 3. I know I’m in a minority here but Clone Wars wasn’t dumb. And the The Phantom Menace is easy to pan. However, in the context of when it was written and directed it IS as close as a block buster has EVER come to making socio-political commentary on the flaws in our s y s t e m of government. Not some loopy left-wing crap but legitimate observations about the weaknesses that can be exploited by crafty persons playing the long game. Top shelf script it is not, but still…

      • great reply
        praises be to the chocolate

    • It’s because some people forgot the lesson they were supposed to learn 16 years ago when the prequels began: the original three weren’t just great movies, they were cultural events that basically mythologized 70s-80s childhoods. Fans want this one to continue the magic. Nothing can compare — neither Lucas’ stinkers nor Abrams’ good-enough try now.

      I went in expecting a decent movie, nothing more, and was satisfied.

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  12. Did Burns get all of his friends to agree. BTW, Phantom Menace did not receive good feedback. How can you all feel this way? Yes, it’s your opinion, but they are not good ones. Glad you are in the minority. Haters will hate though, and you got me to hit your review. So there is that.

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    • Agreed, I don’t get it. I thought it was a solid film, and liked the hook; “A stormtrooper with a conscience took down the greatest power in the galaxy”. THAT was new. I don’t know what some people were expecting, but it wasn’t Star Wars.

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  13. I assume you realize you are the ONLY critic who wrote a bad review?. . .oh, wait, that’s the point isn’t it? And here I am contributing.

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    • *winks* No, he’s one of 4 people who were brave enough to stand against the evil galactic WDC empire and tell the truth.

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    • have you seen the movie?
      star wars into darkness. no one expects anything good or new anymore.
      making something now is just commenting on someone’s comment.
      no one has anything to “say” about “anything”.

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  14. I’m frankly surprised at the amount of praise being heaped on this film, and share the opinion of others that there will be reassessment of some of the adoration expressed early on by nostalgic Gen X reviewers.

    I guess my biggest complaint is that this film could have been so much more than a rollicking ride to nostalgia-ville. This was the first Star Wars film ever that wasn’t bound up in the story of Darth Vader. They could have gone in just about any direction with this movie, and they chose to…

    Remake A New Hope with female Luke, black Han, and emo Vader.

    Pity.

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    • Know what movie had a unique plot that DIDN’T give the audience a “rollricking ride to nostalgia-ville?” The Phantom Menace and the 2 that followed it…and we all know how that trilogy went.

      After the disaster of episodes 1-3, I think they are playing it safe and giving viewers a familiar launchpad for the new movies. And yes, that means making us drown in nostalgia with similar story and minimal CGI. Try to remember just how badly episodes 1-3 damaged the series and they are trying to repair that damage and create a new foundation for future movies. They made the force awakens into something they knew most people would like and feel good about. Lets hope they get a little more adventurous with the next 2, but I think they wanted to start the revival off right by making it nostalgic and similar to the originals in terms of its recipe. Just my opinion…I think there’s a chance they knew they were doing exactly what Burns is criticizing…it was simply a very safe choice to make and they want to make sure they don’t mess up the series after just buying it. Just a theory, of course, but if its the case i can respect that decision for now.

      I think (and hope) they fully intend to take it in a completely new direction as you mentioned…. eventually. But i am 100% ok with this being a “remake” as their first movie. I needed to see the nostalgic parts again, at least in this first movie =)

      I’m not disagreeing with the review entirely, just saying I don’t thinks it’s really a bad thing at this time.)

      TLDR: The masses perhaps needed this dose of nostalgia for this revival of the Star Wars universe. I think it was therapeutic to be reminded of what we loved about the originals as much as possible after the unbelievable screw-up of episodes 1-3.

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      • All I know is in AOTC I never heard a theater roar more with Yoda busted out his light saber for Count Dooku. Last night, you couldn’t pay the crowd I was in to react that way to any scene in (W)TFA..

      • I agree with you 100%

      • JarJarDisneylover

        Yes, and the Prequels are also the problem why so many people can’t enjoy this new one too. Because they are so unsecure if they should like it or not, that they begin their nitpicking at small things, which are ridiculous, because this is the first of tree movies, so chill out. Star Wars had 3 Movies to make it as great as it WAS. After the prequels just outight destroyed the mythology. I needed this one to remind me of how great Star Wars still can be in the present! Because we are not in the 70s now, where everything was more or less neverseen before.

        To capture this tone/feel of them was just spectacular, not like the rainbowcoloured turd what is referred to as the prequels. After which I needed a warm embrace of the magical Star Wars feeling before going down a completely new road.

        And be reminded that everyone watches movie differently, it is completely normal to dislike a movie the general public (be it audiences or critics) thinks as good. But it’s selfcentered to think that everyone else is lying, stupid or in the wrong to like it. It’s as it’s other people liked it more. There is no conspiracy and you are not the selected few to be in the “right” while everyone else is out of their minds. It doesn’t make you a “truer” Star Wars fan than the others. If you don’t like it, just don’t watch it anymore. Like I do with some blockbusters, which are still making new installments and a crap ton of money.

        Also the comparisons with Phantom is just wrong. It was never critically appraised for one. And foremost the flaws with Phantom was fundamental, while with TFA they are only some (if any, since they have 2 more movies to “correct” them/or could be intended for tension building) isolated ones over some facts/events.

    • So all in all the people that were disappointed essentially didn’t want the movie to set anything up or do any kind of re-explaining for a huge portion of the viewers who did not see the first films 30 years ago…
      I think it’s a staple that the setup and nostalgia was there. Nostalgia is anecdotal only if you saw the original films. Was it a fanboy film, no, but was it vital to start fanboying in 8 and 9, yes.

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      • When you are 7 movies into a film franchise, it should be safe to assume that your audience is established and up to date on the saga. Nostalgia is why the original trilogy cast was brought back. If you don’t know who Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, etc are, then this film didn’t really do much to explain the situation anyway.

      • Sherm, couldn’t agree with you more.
        The prequels sucked, not because they were more original in exploring how Vader became Vader, but because the writing and the acting was horrendous. The Force Awakens had better acting, but the writing wasn’t that great. And yeah you don’t need nostalgia when you’re this far in.
        This should have been a more original movie and not a rehash of A New Hope.
        I mean, why bother going to see this when if you’ve watched A New Hope? You’ve pretty much seen it.
        Yeah, Finn leaving the First Order to join the resistance was a bit different, but he made his decision to leave in what? 1 minute of the film? So what about the other 2 hours and 12 minutes then?
        I really hope they do something different with 8 and 9, but after seeing this one, I’m not getting my hopes up seems how so many people are praising this one, which has made it a ridiculous amount of money so far, and money always supersedes creativity.

  15. Thank you for this review!

    I’m not the word-smith I wish to be, so trying to explain to the raving group of friends why I was happy & entertained, but over-all I was unimpressed w/ the film was an ostracizing & overwhelming experience. This review is exactly everything I was trying to explain. I’ll save this review to share, because it captures the largest elephants in the Star Wars room that I suspect we’ll all be admitting to in a month or so.

    Thanks, again!

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  16. I agree with the review. It felt more like a ride at a Disney “Star Wars” theme park than a movie with heart, though there are certainly some plot elements which could’ve provided ample opportunity to emotionally engage the audience. That said, though, it is a wonderful blaster shot to the aberration that was the prequel trilogy.

