Why you are wrong when you say 'The Force Awakens' sucks

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After seeing "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," many fans (and non-fans) raced to the internet to provide their own comments to reviews, articles and other posts to share their opinions on the movie. As can be expected, there people who thought the movie was great, as well as people thought the movie was horrible.

I saw the movie with my husband and two oldest children. We were among those who loved the movie, and think those who made negative comments didn't fully understand the movie, or perhaps didn't have three other people to bounce ideas and thoughts with immediately after the movie.

(Probably the most shocking comment- which I wish I screenshot when I had the chance- said they were disappointed that reading the books gave away too much information. Does anyone who read "The Hunger Games" or "Harry Potter" say that after seeing the movie?)

As a result, we have decided to provide this service to help those who insist on posting "TFA sucks," or the much longer explanation of why they thought it sucked.

Same story

Probably the biggest and most often heard complaint about the movie is that it is the same story as "A New Hope." And, yes, there are similarities, but aren't many of those similarities also in "The Phantom Menance," the other start to a Star Wars trilogy?

All three involve a Force sensitive lead being found on a desert planet. All three have a female lead, perfectly capable of taking care of things herself, needing some sort of rescue. All three have a mentor who dies.

Perhaps there is a reason history keeps repeating itself. Star Wars is the story of Anakin Skywalker. People all the time find themselves doing something exactly as their parents would have, and Anakin's family already has a the similarity of being not only Force sensitive, but extremely powerful in the Force. While there is always someone who wants to cultivate their power, there will probably be similar circumstances members of the Skywalker family will find themselves in.

Plus, if you look hard enough, you can find similarities between a variety of movies and stories. For example, you may have seen the meme below:

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Plot holes

While I may have alluded to Rey being a member of the Skywalker family, that wasn't exactly confirmed in the movie. Sure, she has power you would only expect from a member of the Skywalker family, and Anakin's lightsaber called to her. But, unless I'm mistaken, she only says she is waiting for her family to come back for her. She may not know who her parents are, and is simply waitng for her Jedi family (Anakin and Obi Wan do refer to each other as brothers) to come back. In fact, there is even a post floating around claiming that she could be a Kenobi.

Probably the only major thing really explained in the movie is that Kylo Ren is Ben Solo, Han and Leia's son.

Is this really a problem? Only in the information now society.

Back in 1977, when "A New Hope" was released, we didn't know Darth Vader was Luke's father. We didn't know Luke and Leia were twins. We didn't know C-3PO was built by Darth Vader back when he was little Anakin.

There are two more movies in this trilogy, as well as a few other movies and other media (like books) to explain what has not been explained. Did you really want C-3PO to go on about his arm and continue to delay Leia and Han's reunion? (If you want to know more about the red arm, there will be a comic book for that.)

The Sith

First of all, this seems like an unprovoked attack on both the Philadelphia Eagles and Hillary Clinton, but that's beside the point. Bad grammar aside, Kylo Ren was supposed to seem immature and unstable, while the Empire coming back to power is actually quite plausible. Destroying the Death Star didn't automatically get rid of 25 years of Imperials running through the galaxy, it just meant they didn't have Sith lords protecting their hinds. Still, all it really did was destabilize the galaxy like when the U.S. goes into these Middle Eastern countries and removes evil governments, which are immediately replaced by a less stable, possibly just as evil government.

Rey

"Hero girl," I'd like to argue, did not learn how to control the Force in six minutes. The movie is titled "The Force Awakens" for a reason. It appears through Rey's vision/memory from touching the lightsaber that she was at Luke's Jedi Training Camp (that may not have been the proper title of his school, but in future references, if any, it will be referred to as LJTC) as a small child before being left on Jakku by her "family."

We know from past movies that children were taken from their families to learn the ways of the Force at a very young age, and that a nine-year-old Anakin was considered too old. Luke, wanting to avoid another Anakin, likely followed this method, if possible.

