Who else thinks Facebook is a really bad place to talk about Star Wars right now, but still wants to?
First off, I FUCKING LOVED THIS MOVIE.
Even though I still like the Prequels, I am not one of the "Star Wars can do no wrong!" types. The Clone Wars movie was godawful, for example. The point here is that I was legit worried that TFA wouldn't live up to the hype. I didn't dislike what JJ did with Star Trek, but I was also worried about handing over two major Sci-fi franchises to the same person. We like that the two are different, and they need to have their differences, and I was worried that getting the same director might compromise the integrity of both.
Somtimes I love being wrong.
I felt like I should know who random old guy/Lor San Tekka was. Apparently no one of consequence (?) but it seemed like an ambiguous setup. Speaking of things that should not have been excluded, I would have really appreciated some small explanation of the Resistance's connection to the New Republic, or lack thereof as it turns out. The visual dictionary explained that Leia got tired of politics and took matters into her own hands when the Senate refused to act against the First Order. I shouldn't have to read up to find an explanation of something that vital to the world-building of this era.
I don't really know enough about Poe yet to make an opinion. Right now, he's filling the stock role of Loyal And Talented Person Of Interest, but this movie didn't have time to focus on him. I'd be mad if they'd wasted time showing Poe just bartering a ride on some podunk transport or freighter, so I just hope they spend some time developing him and his role in the Resistance in the next installments.
I also don't have much to say about the new evil overlord. He's playing the role that Palpatine did in Empire, and for a movie focusing on how the next generation is drawn into the struggle, we don't need to know the life story of their opposition immediately. Same goes for Captain Phasma. Points for designing female armor that's actually functional. Points for a female Star Wars villain, (but I will 100% not call her the first because ASAJJ VENTRESS). But Phasma didn't show much personality, and all I know is that she's above Stormtroopers in the First Order power structure.
Overall I love Finn. They set his defection up pretty obviously, and I could probably have done without the bloody handprint. It seemed like they just wanted to mark him so we'd automatically know who he is in the sea of white, and the cinematic trick was so obvious that it took me out of the moment. And then they put him in a TIE fighter. LOL. The scene with Poe and Finn bumbling through flying a TIE fighter felt like an allegory for the new filmmakers diving into this project. It was a scene we've done before, but never like this, and it's terrifying and exhilarating and ridiculously fun to watch.
Finn had an incredible journey in this movie, from scared defector to reluctant but brave hero. His whole "I'm kind of a big deal" thing cracked me up, and I think his brand of uncertainty brought a new flavor to this universe. He doesn't have some great destiny dragging him to the movie's main conflict. While he is a good fighter, he doesn't have Rey's raw talent, and he's no pilot. He's literally just a guy who tripped over the Resistance, and he's trying to figure out what to do next without a bigger plan than "don't get killed." It's sort of like Han in the beginning of Empire, but even Han planned to get back to smuggling eventually. Finn just wants to live and see Rey again.
SOLO FAMILY VALUES TIME.
I spent half of this movie thinking they might just draw from the EU afterall. Han and Leia have a son that went dark and defected from Luke. Jacen Solo, anyone? Then I started thinking Rey was secretly Jaina... and obviously things didn't go that way. I'm ok with that. More later.
I really appreciate that life wasn't sunshine and rainbows for Han and Leia. Shit happened, they obviously still clashed, and they lost their child. They reacted so realistically, but still came back together in some capacity. I love that we're reminded of Han's overall reluctance to be involved with the Rebellion/Resistance in the first place. The movie showed a really good balance of his unchangeable personality, and the character development of aging and parenthood. Leia too. I adore that she comes off as a grounded badass. I hope they build on her Force-sensitivity more than just "there's still good in him" RotJ callbacks and feeling Han's death.