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    • I agree. I liked the idea of a storm trooper growing a conscience and escaping the Nazi Death Star, but they didn’t do much with it. Once the other characters found out who he was, none of them seemed terribly interested (which is ridiculous), except at the end, to the extent that he might be useful in figuring out how to combat the Death Star.

      I wish Kylo Ro had never taken his helmet off, because that dude turned out to be pretty lame (whereas he started off cool with the helmet on, before we knew who he was), and the scene with he and Han Solo is criminally anti-climactic. Did he really need to be Solo’s son? That was just pointlessly contrived imo.

      That said, I still enjoyed it more than the any of the prequels. Rey was probably the best part of the whole movie, and although the movie was in a rush to get nowhere, as the review says, the quick pace made it more enjoyable than the prequels. They should move on with the new characters and explore some of the new plot elements.

      Leia should die next. She was useless in this movie, and Carrie Fisher no longer even looks like she did back then. Then C3PO, who was always annoying. Han Solo was really the only character worth keeping around.

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  17. “Pretty much every character interaction ends with a big blaster shoot-out and a pointless chase sequence that almost never has any bearing on the plot.”

    Nailed it.

    TFA sacrificed too much of the story for action scenes and fan service callbacks. In trying to do too much, they lost focus on the plot. In the end, it was a fun movie but a poorly told story.

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  18. LOL at all the devastated Marvel Slurpers in here bashing Episode 7! LOL

    And to the guy above, NO Phantom Menace was first not well received so stop lying! I remember that world premiere very well back in 99, and how so many critics said it was the most disappointing premiere in cinema history after they had watched it!

    Also after 3 days its Rotten Tomatoes score was 65% proving nearly half who watched the film hated it!
    How IRONIC that Episode 7 is now at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes from 250 critic reviews with just 13 negative… mainly from Hunger games lover critics like this one! LOL

    And to the people who are complaining in here, it’s your own fault that you went in to this movie expecting the same brilliance as New Hope or Empire… truly bizzare expectations!

    The Force Awakens was NEVER meant to be on par with the first 2 Star Wars movies, it was released to be much better than the pathetic 3 prequels which it easily was and to start off this new trilogy the right way, instead of getting it so wrong like the Episode 1 did talking about trade federations and medichlorians! Like seriously what an embarrassment that was! LOL

    Episode 7 ended the right way, which now paves the way for Episode 8 which will all be about Luke which what so many original fans want.

    Reply
    • Agreed…it was never meant to be as brilliant as the originals. They are trying to repair the damage of episodes 1-3 and giving us a safe and familiar launchpad for the future of the franchise. After the phantom menace fiasco and the 2 after, I NEEDED to be drowned in nostalgia and familiar story structure. At least for this first movie, to see that Disney knows what we actually care about a little. Good reply.

      Reply
    • Just an FYI: Yes, when The Phantom Menace was originally released its Rotten Tomatoes score was in the mid to high 60s. However, that’s actually a FRESH rating according to their methodology. Also, that score does not mean that “nearly half who watched the film hated it.” That’s not how their scoring system works. And unfortunately, RT doesn’t do very well with “mixed” reviews. Everything’s scored either “good” or “bad” in their eyes–creating what’s called a false binary–and, therefore, it leads to very inaccurate perceptions about how a film is received by critics.

      Reply
    • “The Force Awakens was NEVER meant to be on par with the first 2 Star Wars movies”

      What kind of an absurd statement is that? Please show us where Abrams told us “hey, don’t exist much, I’m not shooting for ‘great’, I’m more looking for ‘good enough’.”

      Reply
    • Good point. This one righted a major wrong. And it did it well using what drew everyone to it in the first place. The next one is where it really kicks off. Good point. I feel better. Thanks! Lol….

      Reply
    • I enjoyed the film overall, but it wasn’t as good as the prequels and was nowhere near as good as the OT.

      Reply
  19. This will be one of those reviews people pull up in 20 years and laugh at the reviewer, like those that panned the original Star Wars: A New Hope.

    I commend the reviewer for sticking to his guns, even if he’s flatly on the wrong side of movie history.

    I’d still suggest a new career, though.

    Reply
    • Exactly!The 13 negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes including this one bash Episode 7 because its not as good as the first 2 films?Like seriously?
      NO ONE ever said Episode 7 was going to be as good as the first 2, I went in hoping it would be better than the first 3 embarrassing prequels and it easily was.
      Kinda obvious that the people who went in with unrealistic expectations would be let down.
      Yes Disney played it safe with the first film out of the trilogy, but I would rather they played it safe then getting it so wrong like Lucas did with the Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones, that were 90 percent over the top CGI and some of the worst dialogue in movie history!
      Jar Jar Binks was supposed to be funny and he was the exact opposite.
      BB8 is supposed to be funny and he is.

      Reply
      • What are you talking about? He never said that “it’s not as good as the first two”. He mentions them as the best. He’s saying this movie INSTEAD of trying to be original was SHOT FOR SHOT a remake of the first movie, withOUT the heart.

      • Jesus, someone feels insulted that a critic disagreed with his overhyped opinion?

    • We’ll see about that, though I severely doubt it. Name ONE thing about this movie you think will stand the test of time, let alone be considered an amazing or inspiring revelation of the Star Wars canon. I don’t believe you can just say the reviewer is wrong without providing a counter argument. Just sayin’, not looking for a troll battle.

      Reply
    • Could you just clarify one thing for me: how did the girl become a Jedi master in a few days with no training? I thought using a lightsabre was meant to take some serious training and skill? This character journey alone totally free from any exposition basically made the film redundant.

      Reply
      • Luke used the lightsaber in the Milenium Falcon pretty much straight off the bat so no, the lightsaber is just a tool, and Rey was shown to be more than capable of winning a fight.

      • Exactly!

        While 4 showed that Luke was force-sensitive, comparing Luke going against a training remote vs Rey going against one who is supposedly the toughest dark Jedi around, a son of Han and Leia, and one who was trained by Luke, is just making a mockery of what it is to become a Jedi.

      • Not only the girl, but the Finn character also manages to pick up an archaic hand weapon and stay alive in front of a skilled opponent without so much as reading the label on the side. In the original, there is at least a hint of training with Luke and ObiWan on the Falcon.

      • Yes, this is where the film completely loses it’s credibility. No 1 rule of film making: no matter how ludicrous or fantastic the plot, it’s got to be still plausible. Rey and Finn picking up and using the light sabre against a skilled force opponent is unforgivable.

  20. I’m picturing this being written with a vape pen on one side and a cup from a hipster coffee house that is “way better than Starbucks” on the other. Either the author is much more sophisticated than the rest of us or just a cynical contrarian hipster being a cynical contrarian hipster.

    Reply
    • Spot on.

      Haters gonna hate …. especially those hipster haters who are just so much cooler than the rest of us.

      Reply
      • I agree with the author and I do believe he is cooler than me.

      • I’m 45. So you guys can take your “only hipsters would hate this film” and shove it. I have a mind. A deep love of this movie and an OPINION. Which we’re all entitled to. I didn’t see anyone in this name calling fest offering clever proofs or observations on why they thought it was ground breaking. Just snipes from the side lines of non-committalville. THAT is very hipster.

  21. This is exactly how I felt, in the car ride home I compared it to Creed, in that Creed did a much better job of updating the franchise while still playing into the nostalgia. I can’t write so but I appreciate good writing. This was not good/original writing.