By Kylo Ren's reaction to there being a girl with the droid, it appears he knows who she is. In fact, his reaction resembled Darth Vader's when he put the pieces together that his son was there.

It is very possible she was always a Force prodigy, possibly even being part of the reason why Ben became so frustrated in his own abilities and turned to the Dark Side.

Imagine if you witnessed something traumatic, like it appears Rey witnessed, possibly at the age of five. While some think her mind was Force swiped, it is also possible the experience caused her to repress those memories of the LJTC until those memories were "awakened" by the events in the movie. She was trained, the Force was in her, and it was up to her to find it within herself and let it go.

Mark Hamill

The movie was all about finding Luke, so, yes, Mark Hamill's character, although only seen briefly twice (at the most), was the star of the movie.

James Earl Jones allegedly thought his part as Darth Vader was so small in "A New Hope" that he was not even in the credits of the movie. I think most of us would argue now that Vader was a huge role.

This is also not the first time a movie has credited someone as starring when the actor was barely in the movie. Marlon Brando was the top billed star of "Superman" and he dies about a fourth of the way into the movie. "Scream" starred Drew Barrymore, who died in the first scene. In "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock," Leonard Nimoy doesn't appear until the very end. This not only draws in the star's fans, but (in some cases) helps hide what will happen in the story.

In conclusion, this is definitely a movie meant to be seen many times, with something new to find each time. If you did not like the movie and already feel you have wasted your money on it (as some people have said), go ahead and wait until the movie is available on television and see it again. You may see something you didn't before and change your mind.

© 2016 Samantha Sinclair

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Comments 4 comments

DarthRevan 11 months ago

I'm so tired of the apologists for this film. You start off by saying people may have not understood the film? Could you be more condescending? There is nothing to understand. The movie was lacking in any kind of depth and meaning. It was just a popcorn action flick that happened to be called Star Wars.

Let me go through your points...

Story Similarities - I keep seeing people misinterpret why people are upset about the story similarities between A New Hope and The Force Awakens. People are not complaining about the use of the "Hero's Journey" story archetype. Yes, that archetype is used in a ton of films/stories, no one is denying that. It is a great model for story telling and I thoroughly enjoy it, as do many people. What people are complaining about is the fact that TFA is almost an exact copy of ANH and that makes it more of a reboot than a sequel. TFA includes many of the major plot points from ANH and has many of the same settings as well. The Phantom Menace may have had a few similarities to ANH, but if you think TPM has the same amount in common with ANH as TFA does, then you're just not paying attention.

Plot Holes - I totally agree with you that not everything needs to be spoiled immediately. I am totally fine with leaving some questions unanswered. For example, who is Supreme Leader Snokes? Who is Rey's family? These types of questions can build up to great moments like Vader revealing that he is Luke's father.

However, this film pretty much gives no context or explanation for anything going on. You literally have to read the novel to actually get an understanding of what has been going on for the last 30 years. I don't remember getting a book with the purchase of my movie ticket. This is simply poor story telling.

Films that are in a trilogy still need to be able to stand on their own. This film, just like other films by J.J. Abrams, have poor story telling because they focus too much on moving from action scene to action scene instead of fleshing out details, developing characters, and giving meaning to the story.

The Sith/Empire - I don't disagree that the broken factions of the Empire could pull together and still be a formidable foe. However, if the First Order, a smaller faction of the old Empire, can make enough progress in 30 years to build a Death Star that is 10x the size of the ones that the Empire created, don't you think the Republic could have also rebuilt and created at least a sizable fighting force of their own?

Not only this, but this new film totally undid all of the struggles and character development of the Original Trilogy characters. In TFA, the First Order destroys the new Republic in a scene that lasts about 2-3 minutes. We aren't even really told if those 5 or so planets that were destroyed were the re-built Republic. We are given no context to what has just transpired and all we get from the characters are them looking up at the destruction in the sky looking a bit sad.

