Some vague spoilers follow as does a mention of WW2 and imagery related. Half of this was written on December 30th right after watching the film.
I just got out of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
I think my heart is broken.
I know my heart is broken.
My awesome friend Kenia treated me to SW:TFA today and I went in expecting a lot. While I’d already gotten 90% of the spoilers for the film from Tumblr and a few bootlegged scenes of Finn and Poe/Rey interacting, those spoilers really didn’t prepare me for the movie.
Like, not at all.
I started crying at the beginning with the scrolling text, so overwhelmed by the fact that this would be the first Star Wars film I ever saw in theaters that just the sight of the text made me start sniffling. With every scene, I just got even more overwhelmed until there were points where I was just ugly crying into my hands.
Okay so first, let’s talk about some of the stuff that I loved without complaint:
Finn was perfect. He’s just so good and if he’s capable of breaking from the brainwashing and indoctrination of the First Order, I feel like other Storm Troopers might well follow in his footsteps. I’m also really invested in seeing his journey play out, maybe meeting his own family or creating a found family with Rey (and also Poe!!). I want him to turn out to be Force Sensitive, but maybe not wind up a Jedi in the distant future. I also want to hug him.
Watching Finn kind of break from the ideology of the First Order was heartbreaking because he was battling against the only things that he knew. That exemplifies how powerful his will is and how amazing he is. I want to be like Finn, who knows when to run away and when to stay and fight for the people he believes in.
He also has the urge to hold people’s hands when he’s scared or worried or just in general. He’s a hand holder and a hugger and he’s
mine the best.
I just feel super protective of him. I just need him to be okay.Okay?
Next, I really thought Rey was cute and powerful. She was infinitely more believable as a character than Luke was with how the film showed us the way that she built her skills over the course of her life on Jakku. I’m not saying that female characters should have to prove themselves to be heroic character, but that we saw that Rey was skilled and clever and that she owed much of that knowledge to her time as a scavenger on Jakku.
Meanwhile, I still have no idea how Luke got as far as he did…
I want to gently squish Rey’s face and bake her bread. I don’t care that her character is only a little bit younger than me, she just seems so young and so innocent. She really develops as a character throughout the film and seeing what comes next and what happens with Luke (who I swear is her DAD idgaf).
Okay. Yes, Poe is in less of the film than Finn and Rey, but that really doesn’t mean he’s not important. I mean, he’s literally the reason why the Resistance succeeds in destroying the First Order’s major weapon. He’s also gorgeous and okay super adorable when he interacts with Finn and BB-8. Geez. I need lots of hugs to happen.
(And seriously, I’m really seeing that a lot of people are like “oh, he’s not showing up as much and therefore isn’t a character that fandom should be like as invested in. Um… He has about as much screentime as Lando Calrissian in the Episode V. And I really really don’t care, I stan for POC-excellence in a major way and Poe exemplifies it just as well as Finn does.)
I read the post-Return of the Jedi comic that Greg Rucka did and I’m like really invested in like Poe’s backstory and his parents. On Wookipedia it says that his mom died six years after the Battle of Endor and I’m not down with that (because she was amazing in the comic and I loved her.)
I’ve also decided that Chewbacca is my new dad and that BB-8 is my child. Fight me. I love them. So much. 30% of my crying was because of the two of them and their reactions to stuff (you know what stuff).
The action in the film was also really great. Whether they were ground battles or fights in the sky or space, they were just amazing and really fun to watch.
Okay so I really don’t like the evolution of the empire into the First Order.
Not a thing I’m cool with.
Hux and the First Order basically like… a really unsubtle callback to the Third Reich and and Nazis and I was just uncomfortable with the imagery and how obvious it was. Because okay, we’ve made the very clear parallel that the First Order (and therefore Kylo Ren as well) constitutes a sci-fi version of the Nazis.
And you can buy non-Finn and Kylo Ren action figures and shirts. For kids. So we’re getting the message that these characters are space Nazis and that we’re going to market them to kids anyway?
And Kylo Ren –
I have literally never wanted to fight a character more than when he did the thing that basically destroyed the dreams of everyone in the theater. Like I was ready to dive into the film and kick his ass. Ugh.
But here’s the thing: I actually found myself enjoying how Adam Driver played the role because I don’t think that you can look at Kylo Ren on the same level as Vader or any of the other Sith lords we’ve seen so far in the film series. He’s really and truly a kid (except he’s like thirty) and he’s got emotional and mental baggage that he’s not dealing well with. He legitimately threw tantrums –
Like there’s a scene where he’s just flipping the fuck out offscreen and two Stormtroopers walk into the hallway, hear his tantrum and see the smoke, and then just turn right back around and speedwalk out of there before he saw them.
One of the things I did like about Kylo Ren onscreen is that he’s established very early on as a character who is awful and cool with it. He’s been manipulated into the path he’s on but recognizing that doesn’t mean he’s not responsible. He’s not a character that’s meant to be likeable and I’m super okay with that.
(Also: I am definitely squicked by people shipping him with Rey because I don’t get hateships like that. He killed his father — her almost father figure who understood her from the get go — and tortured her. So canon-based shipping with this ship isn’t happening for me. We’ll see about goopy AU’s in the distant future )
I also definitely thought that SWTFA needed more WOC. There were like two with recurring roles aside from Lupita Nyongo as Maz. There were also no LGBTQ characters that I could see onscreen. Also another pet peeve.
I know it’s Disney and they’re horrible with regard to both representing WOC and having queer characters in anything, but really —
We’re in a galaxy far far away and yet almost everyone is white and everyone is (probably) straight?
I could just spit.
Give me Captain Phasma breaking from the First Order once she meets a spunky pilot from Naboo — who just happens to be played by Fan Bing Bing. Give me actual canon Finn/Poe (or, even more unlikely, canon Finn/Poe/Rey).
Give me actual diversity beyond species because this is freaking ridiculous.
I do love this movie. actually love it more than I did Crimson Peak and Jupiter Ascending and those were my favorite movies this year. So I guess… they’re not my favorites anymore.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was so good.
I don’t know how I’m going to survive until Episode 8.
If you’ve seen Star Wars, feel free to talk to me about it. We can hold each other while we sob about you know what or cheer about how much of a badass Rey is and how precious Finn and BB-8 are.