    Reply
    • The Creed comparison was right on. I will say my only criticism with Creed was its sense of scale, like 2 people in Philly recognized who Adonis was. You know in real life he would have been hounded by media and people who wanted to be around him while he trained he probably wouldn’t have been able to stay in Philly. Not to mention how much social media would react to Adonis. But they acted like social media didn’t exist in Creed.

      Creed did an amazing job of bringing up new characters and while it sort of felt like the original it wasn’t. And you can definitely remember a few quotes in Creed unlike (W)TFA.

      Reply
  22. You must be the life of the party wherever you go…

    Reply
  23. It is what it was always going to be; the fourth best Star Wars film. I just hope that by the time the next two have been released, it will be the sixth best. I expected more from J.J. Abrams after the job he did rebooting Star Trek.

    Great review.

    Reply
  24. Good movie , not as bad as the prequels . Good chemistry between finn/rey , bb8 are the best part of the movie . Han/leia story arc made no sense , plus no luke – big let down , he is the main character , kept waiting for him to show up in a dramatic fashion and then the movie just ended , agree with this review – it was basically episode 4 – redone with another stupid death star like climax ( how stupid is the empire ) . The new villains are lame – Kylo ren looks whiny and the main villain is a knock off Voldermort , other bodies are just channeling nazis , and wasn’t the empire destroyed – why is still the military big dog and rebels still running around still scared , made no sense , overall could have been great , but just settles for meh .

    Reply
    • True if Kylo ren’s parents were Han Solo and leila’s son then chewbacca is
      my father. He looked weird and out of place. And when a complete novice in the force as rey is bears Kyle ren whose mastery of the force allows him to suspend a laser blast in mud air, then it’s really over for the entire of the film for me. Perhaps The Force Awakens should have been called The Forced Sequel or The Farce Awakens. Long live George Lucas’ true vision not this mash up.

      Reply
  25. your just a dick.

    Reply
  26. You are idiot Sean Burns.

    Reply
  27. I definitely understand and can objectively see the criticism that this is primarily a rehash/ remix, but by the end of the film we are presented with a delightful inversion that I did not expect, a baton passing in the opposite direction. In fact, the very end shot is my favorite ending to a Star Wars film after Empire Strikes. There is not an obligatory interspecies celebration, a shotgun wedding, or a Frankenstein monster awakening. It seems like we are going to have a deeper dive into a corner of the lore that hasn’t been explored before.

    Replaying the “Best of” moments of the original trilogy could absolutely be read as lazy and yes, this is absolutely a fanboy film. Still, at the same time it seems to be the best way to evoke the emotions that have not truly been felt in a theater setting by those who were not present for the release of the original trilogy or the dreadful special edition screenings.

    If anyone is responsible for the degradation of this franchise into a series of superfluous cgi, belabored action sequences, 2 dimensional characters, flimsy plots, unwatchable acting, and florid special effects, it’s Lucas himself. J.J. Abrams had a titanic task of demolition and reconstruction of a beloved franchise in the space of 2 hours and I think he met the task rather admirably. Although, I will admit if there is no new ground covered in the subsequent films, I may look back at this film with significantly less fondness. Though one things is clear, the acting (including the nuanced petulance of Adam Driver, who didn’t make it into this review) and new characters, were much more compelling than Oscar winner Natalie Portman’s or maverick Samuel L. Jackson’s contributions to the prequels.

    Reply
  28. Dude. I think you nailed my sentiments almost exactly. Recycled plot with not much to offer in terms of originality. Its like I watched ep 4 with a slightly different cast. Lowered expectations for rest of the new trilogy. Some cool things, like the main character is a chick, and some revisited fan favorite characters… hmm. That’s all I got. Was so pumped and I’m let down. Very surprised at the 95% on rotten tomatoes.

    Reply
    • I feel the same. No wow factor. No magic. At least it is fun to watch and the actress who plays Rey is really good. Good thing I didn’t expect much and didn’t wait in line to watch it. I have a feeling the next movie is going to be a remake of “Empire Strikes Back”.

      Reply
    • Same here I was thinking Disney paid RT some good money for that rating..

      Reply
  29. There were people who gave ‘The Godfather’ bad reviews too. Doesn’t mean they were right. This review has a tinge of ‘Man bites dog’ feeling to it. “I better right a bad review or no one will read my dribble, because no one has ever heard of me.” Well you got my web hit Sean Kardashian Burns, congratulations.

    Reply
    • Can you people chill with the right vs wrong tripe (fittingly one of the primary issues that people have with the entire SW series). Your favorite movie is not objectively good. We’ve all had unique experiences and have a unique context within which we watch and interpret a movie. Your opinion and even consensus do not dictate facts.

      Reply
  30. “Still, a few hours after the credits rolled it’s all evaporating and I’m struggling to recall a remotely original or inventive moment in the entire goddamn thing.”

    Replace the words “hours after the credits rolled” with “minutes after I read your review” and you have my thoughts on your snarky, sarcastic attempt at putting down a film you obviously couldn’t wait to trash before the previews started. Really, the whole snark thing is getting overdone these days.

    Keep chugging away at WordPress big fella. You’ll be here for awhile.

    Reply
  31. All my heart wants is heart. And every time it popped up I could feel that same boyhood wonder start to swell, but…it was always fleeting, and soon I went back to being slightly slumped in my seat, like a kid who’s being shown how to play with his flashy toys. You can feel the heart that wanted to be there and is there, but the ice of modern flashy over the top action filmmaking froze a bit too much of it for me.

    Focus on the new characters (plus Chewie…he worked mostly!) and give us a fresh story. I want to get to know Finn and Rey. Slow down. Let’s soak it in slowly.

    Oh my gosh…why wasn’t it obvious that Carrie Fisher wasn’t gonna work for this. No emotion when Han Solo shows up, no feeling whatsoever. And somehow she’s expected to show lots of emotion when he doesn’t come home? What a jangled mess of “Oh we have a son” and “I guess we’re seperated” and “I guess our son turned to the dark side for some reason”. For crying out loud…leave the original story alone and give us something fresh. I like the new characters. Let them breathe and live.

    Heart, heart, heart, heart, heart!

    That's all we really want. The effects are the easy part.

    Reply
    • I’m with you buddy. The first forty minutes, I was thinking, man this is soooo great. They’ve done it (I did think the torture/village kill scenes a bit much for the kids though). But sometime after they met up with Han Solo, the narrative and emotional coherence began to unravel into boring, cliched, and implausible sequence of action scenes that had very little narrative or emotional purpose, and prevented the protagonists from carrying the movie, which they could have done because they were fantastic and likable.

      I actually liked Kylo Ren, because he lacked discipline and through hissy fits with light-saber. THAT was new, and made the character delightfully unpredictable.

      Ray certainly became super-hero stuff much too easily, and too quickly.

      Reply
  32. Your review is complete shit

    Reply
    • Eloquent. Your comment really lent a lot to this discussion. I would like to thank you for it. Hope you will elaborate more in your next. By the way, “elaborate” means to add more detail with the purpose of aiding comprehension.

      Reply
  33. I agree with this review. You almost feel pressured by everyone to say it was good. It was entertaining, I’ll give you that but I’m not sure if it was good. There was really no character development and the whole film was remade as the author states:
    Escape from the enemy’s ship
    Escape from the desert
    Escape with the Falcon
    Smuggle in the cantina
    Enemy invasion and Rebel fight-off
    Gather plans to destroy base
    Infiltrate and bomb base with 4 people
    Fly though the trenches and bomb the base again
    Wound the Sith
    Somewhere in between, pass the old saber along

    I’m still dumbstruck with the fact that Rey was able to pull off everything she did. Was Luke talking to her? Was the force taking over? Did she took everything out of Ben’s memory? Was she trained before and memory-wiped like KOTOR? Is she a one of a kind like Neo in the Matrix? Too many holes for my liking.

