I was not a huge Star Wars fan. I had been calling Storm Troopers ‘Space Troopers’ for years. I have only seen the last three movies, which are actually the first three, but for some reason were made after four, five and six, which were the first three. Confused? I was. This ignorance, however, did nothing to dim my excitement at attending the midnight premier of The Force Awakens with my friend and boyfriend, both of whom are massive fans.
I loved this movie. I loved the story (which was apparently very similar to the fourth movie), the action and the characters. It had a fantastic structure, and was easy to follow. It also, luckily, didn’t require much knowledge of its prequels. My Star Wars aficionado pals made sure I knew what I needed. Unlike them, I had the luxury of bypassing the hype before its release, and thus almost cried with joy when Indiana Jones walked in. To re-iterate, I was not a Star Wars fan until this movie. Some aspects made me cringe – drawn out reunions, the camera lingering inappropriately long at times - but on a whole it was very good. BB-3, as I have been calling him, was the most hilariously adorable little bot anyone could ask for. In one scene, where we see Rey being called by Luke’s light-saber, BB-8 is in the background plonking down the stairs. Absolute perfection.
The character Kylo Ren was genius. Potentially the most dangerous character in Star Wars, Kylo Ren possessed new powers unseen in the Star Wars universe (as my boyfriend informs me). However he was not the quintessential bad guy. He was treacherous, skilled and erratic, but his constant battle with the light side gave him dimension. The actor, Adam Driver, brilliantly captured the internal battle between light and dark in a rare character. He was ‘bad’, fighting with the goodness inside him, but was not an anti-hero or vigilante, so the viewer could not see a point where it would be moral to like him. But you still couldn’t hate him. Well, until THAT scene (yeah, you know the one).
If you know me you will know how much I adore balancing features. Not only was Rey a powerful, unassuming character, she was completely self-sufficient. The initial meeting and ensuing pursuit of her and Finn highlighted the irritating need for the male lead to attempt to assist the woman in her escape. In this case, Fin grabbed Rey’s hand in their escape. This was gently, amusingly shunned with a jab that she could run fine on her own. It was followed by an explosion knocking them both to the ground, and Rey jumping up to see if Finn was ok, only to have him awaken, somewhat distant, and ask her if she was ok. The pause that followed provided some comic relief as she looked at him incredulously before they both ran off.
The other moment I wish to highlight is the reaction of Rey and Fin to Han Solo’s death. They were both disgusted, both distraught. It was not the woman becoming hysterical whilst the man internalized his emotions, appearing to remain in control. They both reacted with disbelief, pain and anguish as they were powerless to respond. It was subtle, I doubt anyone else noticed, but this, and other similar instances, ensure I am now a huge fan of Star Wars.