I don't know what to do with Kylo Ren. He is pretty much one gigantic conundrum, and I expect they'll explain more in the next movies. He's still feeling the light side, he's obviously conflicted... but he's running headlong into the dark side and embracing what seems to be unnecessary pain. Anakin lost everyone he ever loved, thought he had no where left to go, and reluctantly served a master he was beginning to question ("destroy the emperor and rule the galaxy as father and son" was not a spur of the moment plan). Kylo Ren's family is alive and loves him, so what made him turn? What/who did he lose? Why does he think he needs the dark side's power? Why does he idolize Vader, and not Anakin's return to the light? Needs backstory, but again the lack is ok for the introductory chapter.
SPEAKING OF DARK AND SAD PLOT ELEMENTS. :'(
I think Han's death fits here, in a bittersweet way. Harrison Ford thought Han should die in Jedi, pass the torch to Luke as the hero. I shouldn't be surprised that they pulled that idea for this chapter. Han found his ship, he helped the resistance again, he started reconciling with Leia... and then JJ ripped our hearts out. I spent that whole scene going "Is he? Isn't he? They wouldnt. Would they? Can Kylo do this?" And then just like that. Gone. Wookie rage. Sad :-(
And then randomly R2 wakes up. The visual dictionary more or less says that R2 was defragging and "dreaming." Believable... but it's way too convenient. If there's a map in R2, then Luke wants to be found eventually. Buy why is there a random piece of that map floating around Jakku? Possible theory later, but that question better have a really good answer. Like... this can't be another "and then the TARDIS blew up because reasons, and we're never going to talk about it again." Deus Ex Droids is not ok.
Mark Hamill is a GODDAMN TROLL. He must have loved seeing everyone get hyped for him being a badass Jedi, only to not even have any LINES. That ending felt super rushed, and if it hadn't been for the witchhunt that would have ensued over a lack of Luke, I would have rather Rey find him next movie. But... I 100% understand why they did that, and I'm not arguing.
Now... onto Rey.
I am overjoyed that they made her completely competent and almost entirely self-sufficient. I already mentioned that she seems a lot like Jaina Solo... but I don't think she's Han and Leia's forgotten daughter. They made such a big deal about "Ben," so I doubt that they would be silent about a lost daughter.
So let's look at what we know:
-According to that vision jumble, someone purposely left her on Jakku
-A piece of the map to find Lyke was floating around the planet where Rey was left
-She's a natural mechanic
She's somehow able to fly the Falcon pretty damn well, despite having no desire to ever leave Jakku on her own
-LUKE'S LIGHTSABER CALLED TO HER AND GAVE HER VISIONS
-It took her less than 5 tries to learn a Jedi mind trick
-SHE BEAT DOWN A TRAINED FORCE USER IN HER FIRST DUEL
I think she's Luke's daughter.
To be that strong in the Force, I'm pretty sure she's connected to the Skywalkers. I covered why I don't think she's Han and Leia's, so Luke is the next/last logical step. I'm less certain about how or why she was left on Jakku, although the map fragment on that planet could support the connection idea. The likely theory is that someone hid her there, but who? When? Why? Maybe even How?
I have a list of undeveloped theories.
-Luke doesn't know about Rey and her mother hid her from Luke, New Republic, and/or from the First Order
-Luke does know about Rey but hid her from the First Order (but why not train her?)
-Rey was kidnapped and hidden or sold onto Jakku
I want to say 1 or 3 is most plausible, but Jedi are pretty notorious for doing weird shit for "the greater good" and not telling the whole truth, so I can't rule out 2.
I remembered the map fragment being on Jakku near the end of writing this post. I was hoping the Jakku Spy videos would explain how Lor San Tekka found it and if there's any possible connection to Rey, but no dice. Still, I don't think it's coincidence that the last piece of the map was on the same planet as Rey. Maybe Luke left the clue himself? When he left her there?
Or maybe I'm completely off base and she's secretly the last of the House of Palpatine. :-P Probably not, but I've theorized about as much as I can from 1 viewing.
I guess overall I'm left with a million questions about everything, but it's the good kind that allows speculation as opposed to confusion or "why would you DO that?!"
So who else needs to talk about feels?