    Nevertheless, the second movie should be really promising if they actually explain everything. Furthermore, it will be more interesting if Rey is not Skywalker kin. If Rey is somehow related to Han or Luke, it will just come full circle like the original trilogy and I was expecting something different this time around, not a remake.

    Reply
    • Ditto. It makes me understand why George Lucas said that Disney made a film that fans would love. On one hand, we see a gimpse down memory lane, and we see the much-loved characters come back to life.

      On the other hand though, my Star Wars fanatic side just cringes at the plot holes. It felt like a kiddie good-triumphs-over-evil movie. (Hello Disney?) Rey and Finn = good guys, Kylo Ren = bad guy, therefore Rey and Finn SHOULD be able defeat Kylo Ren. Let’s forget about all the hard work that actually goes into being an even somewhat competently skilled Jedi.

      Reply
  34. Got it. Because Disney owns Star Wars now aging hipsters have to bash it.

    Went to a 17-hour, seven-movie marathon yesterday with 200+ of my new best friends who were universal not only in their positive feelings but over-the-top joy at the new film.

    Familiar elements – yes.

    Familiar characters – yes.

    Chases, explosions and blasters – yes, yes and yes.

    Why else did you show up at a Star Wars movie?

    Ok, you want to critique the modern blockbuster. Why not talk about the fact that the movie focuses on the two most fully developed characters and complex characters of the entire franchise? And then gives them real, intelligent and believable lines? Mention the amazing cinematography…the detailed attention to the art of movie making…

    Sorry so many of you missed out on the magic.

    Reply
  35. http://www.macleans.ca/culture/movies/star-wars-sucks-there-we-said-it/

    Funny thing is, many respectable critics lambasted the original Star Wars and its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back:

    “While the first Star Wars got mostly respectful reviews and even an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, the bloom was mostly off the rose by the time The Empire Strikes Back came out. With its heavy tone and the implausible plot twist that the bad guy is the hero’s father, the movie was widely dismissed as a money-making machine that had lost the first film’s charm: “The Force is with us, indeed, and a lot of it is hot air,” wrote the New York Times’ powerful critic, Vincent Canby. “The Empire Strikes Back is about as personal as a Christmas card from a bank.”

    By the time Lucas re-released the first Star Wars in 1997, many critics were willing to point out that even the original film didn’t hold up. “What’s stunning is simply how bad it is,” wrote Salon film critic Charles Taylor, while The New Yorker writer John Seabrook suggested it was “a film with comic-book characters, an unbelievable story, no political or social commentary, lousy acting, preposterous dialogue, and a ridiculously simplistic morality. In other words, a bad movie.”

    Alec Guinness wrote to a friend from the set of the first movie: “New rubbish dialogue reaches me every day, and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable.”

    Reply
  36. Ah yes, the edgy negative review to the universally-praised movie.

    Good one.

    Reply
    • I didn’t see Burns’s review as “edgy” just for the sake of being different; rather, he spoke his mind on what he thought worked (some fresh new faces) and what didn’t (a virtual retread of New Hope). I think the world would be kind of boring if everyone thought the exact same thing, and we really did have a “universally-praised movie” where everyone had the same favorable opinion of it, like lemmings without any criticism whatsoever.

      The film was honestly mostly recycled New Hope (even literally, with Han referencing the “trash compactor” at one point), and IMO at the end of the day, there’s a fine line between JJ Abrams and freaking Michael Bay–both of them pros at taking old properties and hashing them/rehashing them, soullessly just for the cash and nothing aesthetic/artistic at all. Abrams played it way too safe with Force Awakens, and his overly resorting to nostalgic plays in place of exploring new narrative territory makes TFA just as lazy as Adam Sandler’s Pixels.

      Reply
  37. My take is a little twist on this. While I agree there was nothing new here, I was totally OK with that. The example I used, goes along with what some of the other commentators here said. I think we needed to know that the sins of Episodes I-III were behind us, and this movie delivered in spades here, by being what I described as “a comfortable old shoe”. You know the one, that when you need it to work is your go to pair to do anything in begin you know what it’s about and how it will function. I know for you that makes this movie boring but for someone who started with this franchise when I was seven and saw “A New Hope”, or “Star Wars” as it was called then before the needed to attach names to the episodes, this movie was incredible and for all the reasons you cited as to why it was poor. I’m OK with a redo of New Hope to set us up. I’ll take the new in the next movie, but or this reboot, making me feel like I knew where I was was just what I needed. I was exactly like Han Solo. I was home.

    Reply
  38. Sorry for my english in the first place, im from Brazil. Finnaly i find a criterious review. I thought i was becoming crazy. Because it is obviuous that the movie has huge downsizes. There are good new characters, and the shoots and all the ambientation are good. It has some good dialogues too. But c mon , serious that they could not come with something more imaginative than exploding a new ” death star”?. Ok thats intended to be a reboot, but than again, with the same material, the same actors, director etc,,they just could have done a better job for sure, im sorry but thats the true. It is fun of course, no doubt, but let’s say it reminds me going to a concert of your favourite band, and it just happen that the singer is with a problem in his voice and put the micro to the audience sing the songs. I hoppe it gets improved in the next ones.

    Reply
  39. It was a solid movie, I thought, but very safe, almost a remake. I think Disney at this point cares less about the movie and more about selling toys and endless merchandise like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPsJQ-qGH2A

    Reply
  40. Thank you! You basically said exactly what I thought 24 hours after watching the show, when the happy haze of nostalgia wore off. I thought it was fun but I hope there’s a reason moving forward that history seems to be repeating itself.

    Reply
  41. Shawn Kemp's Illegitimate Sandwich

    Best review yet. Patrician opinion.

    Reply
  42. I really don’t get the hate people have/had for the prequels. Aside from jarjar, I could literally watch the prequels again and again. Oh and yeah, I agree 100% regarding this review. My group was making jokes all around as to how this movie is more of a remake of episode IV than a seventh installment for the franchise… I love Star Wars! Just not a fanatic! And right now I don’t see what the fuzz about for this new movie…

    Reply
  43. I enjoyed it now 2 of 4 planned viewings this weekend under the belt. It has some glaring problems for the hard core fans. Especially fans of the excellent novels that now officially have been trashed. SPOILERS first inexcusable foible, that both the new characters were able to go more than one second in a saber battle with an experienced force user, and second, that the Skywalker sister is a mundane general instead of a force-skilled user herself which is unbelievable. That latter especially as we see Rey use advanced force skills as a complete ‘force newbie’ yet somehow Leia has remained a mundane for decades (of course in the books she sharpened her force skills as one would expect of someone so packed with the force.) Finally, that the rebels surrounding an active republic and decades of time to capitalize on their defeat of the emporer could only mount a few squadrons when military was needed. Wow, they should have stuck to the well-authored novel material, because story-wise, it didn’t hold up. Suspension of disbelief among fans has to suffer tremendously upon reflection.

    Reply
    • Spot on. It never ceases to amaze me how people who go contrary to public opinion can eloquently explain and defend their opinion, usually in a way that is accepting of the opposite opinions even if confused by them, while others, lacking the ability to discuss attack the author or just curse. LOL. I agree with everything you said and didn’t think of the Leia thing as I hadn’t read the books, but you are absolutely right. She’s a SKYWALKER! Why doesn’t the Emperor…er… “Supreme Commander” want to capture her? Just swab her cheek cells and clone a super force sensitive being! She’s apparently easier to find and doesn’t seem like she could run that fast.

