The TOP 5 moments in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
A Long Time Ago...
Actually, only just a few days ago is when I saw STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, and I believe I speak for everyone when I say, thank God it did not suck.
That's selling it a bit short, it was AWESOME! The new film is such a deep, exciting, well-structured, and powerful film, even though it really is basically A NEW HOPE with a fresh coat of paint. Many have pointed out that it's the same story as the original Star Wars, but none of those people, myself included, seem to care.
But I digress, here are my favorite moments that will hold a place in my mindchasm for the rest of my days.
5. Kylo Ren throws a tantrum
There’s a moment when Kylo Ren experiences a setback and just completely loses his cool (which he does more than once). He goes completely batshit and uses his lightsaber to take his rage out on a few nearby computers. The moment makes Kylo Ren more than just a Darth Vader ripoff because you realize that he is an extremely conflicted and emotionally immature villain. He wants to be like his idol, Mr. Vader himself, so bad that he tries to deny who he really is-- a petulant wannabe with rage issues, which undoubtedly makes him instantly more complex and interesting than your usual cinematic baddie. If only Marvel movie villains were this layered. The scene is capped with a comedic gem as two stormtroopers enter the scene, see the destruction, then silently turn tail and walk away.
4. Han and Leia reunite
We meet Han early on in the film, but we don’t get to see him reunited with the love of his life, Leia, until about the middle point. When the two do reunite onscreen, it’s pure magic. Just seeing these two back together on screen would make any cinephile get emotional. It’s Han and Leia, man, one of the most iconic onscreen romances ever put forth on celluloid, and here we are, seeing them back together after 30 long years. It’s a beautiful moment.
3. That opening scene!
After the disaster that was the prequels, it’s natural to get a bit skeptical, even cynical, about a new Star Wars film. All fears are put straight to bed, and with a heavy dose of Ny-Quil to boot, in the first 10 or so minutes of The Force Awakens. The very first line of the epic space crawl text, “Luke Skywalker has vanished,” is enough to give you goosebumps and let you know, unequivocally, that this is a Star Wars movie. There are no Senate hearings or political unrest, none of that crap. We then go to the surface of a nearby planet and meet Poe, the Resistance’s greatest pilot and all around bad ass (who could easily hold his own movie) and Kylo Ren, the main antagonist who, in this scene, firmly implants himself as a formidable villain by killing Max Von Sydow and his whole village, and using the force to freeze a laser blast in midair.
Let me repeat that for those of you in the cheap seats; he FREEZES a freakin’ laser blast IN MIDAIR! We’ve never seen anything like that in a Star Wars film before, and seeing it now makes you very sad about that fact. Another striking image that helps the film set itself apart from the older ones, is the introduction of Finn, arguably the secondary protagonist of The Force Awakens, as a stormtrooper who develops a conscious after seeing one of his stormtrooper buddies killed and being ordered to murder an entire village of innocent people. We’ve never been able to see what it’s like being a stormtrooper, if they have feelings or thoughts about the horrors they commit, and now that we’ve jettisoned the whole “they’re all unfeeling clones” bit, we get to see one of them develop a conscious, which is amazing, although I wish they had explained what makes Finn special and reject the First Order and nobody else, since they were are trained since birth to be stormtroopers. It’s a minor gripe, if you would even call it that at all.
2. Rey vs Ren
At the end of the film, after seeing Rey’s journey, we finally get to see the titular awakening happen within her. Before I get to the fight itself, I have to add that Rey is one of the best and most intriguing characters in Star Wars history. She’s written as not only a survivor, but a girl with an extraordinary grace and heart that feels so believable thanks to an amazing performance by Daisy Ridley. Rey is who I envision when I think of strong female characters, not a girl who aspires to be more butch or fight guys twice her size and win, but a girl who can survive and grow without the help of a man but retains that beautiful feminine quality and grace that allows her to be able to rely on the bonds of friendship and love to grow even more in life. To summarize: strong female character means a lot more than a gal who punches dudes in the face, she has to be a real woman, full of grace as well, and Daisy Ridley just nails it.
Okay, back to the fight; Ren and Rey are facing off, Finn has tried his best to wield Luke and Vader’s lightsaber but he has been gravely injured by Ren and now it’s up to Rey to stop him and save herself and her friend as the planet surrounding them dies. The aforementioned lightsaber lies half-buried in the snow a few yards away from our combatants. Ren uses the force to call the lightsaber to him and it flies in his direction and… swiftly changes course and flies into Rey’s hands, who was also trying to use the force to grab it. At that moment, in the theater I was in, the crowd EXPLODED into cheers! It was awesome and perfect and made this writer tear up a little bit (even now as I write this). This is the moment the audience didn’t even know they were waiting for, the exact moment when we know, undoubtedly, that the force has awoken within our young heroine, like a motherfucker. It’s a powerful moment that many a generation will likely remember to their dying day.
1. Chewbacca goes apeshit
HEAVY SPOILER AHEAD
The best moment in the film comes when we are forced to say goodbye to an icon, and the reaction that follows. To summarize things up to this point, Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. He was an apprentice to Luke Skywalker, but for reasons not yet known, he turned to the dark side and abandoned his family. This scene is a face-off between father and son, on a bridge within a massive First Order weapon that Han and Chewie infiltrate to place explosives and help destroy its shields. Han realizes he must face his son and try to bring him back to the light, and you think he might succeed but then Kylo Ren, AKA Ben Solo, places himself very high in the “Most Hated Villains” category by thrusting his lightsaber clean through Han, killing him. Han’s look of betrayal and subsequent fall off the bridge and into oblivion is enough to make any Star Wars fan cry out, “Nooooooooooooooo!” but what really brings the feels out is Chewbacca’s reaction to seeing his best friend, his long-time companion and brother-from-another-species die before his eyes. Chewie’s howls of rage and pain as he shoots at Kylo Ren is emotional to the very core, and you sit in the audience praying that each shot fired finds its mark and bores into Kylo Ren’s stupid Han-killing face, making it explode into brain dust. You will feel this Wookie’s pain, and I hope when it’s time for Ren to get his, they let Chewie come in and just tear him apart with his furry claws in a very gory, “R-rating guaranteed” scene.
Well, that’s my top 5 moments from “The Force Awakens,” tell me what yours are in the comments below and go out and see the movie again because there are most likely many things you missed the first time around and, frankly, Disney could use the money; poor fledgling little studio.