Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Wars: The Farce Awakens

By Tom Rhodes, 12/22/2015

I’ll start by saying I’m an old Star Wars fan and ‘The Force Awakens’ is entertaining and action packed but fails if you even attempt to think about it. The funny scenes and homage to the original Star Wars make it worth seeing. . . . . after it’s in the $5 DVD bin at Walmart. Stop reading if you haven’t seen it and don’t want any spoilers. The Farce Awakens is a feminized retelling of first Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope.

Let’s start with a great positive. TMZ and others have been trying to get Mark Hamill to reveal or hint at Star Wars participation. His dismissal of Star Wars as movies he doesn’t watch, and elusion to not being a part of ‘The Force Awakens‘ and other crap he’s thrown at the press , was acting for the paparazzi. Showing up in the last scene looking like Luke turned into Obi Wan, was a great ending to the movie. Hamill’s treatment of the press and paparazzi is arguably better acting than any of the acting by other characters in the movie except R2D2, and neither Luke or R2D2 speak. The only redeeming acting of a speaking part must be given to Harrison Ford, who pulled Hans Solo with style, and the Chewy-Solo relationship was still the best developed character relationship in the movie. It should be the last we’ll ever see of Hans Solo, unless they do the ghost thing like they did with Kenobi episodes V and VI.

Droid aside, thank God there was no Yoda, Jar-Jar, Ewok, or other cutesy supporting character.

Problems in no particular order:

  • Darth Vader, Luke, Kylo Ren, Obi Wan Kenobi, and all other force using experts in any previous Star Wars story, needed training based on years of apprenticeship with a 24/7 mentor to master the force. The entire premise of Jedi powers is that they must being “learned” and they develop over time with practice. Our heroine Rey, hinted heavily as being Luke’s daughter, instantly and without training or foreknowledge gets abilities with the force that took all other Jedi, Sith, decades to develop. So with no Jedi’s around, how does she even know the force can control weak minded storm troopers, much less use the old “you don’t need to see his papers” shtick.

  • How can Rey without any training best Kylo Ren, the emo Darth Vader, with a light saber, while Kylo Ren has had years of training with the force? Even though Vader, Anakin Skywalker, in his youth like Rey showed signs of mechanical genius and native ability with the force, to become proficient took years of training and a mentor? When Luke first picked up a light sabre, he couldn’t deflect a laser pointer from a training drone much less use it effectively. After training with both Kenobi and Yoda, Luke got his hand chopped off by Vader. The whole “force” in Rey defies the entire premise of the Jedi and use of the force in the previous 6 movies. How come the only character to get the ability and skill to use the force without putting in the work and effort is a girl? Rey’s abilities make a farce of the force.

  • Rey is the most developed character in the whole movie and she has virtually no character development. We have no idea about her past, motivations, anything. Who or what was support system that enabled her to survive on this planet? Why is she in such good health and obviously well fed when she can only scrounge up half rations daily? At least little Anakin was a slave with his mother and we have some idea how and why he survived and turned out the way he did. Who and why is she waiting on a junkers planet? No story, and no reason to actually care for or about her other than the hint she’s Luke’s daughter.

  • How many times can we see a movie blowing up the Death Star, with the Millennium Falcon flying out of the fiery explosion in the last second. Both in its size and scope, Starkiller Base makes the Death Star and it’s rebuild look like a Sunfish in the America’s Cup. There is a pathetically small Tie Fighter fleet to fleet to protect it? After 40 years both the good guys and the bad guys have made zero developments in fighters, Xwing’s and Tie fighters. Would be like the USA still flying F4 Phantoms instead of F35 Raptors. Hell our navy today has better anti-air guns than the ineffective turbolaser batteries on the Starkiller Base? If the rebel’s launched half their Xwing Fleet, why so few, it’s not like the computers at Lucas Light and Magic, couldn’t have added in a few hundred more fighters for both sides. Even the prequel had new fighters and cooler space ships. Even Jar-Jar had access to cooler underwater ships. The future seems to regress technologically not advance.

  • With no character development, Rey treats her aunts husband Hans Solo as like her missing father and is motivated by his death at the hands of her cousin Kylo Ren. At least there was some character development in episode IV to explain Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke’s relationship before the DarthVader/Kylo Ren kills the old mentor Kenobi/Solo.

  • Fin former storm trooper beats decades of brainwashing as a storm trooper and develops a conscience. This happens after his exposure in one battle, and why is a sanitation worker also an armed storm trooper? And why is the main supporting character and black guy, a garbage man, isn’t that racist? What happened to Storm Troopers being Clones? Why are all other Storm Troopers fearless and willing to run right into the fight and Fin runs away until he has a princess to serve?