      Reply
    • Totally agree! I’ve read only some of the books (Zahn), and even if Disney chose to disregard it entirely, the books at least show that there are original, creative ways to continue the Star Wars universe without destroying what was built. And while I enjoyed the new characters and the space scenes in TFA, it was disappointing how they twisted major story details to fit a cookie-cutter fairy-tail ending.

      Reply
  44. your review pretty much put me to sleep. I don’t see the main point of this review. All I see is a nitpick session. If you’re going to be the only rotten tomatoe on the date at least give a relevant review.

    Reply
  45. Gotta have outliers to have a strong bell curve

    Reply
  46. Im a veteran frm way back and was eight when ANH came out. I watched Force Awakens tonight and thought it was complete garbage.

    Spoiler alert, natch.

    The coincidences and nosensical hoo hah were terrible. So this guy Poe just happens to be within rolling distance of Rey, who just happens to see BB8, then Poe and Finn just happen to crash within walking distance of Rey abd then they just happen to teal the Falcon which just happens to break down so Han can just happen to board it… Etc ec ec. This is not plot. It’s incident. JJ does not know the difference. He thinks if he pts a series of incidents on the screen its a plot. No. Sorry.

    He also has no effing clue how galaxies, planets, solar systems, etc work. Star Trek has the same problem. Im sorry, but you cant stand on one planet and watch another planet get destroyed in the sky without tidal forces, orbits being thrown off, etc. its ridiculous. And what plane was destroyed anyways? Coruscant? Some other? I have no idea and I dont care because I dont have the information about the importance, etc.

    Every beat was a jumping action, meaning a leap from one thing to the next without earning it. Rey just has whatever powers JJ wants her to have whenever. Same with Kylo or Ren or whaever his name is. I felt nothing when Han died. Let me say tha again. I have been a Star Wars fan for almost forty years and I felt nothing at the death of Han Solo. Why? Because the chaacter was presented as a washed-up failure, so he was killed already for me, and because the moment itself was unearned. Why should rI care about the relationship of Han and his son? They have one scene together. I never saw them happy, i didnt see Kylo turn, i missed any emotional investment in Han’s pain. It was just Harrison Ford taking a CGI lightsaber poke from Adam Driver. I felt effng nothing and I hate that so much.

    And no other character felt anything, except Chewie. Leia felt a disurbance in the force for five seconds then changed into a prettier dress. That was it. Death of Han Solo. And that was it. Not even as much grief as Luke showed when Ben Kenobi died and Leia covered him with a blanket. Han died like a pussy and no one cave a damn.

    So these rave reviews are BS, guys. This was a very pretty p.o.s. and frankly, I prefer the crappy but at least charachter-consistent prequels to this.

    Reply
    • Totally agree. Ahhh at least they didnt blow it up, Like certain death star has a tendency to.  The special effects áre amazing  and it feels very star warish. Also loved the natural environments, not that cgi generated garbage they used in the prequels.    And best of all, no jar jar binks; It would have been a nice touch if this movie took a couple of minutes to explain the gruesome death he might had some time after episode iii, but that would be asking too much. 
      >
      > On the other hand, they had so much material and potential to make it much much better:  Spoilers ahead:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >   My main gripe is that they rendered all the effort the characters made in the original trilogy irrelevant:   It took the force and the guide of obi wan for Luke to destroy the first death star.  Here, a bunch of nobodies destroy a much bigger star like its nothing (by the way, how could they allow the same Design flaw three tomes is beyond comprehension…. The death star can consume the energy of real star, but they cannot be bothered to put some security devices at the doors, like alarms and cameras? . ).       It took yoda training for Luke to first face off darth vader, and losing badly, while here, a girl with absolutely no experience and guide, learns to control the force and DEFEAT the emo-antagonist, without any formal training.     
      >
      > Its very easy to critize once the work is done. Thats why mr abrams got to direct this movie while im here writing this nonsense and eating nachos and drinking beer…while my two sexy lingerie-wearing swedish roomates wait me in bed Of course; But lets keep em waiting a little bit more, because im a real fan.
      >
      > consider this:   why didnt han or leía evolved? i mean, han is STILL the wise cracking bounty hunter we know. But he could have been anything, like the leader of a commercial interstellar conglomerate or something, that does cargo jobs for fun. But no, he still owes money to some random guys. I guess theres no social security in star wars either.
      > Also,  In episode III (actually vi, but i am going to pretend from here on that the prequels never existed, except for when yoda Fights palpatine and anakin turns bad and kills everyone including the padawans, which is totally incorrect but makes a very strong statement)  luke tells leía that the force runs in the family, so you would expect that leía turned into a mystic princess-general that could actually use some force, instead, we see her as a schoolgirl that still got the hots for mr Solo,  and although i dont blame her because he is still the coolest guy in the universe, i expected more from her. (How about instead of digitally erasing them, her wrinkles appeared due to the use Of the force? A la palpatine)
      >
      > And if you are the undisputed coolest guy in the universe, why not die like one?  How about that they tried to destroy the new death star like in the previous movies, but instead of repeating the same old thing, they actually failed… “Hey, they finally solved the death star security problem!”   and then someone comes up with and idea like “how about striking It with an object that travels at the speed of light”… From here on the possibilities are endless.  I would go for the easy way and pull off an armaggedon, and have Han trap everyone in an escape pod including chewie… And then…. You know what?  Here is the complete scene:  
      >
      > They come up with the idea to destroy the death star with a fast object, and the new crew is together with han in a mother ship.  They walk together discussing, and without anyone noticing, han stops.    You see the guys looking back at han.   You see han looking at them, while he closes the door, locking them and keeping them from doing anything stupid.  You see him saying goodbye to chewie, and thanking him for all his time and his friendship.  You see him telling him the crew that they must Live.    
      >
      > Then he cooly goes to the millenium falcon and sets everything up including the warpdrive… His last lines would be ” at last. I am. Alone” (see what i did there with his last name?”) While crashing the millenium falcon at superluminal speeed into the death star…
      >
      > Quite melodramátic. But if han solo is going to die, he deserves nothing but the most espectacular Of deaths, while saving the Galaxy in the process.   Of course for all this to work, the fight between rei and renlo or whatever his name is, would have to be different, as in, never actually happening, and some other minor changes. This would only enhace the importance Of Luke, because eventhough his part was good enough, it was like “ok girl, you found me. But it just happens you áre already a total badass, you are the second prettiest face in the star wars universe after amidala and CAN use the force and already beated the villian’s ass… What CAN i possibly teach you?”
      >
      > Im already crying now.   Not so much because of the quality of my material but because i have no idea what to do with this snoke dude

      Reply
    • Man, thanks. I can put a great many words into how this movie let me down, but I couldn’t quite explain why I felt so angry about Han’s death. You hit the NAIL on the head. Even some flashbacks of Han, Leia and Ben together would have cemented my pain of his death. That is called film making. Connecting to the audience. JJ does not excel at that. His scenes are a racquetball slammed against the walls of plot and ricocheting into our eyes.

      Reply
      • I feel you man. And talking about flashbacks and the scene described above by fan2d2 (i hope you had talked to mr Abrams during the writing!!!), imagine if they put in some flashbacks of Alec Guiness talking about the force just before the millenium falcon crashes, hinting that at the last moment Han finally undestood what the force really was. Man, the theaters would have teared down into pieces!