As far as the characters go from the OT, they revert back to their original selves, as if the events of the OT never happened. Han, who was a general at the end of Return of the Jedi, is a smuggler again. Leia is still leading a rag-tag group of fighters, and Luke, after all of his struggles, has one set back establishing the new Jedi Order and runs away to hide. To me, these are not the actions of the characters from the OT.

So, just like that, the victory in RotJ is undone. I'm not saying that there should be ever lasting peace, but to revert the story back to ANH is just stupid and lazy writing. Now, in order to really have a new story, we have to go through the same steps of the OT before we can move forward again. The First Order will strike back and then the heroes will win in the final film. My guess as to why they did this? People have been bashing the prequels for so long that Disney and Abrams probably believed that people hated every last inch of the PT. So they chose to not include one damn thing from them. Big mistake. For all of their failures, the PT had a lot of great things going for it. It expanded the Star wars Universe, giving us new planets, aliens, and lore. TFA abandoned all of that depth for nostalgia and superficial action.

Rey- It is totally plausible that Rey has some kind of amnesia and has forgotten her force powers. That she was once a padawan under Luke and a series of events led to her being left on a remote planet. However, I would argue that she appeared to be very young when she was left on Jakku. So my question is, how much training could she have really had before being left on Jakku? Was she capable of the Jedi Mind Trick or fighting with a light saber at that young of an age? The films, as well as the former EU, tell us that it takes people are very long time to become that skilled with the Force and a lightsaber.

Also, if she was a little kid when she was left on Jakku, wouldn't that make Kylo Ren around the same age? Are you suggesting that Kid Ren would be that upset over her being better than him at such a young age and then would carry that anger into adulthood? I honestly think it would have made more sense to use the flashback and have Rey confirm that she remembers something of before. At least then we would have context for her powers.

To wrap up, I disagree that this movie is oozing with things to discover. I went back through the film online and there just isn't much there. The story is lacking in details and development. The characters are lacking proper development and motivation. The dialogue is contrived and stilted. The pacing is far to fast, leaving no room for explanation.

I think a lot of people are blinded by the fact that this movie has Star Wars in the title. Had this film been called anything else, it would have been a fun, mediocre action flick. That's about it. But, because it's a Star Wars movie, it just has to be the greatest thing ever. I am telling you this now, history will not be kind to this film. Already, more and more negative reviews are coming out. I see people dismissing these reviews and negative comments as people just wanting to hate on the movie or that people are taking Star Wars too seriously. These are merely people avoiding having to respond to valid criticisms.

I am happy that you and your family enjoyed this film. I, however, did not. While no film in the series is perfect, I believe TFA lowers the bar for all future Star Wars films.


Samantha Sinclair profile image

Samantha Sinclair 11 months ago from North Carolina Author

Wow. Thank you for your hub-length comment. With the name Darth Revan, this anti-TFA response is in character ;)

On just one of your points, Kylo is NOT the same age as Rey. The books are not canon, they are not the twins many (including myself) assumed they were. He is probably about 10 years older. Kylo appears to at least be a teenager when attacking what appears to be the Jedi camp in the vision. Rey is maybe 5 when dropped off on Jakku. Ren is not exactly stable, and is not as powerful as he thinks he should be or wants to be. If Rey as a 5-year-old was superior to him in the ways of the Force, you better believe with the personality the movie showed for him that he would be holding on to that anger into adulthood.

More character development- Luke, Leia and Han peaked back in the old trilogy. We are basically seeing the equivalent what happens to people who peak in high school. And, Luke is being typical Jedi going into hiding after defeat. Yoda and Obi Wan did it after "Revenge of Sith."

By the way, I am also a Superman fan, and watched those movies more than the Star Wars movies when I was growing up. I was excited for "Superman Returns," as I was for this movie. Both movies used nostalgia, but TFA uses it much more smoothly and naturally. Oh, and that movie actually did eliminate the events of two movies. Maybe that's why the nostalgia doesn't affect me as much as it does you and others- I've seen it done poorly, and this was great compared to that.


