Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

In 1982 Queen released the Hot Space album. There was a bit of a flap as Queen fans raised on the No Synthesisers legend found in the credits of every Queen album up until The Game, went nuts at the musical direction of the band¹. During the Milton Keynes concert on the Hot Space tour in 1982 Freddie Mercury responded to the furore with:

Now most of you know that we’ve got some new sounds out in the last week. And for what it’s worth we’re going to do a few songs in the funk, black category. Whatever you want to call it. That doesn’t mean we’ve lost our rock and roll feel. Okay! I mean, it’s only a bloody record. People get so excited about these things.

Emphasis mine. I’m reminded of this flap when I read some of the stuff written about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Some people are really invested in the Star Wars universe. They are pointing out plot holes in the new film, saying it’s just a rehash of the original, and of course the Gamergate loons are out in force about the two new lead characters. Both of whom are spectacularly good in the film.

To paraphrase Freddie:

It’s only a bloody film. People get so excited about these things!

It’s a film. It’s entertainment. It’s meant to give you fun and spectacle for your £10 ticket in the cinema. And it has to introduce a new younger generation to the Star Wars universe to set up the next five years worth of films. It’s a reboot without being billed as a reboot. It’s not an existential commentary on the state of humanity.

Luckily most people get that and treat the film in the way it’s intended. As entertainment. And what entertainment it is. I rate it as the best of all the seven Star Wars films so far. It doesn’t have anything new in it. It doesn’t have any surprises. The only thing that could have been a surprise is exposed in dialogue about half way through. But what it delivers it does really well. The scenes set on Jakku are stunning. I could have happily watched a whole film set there. Daisy Ridley is spectacular. Rey, the character she plays is great too. It’s obvious she is important and powerful with The Force. Do I care that she can use The Force without all the training malarky that is in other films? I do not. A natural talent in the force I can live with. This is Sci-Fantasy. The Force can be used in anyway the plot needs. The other new main character Finn, played by John Boyega, is also a great addition to the cast. As is Poe, played by Oscar Issac. The film is greatly improved by having these three diverse lead characters. The new BB-8 droid is fantastic too. What about that thumbs up? 🙂

Anyway, there you are. I liked the film. It’s a fine 2.25 hours of entertainment. The box office returns seem to indicate that people are going to see it multiple times. It does reward repeat viewing. You can just let it all sink in 2nd time round.

1. I loved Hot Space from the day I heard it. All of my friends from that time who hated it now say they like it.