  47. Wow – I saw the movie last night with my adult daughters (they were born in the 1990’s) who’d never experienced the excitement that the original trilogy created for moviegoers – we LOVED IT! This is a fabulous movie, and deserves 100% positive reviews. You people (Mr. Critic and your followers) need some oxygen – please seek help. Chill the frack out folks and enjoy life a little; your self-loathing malcontented existence is boorish – stop going to movies if your goal is to hate them. Everyone of you went in to this movie believing your would hate it… you know what I read in your “brave” bad reviews… you wanted to hate it, but found it fun, then you went out of your way finding faults. This retelling of the original story was fun, nostalgic, and had great performances. You people are dipshits!

    Reply
    • It is possibly to have a critical opinion of a movie and continue to enjoy life. If you don’t like “Mr. Critic,” stop reading movie reviews and enjoy the simple escapism. Theres nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with an anlaytical approach to movie watching.

      Reply
      • JarJarDisneylover

        It definitely is not wrong to have a different approach.
        After a analytical approach on the comments here, I came to the conculsion that most of them really believe that they are the chosen ones to see TFA as it was and hate on it. Or as “legitimate” Star Wars viewer back in 77 can’t be liking this one. Or better that everyone else is wrong and only I’m right.
        So as the OP said: Chill out and take a deep breath. Relax. This is just a movie and like every movie, there will be different opinions about it. Especially with the most anticipated/hyped up movie since 1999. But it doesn’t mean that everyone liking it is a moron, stupid fanboy sellout or brainwashed.

        Sure it is good to let out some steam. Just point out it flaws and be gone with it, no need to insult the people who liked it. Hell there are even people who liked the prequels or shit on the originals, but it is their god damn right.

  48. Don’t pay attention to the fanboys. This is a spot-on review. The funny thing is, the joke’s on the fanboys. JJ probably knew that anything original he did would be torn to shreds by the herd so the joke is on them having to settle for a remake after all of these years. He set up the hoop and the fanboys are racing through it.

    Reply
  49. I hated you when I first read your review. Some critic trying to stand out against the tide. Then I went to see the movie and now I agree with you.

    Reply
  50. JJ is the best fan fiction director of all time.

    Reply
  51. I am so glad that I’m not the only one who felt this was a fax of ANH, with a dash of Empire and Return thrown in. It *literally* is the same story, from using a droid to carry sensitive data to the rebellion, to knocking out shields for the death star, to flying in a trench to blow up the core that blows up said death star. I mean really, I tried SO hard to like this….the visuals were amazing (except for the matte of the uber death star…they run out of money?), and as you said, seeing Harrison do Han again was priceless. Sigh. They will get my money for 8 and 9, but I will literally keep my expectations in the basement this time.

    Reply
  52. Perfect, perfect review. My sentiments exactly.

    Reply
  53. Great review.

    Reply
  54. Harry S. Plinkett is going to rip this movie to shreds soon enough – and it deserves to be tortured in the basement.

    Apart from what I’ve read here, I too was actually angry as I pounded the pavement home, stewing and steaming over what was a lame, mediocre, half assed attempt at a film filled with “nostalgia” and cliche’d throwbacks to 4,5 and 6 but nowhere close to any of them combined in depth and connection to the audience.

    It was tone deaf and emotionally compromised from the very beginning.

    The very fact they travelled to all these places with the fucking droid BB-8 in tow EVERYWHERE, despite knowing the entire GALAXY was on the hunt for a “white and orange one of a kind droid” – especially in the bar scene trying to throw back to ROTJ – really was the point I shut down and just started broiling.

    There were so many disappointing moments I don’t know where to start.

    Rotten Tomatos is full of rotten reviews who actually gave this anything better than a 6/10.

    I am officially divorcing myself from this “franchise” because not even The Force can save this relationship let alone the characters they introduced that I couldn’t give a flying f*ck about.

    Reply
  55. Very well said! I completely agree. Thank you for summarizing it so nicelyl.

    Reply
  56. “Still, a few hours after the credits rolled it’s all evaporating and I’m struggling to recall a remotely original or inventive moment in the entire goddamn thing.” If this isn’t a piece of rhetoric, I honestly advocate that you consider a career change.

    Reply
    • What? It is an exact representation of how someone (the reviewer) and some people (myself, my good friend) felt after seeing it. For the fan boys out there, let me check in with you in 3 months and unless you have seen it 8 times by then, ask you what amazing new image is stuck in your head and I’m going to bet you will struggle to recall one.

      Reply
  57. Star Wars is dead to me

    Reply
  58. It’s a lame film people, just face it

    Reply
  59. Sadly this is pretty accurate, the first time I saw supreme leader snoke, i thought he was a cave troll that turned to the dark side. They did a really good job of minimizing cgi except for him. The old emperor felt much more imposing because you really didn’t see him much. Kylo acts like someone throwing a tantrum, Vader always seemed in control and focused.
    The big death didn’t seem to affect the characters quite as much as it should. Yes it was upsetting to them but just didn’t quite feel right. One silly thing was how the map looked like a puzzle piece, I mean yes we get the map
    Is missing a section but did
    They have to make it look like an actual puzzle. Starkiller base is just Death Star version 5.0 I had fun watching it but I was just hoping for all the good nostalgic points meaning more than they did and the new sequences being more creative… Who knows maybe I’ll feel different after a second viewing and maybe the next films will really give more depth and feeling to the characters… Still a fan!

    Reply
  60. Totally agree. I was quite disappointed by this “sequel.” I’m very puzzled by all of the glowing reviews.

    Reply
  61. Exactamundo!!

    Left half-way through, after several cheesy, amateurish, teenage-like scenes. A regurgitation of the 1977 classic, some 38 years on, yet nothing new.

    Reply
  62. Ahhh at least they didnt blow it up, Like certain death star has a tendency to. The special effects áre amazing and it feels very star warish. Also loved the natural environments, not that cgi generated garbage they used in the prequels. And best of all, no jar jar binks; It would have been a nice touch if this movie took a couple of minutes to explain the gruesome death he might had some time after episode iii, but that would be asking too much.

    On the other hand, they had so much material and potential to make it much much better: Spoilers ahead:

    My main gripe is that they rendered all the effort the characters made in the original trilogy irrelevant: It took the force and the guide of obi wan for Luke to destroy the first death star. Here, a bunch of nobodies destroy a much bigger star like its nothing (by the way, how could they allow the same Design flaw three tomes is beyond comprehension…. The death star can consume the energy of real star, but they cannot be bothered to put some security devices at the doors, like alarms and cameras? . ). It took yoda training for Luke to first face off darth vader, and losing badly, while here, a girl with absolutely no experience and guide, learns to control the force and DEFEATbthe emo-antagonist, without any formal training.

    Its very easy to critize once the work is done. Thats why mr abrams got to direct this movie while im here writing this nonsense and eating nachos and drinking beer…while my two sexy lingerie-wearing swedish roomates wait me in bed Of course; But lets keep em waiting a little bit more, because im a real fan.

    consider this: why didnt han or leía evolved? i mean, han is STILL the wise cracking bounty hunter we know. But he could have been anything, like the leader of a commercial conglomerate or somethibg, but no, he still owes money to some random guys.
    Also, In episode III (actually vi, but i am going to pretend from here on that the prequels never existed, except for when yoda Fights palpatine and anakin turns bad and kills everyone including the padawans, which is totally incorrect but makes a very strong statement) luke tells leía that the force runs in the family, so you would expect that leía turned into a mystic princess-general that could actually use some force, instead of a schoolgirl that still got the hots for mr Solo, although i dont blame her cause he is still the coolest guy in the universe.

