WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FILM AS IT WILL SPOIL IT FOR YOU
I’m afraid that my review here is going to go against popular opinion somewhat. Like many Star Wars fans, I had looked forward to this with great relish and couldn’t wait to get to the cinema.
Whilst the visuals and soundtrack were fantastic, I felt that the plot/story was a poor shadow of the original trilogy with an over-reliance on the tropes which made the original so popular. For example:
- Appearance of main, black clad antagonist within the first few scenes
- Mysterious master behind the scenes calling the shots
- Black clad antagonist has close family ties to one or more of the protagonists
- Older, father figure who dies at the hand of the black clad bad guy
- Plans/electronic data hidden on a cute droid which must be recovered
- Small, mysterious mentor type creature with oversized facial features
For some I can imagine this recycling of familiar plot ideas is comforting but I was hoping for something which would retain the original feel whilst adding fresh plot points and twists much as the original trilogy did. Whilst Darth Vader being Luke’s father is now seen as so familiar it’s almost comedic, back when TESB came out it was a major twist.
I also found the Kylo Ren character annoying. He initially seemed intimidating but quickly became clear he was just a spoiled teenager. It didn’t surprise me when he killed Han Solo and when Rey managed to best him towards the end of the film.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a great film but just didn’t think it deserved the hype and/or to be placed on a level with the original trilogy….yet. Some of the things I thought were great included:
- Strong, female character who is not only physically capable of looking after herself but is also technically capable
- The casting of relative unknowns, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. This was a feature of the original trilogy which I think helped make it so fresh and new at the time
- BB-8 is very cool and not simply CGI!
- Rey’s backstory has yet to be revealed (and I hope it doesn’t turn out to be something really obvious and hackneyed)
- Likewise, Finn’s backstory could have potential
- The Lovecraftian beasts being shipped by Han & Chewy. You don’t get a great look at them which adds to the suspense
Everything said, it may turn out that this film is a good set-up for Episodes VIII & IX. Looking back I may eat my words and see Episode VII as a fantastic film in context of the films before and after….I sincerely hope that this is the case!