DarthRevan 11 months ago

What can I say, KOTOR is one of my favorite games and pieces of Star Wars lore. :)

I can totally believe that Ren was older than Rey. That would make more sense to him being so upset. However, I do think that after Disney bought Star Wars the EU was made not canon, but everything sense then has been canon. So, I would assume that the new novel for this film is canon.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Journey_to_Star_War...

I think the peeking in high school part is a bit much. The notion that after RotJ they all just said, "that will do pig, that will do", and went back to their old lives seems a little hard to believe. They were fighting for their lives, peace, and freedom. Surely they must have known defeating the Emperor and the second death star wouldn't magically make everything better. And as far as Luke goes, how many Jedi are going to go into hiding? Did we need another one of them to do that? Is that literally going to be part of Star Wars Canon. If you defeat a Jedi, he/she will run away and hide. Yoda and Obi-wan hid at the same time because the Empire was exterminating all Jedi. They had to hide, their lives were at stake. What is Luke running from?

Again, I think this film suffers from a lack of explanation, background, and context. This, in turn, leads the audience to not be emotionally invested into the characters and story. For example, there could have been a scene, a flashback if you will, where Han blames Luke for Ren turning to the dark side. This scene alone would give us much needed depth, emotion, and context. It would give us a reason as to why Luke left... perhaps he was ashamed, or even disappointed in himself. Maybe shortly after that scene, we see Han and Leia arguing about Han yelling at Luke and driving him away or about Ren leaving. This would explain the division between those two. We then see Han going back to what he knows best, smuggling. Leia would thrust herself into work with the Resistance.

And right there is my point, I came up with two scenes of the top of my head that would have made this film simply better because if would give us a reason to care. It would invoke emotion.

I have a great appreciation for the Star Wars Universe and I feel that we are being cheated by this film. I'm not some QT purist or a PT apologist. Hell, I would be lying if I said I didn't laugh at a few of the jokes in TFA or even smile during the film. To me, the film is just lacking in the substance department and if this is what we can expect from Disney Star Wars films, I may have to say goodbye to this franchise.


Samantha Sinclair profile image

Samantha Sinclair 11 months ago from North Carolina Author

But, they didn't go back to their old lives right away- Luke attempted to train a new group of Jedi, and Kylo killed them, as in the Great Jedi Purge. Did Yoda and Obi Wan really have to hide for about 18 years? From the Rebels show (which is canon), we know they were not the only Jedi to survive. Why didn't all the surviving Jedi team up and take down the Emperor and Vader way before Luke came of age? They are so caught up in chosen ones that they just hid. They didn't believe in themselves. After what happened to Kylo, Luke lost faith in himself, too. That could, in fact, be why he is at the first Jedi Temple at the end- to find that faith.

Remember, Luke was trained by Obi Wan and Yoda. They may have even told him to go into exile as they did. Perhaps they all now believe Rey is actually the chosen one and were waiting for her to be old enough to fight the new evil and bring balance to the Force. Perhaps this will all be explained in Ep. VIII, since we leave this movie with Rey finding Luke.

Han was never really fully committed to the cause of the Rebellion, and that lack of commitment is mirrored in his relationship with Leia.

Leia was concerned the remnants of the Empire would cause trouble, but the other leaders of the New Republic didn't believe her. That's why she started the Resistance.

What you appear to be saying is that you wanted more from Luke, Leia and Han in this movie, and if JJ had given us that, we would be complaining that there was too much of them and not enough Rey, Kylo and Poe. People are already complaining that there wasn't enough Captain Phasma. Plus, when we saw the original trilogy, remember we didn't why Anakin went to the Dark Side, we didn't know why Obi Wan was in hiding. The prequels explained all that, and we all know how we feel about the prequels.

As my husband and I were just discussing last night while watching "Attack of the Clones" at the kids' request, one negative about the prequels was that there was way too much explanation of things. Why ruin this new trilogy with all these explanations when Disney knows those of who want more information will buy those books and will watch anything Star Wars they throw at us?

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