  • Trained ever since taken as a child to be a fighting machine, or maybe sanitation worker, nothing Fin does is related to or congruent with Ray, but somehow devotes most of the film to trying to protect her. The bigger problem is this character is a typical feminization of an old male hero tale. ‘The Farce Awakens’ retells the original Star Wars with a woman in the man’s role, only the woman gets the farce without all the hard work, and the male despite his years of training is a bumbling shadow of a man obsessed with the female hero.

  • How did Rey know the history of the Millennium Falcon since it was stolen from Han Solo?

  • The emo Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, hates his dad Hans Solo. He hates him enough to kill him; Why? What happened? What turned him to the Dark Side? He is a flat, emo, undeveloped character with no rationale for why he is where he’s at. He’s just a cardboard cutout of an evil emo kid mad at his Dad.

  • Princess Lea, aka Carrie Fisher, has so much botox her face is a plastic shell and shows no emotion. Her acting is flatter and not even worse than her lame part in the “Blues Brothers.”

  • How can a mere Captain, Captain Phasma, know how to lower the Starkiller’s shields and be able to do it without any higher level of approval, or the immediate knowledge of General Hux and emo-Ren? What part of the “Don’t create a system where the shields can be lowered remotely by low level people, thus allowing the rebels to blow up our world killing weapon memo,” didn’t they get after two Deathstar screw ups. And how did the evil empire, now “First Order” end up allowing women to be captains? When did the entire evil empire become politically correct?

  • Storm Troopers go to the planet and run around, no walkers, no big turbo lasers, no presence on the backward planet, etc. Even the backwater Tatooine out on the outer rim had Storm Trooper’s around and heavy weapons. Etc.

  • Han and Lea breakup, no reasoning; Luke training Han’s son, Kylo Ren in the farce, why, where, etc; Luke abandoning his light sabre, and a bunch of other stuff are either bad writing or teasers for possible future movies, the problem is that there are so many holes and missing plot motivators that the follow up movies are going to be worse than ewoks.

  • Lea still a general in the Resistance after 40 years. Didn’t the Rebels defeated the Empire. Changing the name of the Empire to the First Order is kind of lame. How did the First Order/Empire get so powerful again, and regain control of the Storm Troopers? Since they have been raising Storm Troopers from children it’s obvious the Empire/First Order in control has been around again for a while. Why is Lea still general of the “Resistance” shouldn’t that be the Republic?

  • After 4o years as a general in the “resistance couldn’t the First Order/Empire have her assignated or blow up her planet? Look, even the USA got Osama Bin Laden, no way she could be active in the rebellion and not be targeted and destroyed. Boba Fet wasn’t the only assassin in the galaxy. I guess you could say she’s like Castro, he lasted about that long. The difference being Castro was pretty much contained and had no ability to actually hurt the USA. Her position as rebel general, unlike Han Solo returning to smuggling is unbelievable.

  • C3PO – has a red arm and quips about it being why Han Solo doesn’t recognize him. Who cares that over a period of 40 years a cyborg gets a new arm and whoever paid for that arm was too cheap to strip off the red paint. The entire C3PO character in ‘The Force Awakens’ is a cameo just to keep the pattern of him, R2D2 and Chewy being in every Star Wars movie. Here, unlike episodes IV and V, C3PO adds nothing to the story.

    Disney did “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a sci-fi movie with as much action, wit, and humor, with great special effects, and a ton of character development with an equal number of characters. JJ Abrams did better character development in his Star Trek rehashes. We know the studio, director, and other people involved have the skill and ability to tell good stories with great characters, why with such good material and a good base to use, did they create such a poor story and such cardboard characters? The overt effort to make a female centric retelling of the episode IV, detracts from and gets in the way of a good story.

    I only like Episode VII, The Force Awakens, as a homage to the first two Star Wars movies. Like Ewoks go wild (Episode VI), and the 3 movie Anakin is a spoiled brat (episodes I-III) prequel, episode VII, The Force Awakens, is not a good story. I think it’s just a hacked add for Disney’s StarWars rides and merchandising to further Disney investment and freshen up the StarWars brand and give Disney another princess. When episode VII comes out on BluRay, I won’t waste any money to it to my collection (maybe when it’s in the $5 Walmart video bin). I hope episode VIII tells and shows a better story, but I’m pretty sure I spent my last theater dollar for any Star Wars movie on ‘The Force Awakens,’ and I’ll wait for Episode VIII to be streamed, or the BlueRay costs less than a movie ticket.