    But if you are the undisputed coolest guy in the universe, why not die like one? How about that they tried to destroy the new death star like in the previous movies, but instead of repeating the same old thing, they actually failed… “They finally solved the death star security problem!” and then someone comes up with and idea like “how about striking It with an object that travels at the speed of light”… From here on the possobilities are endless. I would do an armaggedon and have Han trap everyone in an escape pod including chewie… And then…. You know what? Here is the complete scene:

    They come up with the idea to destroy the death star by strking It with an object at the speed Of light, and the new crew is together with han in a mother ship. They walk together discussing, and without anyone noticing, han stops. You see the guys looking back at han. You see han looking at them, while he closes the door, locking them. You see him saying goodbye to chewie, and thanking him for all his tome and his friendship. You see him telling him the crew that they must Live.

    Then he cooly goes to the millenium falcon and sets everything up, the warpdrive… His last lines would be ” at last. I am. Alone” (see what i did there with his last name?”) while crashing the millenium falcon at superluminal speeed into the death star.

    Thats melodrama, but if han is going to die, he deserves nothing but the most spectacular of deaths. Of course, For this to work out, the fight between rei and the new bad guy (i don’t remember his ñame and cant be bothered to look for It) could not happen, or at least not in the way it happenned in the movie. And there would need to be a substitute for the millenium falcon.

    The Luke part was cool enough. But its like “girl, you are already a badass. What CAN i teach you that you don’t know already?

    Im writing this and im already whiping my tears… Not so much because Of the quality Of my material but because i have no idea Of what to do with this snoke dude

    Reply
  63. > Ahhh at least they didnt blow it up, Like certain death star has a tendency to.  The special effects áre amazing  and it feels very star warish. Also loved the natural environments, not that cgi generated garbage they used in the prequels.    And best of all, no jar jar binks; It would have been a nice touch if this movie took a couple of minutes to explain the gruesome death he might had some time after episode iii, but that would be asking too much. 
    >
    > On the other hand, they had so much material and potential to make it much much better:  Spoilers ahead:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >   My main gripe is that they rendered all the effort the characters made in the original trilogy irrelevant:   It took the force and the guide of obi wan for Luke to destroy the first death star.  Here, a bunch of nobodies destroy a much bigger star like its nothing (by the way, how could they allow the same Design flaw three tomes is beyond comprehension…. The death star can consume the energy of real star, but they cannot be bothered to put some security devices at the doors, like alarms and cameras? . ).       It took yoda training for Luke to first face off darth vader, and losing badly, while here, a girl with absolutely no experience and guide, learns to control the force and DEFEAT the emo-antagonist, without any formal training.     
    >
    > Its very easy to critize once the work is done. Thats why mr abrams got to direct this movie while im here writing this nonsense and eating nachos and drinking beer…while my two sexy lingerie-wearing swedish roomates wait me in bed Of course; But lets keep em waiting a little bit more, because im a real fan.
    >
    > consider this:   why didnt han or leía evolved? i mean, han is STILL the wise cracking bounty hunter we know. But he could have been anything, like the leader of a commercial interstellar conglomerate or something, that does cargo jobs for fun. But no, he still owes money to some random guys. I guess theres no social security in star wars either.
    > Also,  In episode III (actually vi, but i am going to pretend from here on that the prequels never existed, except for when yoda Fights palpatine and anakin turns bad and kills everyone including the padawans, which is totally incorrect but makes a very strong statement)  luke tells leía that the force runs in the family, so you would expect that leía turned into a mystic princess-general that could actually use some force, instead, we see her as a schoolgirl that still got the hots for mr Solo,  and although i dont blame her because he is still the coolest guy in the universe, i expected more from her. (How about instead of digitally erasing them, her wrinkles appeared due to the use Of the force? A la palpatine)
    >
    > And if you are the undisputed coolest guy in the universe, why not die like one?  How about that they tried to destroy the new death star like in the previous movies, but instead of repeating the same old thing, they actually failed… “Hey, they finally solved the death star security problem!”   and then someone comes up with and idea like “how about striking It with an object that travels at the speed of light”… From here on the possibilities are endless.  I would go for the easy way and pull off an armaggedon, and have Han trap everyone in an escape pod including chewie… And then…. You know what?  Here is the complete scene:  
    >
    > They come up with the idea to destroy the death star with a fast object, and the new crew is together with han in a mother ship.  They walk together discussing, and without anyone noticing, han stops.    You see the guys looking back at han.   You see han looking at them, while he closes the door, locking them and keeping them from doing anything stupid.  You see him saying goodbye to chewie, and thanking him for all his time and his friendship.  You see him telling him the crew that they must Live.    
    >
    > Then he cooly goes to the millenium falcon and sets everything up including the warpdrive… His last lines would be ” at last. I am. Alone” (see what i did there with his last name?”) While crashing the millenium falcon at superluminal speeed into the death star…
    >
    > Quite melodramátic. But if han solo is going to die, he deserves nothing but the most espectacular Of deaths, while saving the Galaxy in the process.   Of course for all this to work, the fight between rei and renlo or whatever his name is, would have to be different, as in, never actually happening, and some other minor changes. This would only enhace the importance Of Luke, because eventhough his part was good enough, it was like “ok girl, you found me. But it just happens you áre already a total badass, you are the second prettiest face in the star wars universe after amidala and CAN use the force and already beated the villian’s ass… What CAN i possibly teach you?”
    >
    > Im already crying now.   Not so much because of the quality of my material but because i have no idea what to do with this snoke dude

    Reply
  64. Excellent, well written and argued review. I was turned off by the cut and paste story. But an even bigger turn off for me was the purposeful 20+ unanswered plot points. While some people may have fun spending endless hours scanning the vast blogosphere for hints at the answers and revel in debating popular fan theories, I find it a slap in the face and an artistically lazy and unnecessary attempt to keep us frothing at the mouth for another fix. I understand the need for franchise building but it could have been done much less overtly. For me, it distracted from the story, which as the review argues correctly, was not all that great to begin with. I appreciated the nostalgia and the nods to the originals, but I left the theater feeling very let down.

    Reply
  65. Spot on! I very much enjoyed the movie but was disappointed that it isn’t new; it was just A New Hope over again. One of my friends said it reminded him of a Dora episode: she has a map, a handy backpack (droid) and she goes to 3 places.

    Reply
  66. > Ahhh at least they didnt blow it up, Like certain death star has a tendency to. The special effects áre amazing and it feels very star warish. Also loved the natural environments, not that cgi generated garbage they used in the prequels. And best of all, no jar jar binks; It would have been a nice touch if this movie took a couple of minutes to explain the gruesome death he might had some time after episode iii, but that would be asking too much.
    >
    > On the other hand, they had so much material and potential to make it much much better: Spoilers ahead:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > My main gripe is that they rendered all the effort the characters made in the original trilogy irrelevant: It took the force and the guide of obi wan for Luke to destroy the first death star. Here, a bunch of nobodies destroy a much bigger star like its nothing (by the way, how could they allow the same Design flaw three tomes is beyond comprehension…. The death star can consume the energy of real star, but they cannot be bothered to put some security devices at the doors, like alarms and cameras? . ). It took yoda training for Luke to first face off darth vader, and losing badly, while here, a girl with absolutely no experience and guide, learns to control the force and DEFEAT the emo-antagonist, without any formal training.
    >
    > Its very easy to critize once the work is done. Thats why mr abrams got to direct this movie while im here writing this nonsense and eating nachos and drinking beer…while my two sexy lingerie-wearing swedish roomates wait me in bed Of course; But lets keep em waiting a little bit more, because im a real fan.
    >
    > consider this: why didnt han or leía evolved? i mean, han is STILL the wise cracking bounty hunter we know. But he could have been anything, like the leader of a commercial interstellar conglomerate or something, that does cargo jobs for fun. But no, he still owes money to some random guys. I guess theres no social security in star wars either.
    > Also, In episode III (actually vi, but i am going to pretend from here on that the prequels never existed, except for when yoda Fights palpatine and anakin turns bad and kills everyone including the padawans, which is totally incorrect but makes a very strong statement) luke tells leía that the force runs in the family, so you would expect that leía turned into a mystic princess-general that could actually use some force, instead, we see her as a schoolgirl that still got the hots for mr Solo, and although i dont blame her because he is still the coolest guy in the universe, i expected more from her. (How about instead of digitally erasing them, her wrinkles appeared due to the use Of the force? A la palpatine)
    >
    > And if you are the undisputed coolest guy in the universe, why not die like one? How about that they tried to destroy the new death star like in the previous movies, but instead of repeating the same old thing, they actually failed… “Hey, they finally solved the death star security problem!” and then someone comes up with and idea like “how about striking It with an object that travels at the speed of light”… From here on the possibilities are endless. I would go for the easy way and pull off an armaggedon, and have Han trap everyone in an escape pod including chewie… And then….

    Reply
  67. Agreed with 95% of your review, but…

    “I most liked Daisy Ridley’s take-no-guff heroine, Rey, flummoxed by the men who keep attempting to rescue her while she can handle herself just fine, thank you very much. (“Why do you keep grabbing my hand when we run?” becomes an early recurring gag.)”

    The feminist mantra is nauseating. It would have been edgy in the 70s. That “gag” was as annoying and obvious as a light saber with no hilt. It takes about as much courage to write that stuff as taking beer to a frat party.

    Reply
  68. I agree. I couldn’t wait for the movie to be over. Two main characters were not believable at all. Best part of movie was Harrison Ford and his hairy sidekick. I think someone did a Jedi mind trick on the movie goers who rated this over a 3.

    Reply
    • Star Wars is dead. Lucas started killing it with the Prequels, and now the evil empire is finishing up the process. It is going to run this franchise into the ground with yearly releases with soulless plots just to sell merchandise. First the Tron sequel, then John Carter (Princess of Mars), I mean what does Disney have against sci-fi fantasy?

      Reply
  69. Disney is destroying Star Wars the same as it destroyed Tron, and John Carter (Princess of Mars). What the evil empire has against space operas or sci-fi I don’t know, but it is going to milk this franchise to death by releasing a star wars movie every year. I grew up with the original saga, but I have to admit, to my sorrow, that Star Wars is dead. R.I.P. Star Wars 1977-1983. It should have ended then so it could have a great legacy. I hated the prequels, but at least George had something original to say. Disney, I have two words for you, F*** Y**.

    Reply
  70. When did originality stop being cool in movie making. There was so much material to use, why not be brave and come up with an Original Story for the Force Awakens. what we got was a modern version of “A New Hope” (Episode IV). It appears as if JJ Abrams wanted to introduce the franchise to a new generation of moviegoers by pirating off the original. The only character in this film that I liked and felt some depth from was Kylo Ren. Disappointed to say the least.

    Reply
  71. You are an idiot Mr Burns! Maybe if you took your head out if your ass you could write an actual review. Lol! The Internet allows every idiot to have a voice and that’s a shame. .you are no Roger Ebert and you will never be. You should stop writing pretensious garbage which this review is.

    Reply
    • Yes, because goodness knows that Burns shouldn’t be able to voice his own opinion/take on the film, and that he should be a total lemming and mindlessly agree with the vast majority of pro critics on Rotten Tomatoes who rubber stamp TFA as a major step forward, when it’s honestly a freaking reskin of A New Hope. Perhaps YOU have your head too far up YOUR own ass to realize that, as you yourself pretentiously appear to believe that everyone should just unanimously adore this tripe that hack JJ Abrams just shat out–and I wouldn’t use such language otherwise, but I only did it here to respond in kind to your attacking the author for having a unique opinion on the matter, which incidentally is what a good critic should do in the first place.

      “Lol”!

      Reply
  72. Anyone else think the emperor didn’t fit? I would have rather another old wrinkly guy or just some shadowy figure than a giant gollum looking thing. Is there something like that in books? Are they basing that look on something or was it created for the movie?

    Reply
  73. Totally agree with this review. Force Awakens was in the end a major let down. Perhaps would have been better if the Force stayed comatosed till a better story/direction was nutted out. I thought the first half of the movie introducing the 2 new characters was pretty good but never developed into anything interesting or meaningful. I was half expecting Luke to mysteriously come into the fray and “rescue” Han or intervene in the development and training of the girl in the ways of the force…if so the force might have awakened in a satisfying progression rather than unbelievingly “jolted” into life. Alas, the second half was an absurd parody and rip off of Return of the Jedi. At least when you watch Revenge of the Sith again, you’ll think, hey this is actually a very good movie that explains and builds into the subsequent episodes not like this weak sequel. Even Phantom Menace was a lot more enjoyable…but don’t get me started on that.

    Reply
  74. I think you nailed it. It’s well done for what it is, but you’re the rare critic who defines it correctly. I think at this point it’s too much to expect creativity from JJ Abrams. He did the exact same thing with Star Trek, basically just remaking Wrath of Khan.

    These types of movies are satisfying in a superficial way, but we’re nowhere near the deep end here.

    Reply
  75. Actually, I had the exact same feeling about this movie. Nostalgia is great but this was ridiculous. The story was the same as the first movie and you could tell exactly what was gong to happen. Add to the fact that both Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have become terrible actors and this movie was almost laughable. I was actually hoping that at end, Spock would have shown up! Now that would have been funny. This movie is miles better than the last three but that is not hard.

    Reply
  76. This movie review is right on in my opinion. I can’t remember a really good scene from the movie. The only character I really cared about died. It was terrible.

    Reply
  77. The Force Awakens is as fine a reboot of the original series as one could want, given the original source material was light weight, sword and sorcery fantasy, that without John Williams’ score would have left the first Star Wars a LOT closer to Krull than it would to something like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (which those movies left a lot to be desired). The first trilogy was an eighth grade attempt at Tolkien, and the second trilogy was an eighth grade attempt at Herbert’s Dune.

    At least TFA tries to, and very much succeeds, at capturing the feel of the first three films. With that success comes the ups and downs that were embedded in the first movies. But at least we SEE stuff instead of people TALKING about having done stuff or will do stuff.

    And, again, it was a reboot without being a full reboot, a very difficult line to follow. But as difficult as it was, at least they had the general outline to follow. They will now have to embark on fresh territory as they’ve covered IV-VI. There’s only so many death star/planets (rings into Mount Doom) you can do. So I am cautious about the next two installments. But the ground has been set, the feel is regained, and I have no doubt that the next two movies won’t be dry, disengaging CGI fests with terrible acting performances and dialog.

    Reply

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