Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Star Wars: Force Awakens review

It is a good movie, nothing to contest about this. The pacing is right, the humor is measured, the characters are largely on spot, spacecrafts and lasers. I was especially looking forwards to Rey, a female heroine with a somewhat obscure background, and a black person as a main character Jedi Knight.

It was glorious action. The Millenium Falcon and all the air/space fights were well done. The laser sword duels seemed to be a good mix of old and new movie, their clumsiness well explained by having not yet perfectly trained combatants.

The old actors do a good job, but the movie does very well in establishing the new actors as the main focus. Well done! I am looking much more forward towards seeing the new actors in action than the old ones. Han got a well served and well timed exit. It is hinted at in his first scene already: Nobody believes you anymore Han, we already know all your tricks. He seems like an old man who starts to understand that his time is over. Some well meant advise to the youngers, and of course I wouldn´t have minded a less "forceful" exit for a well-deserved retirement, but, ah well, some drama was necessary, was it?

Well, some hopes of course got disappointed. Key words are: Maybe still a little too much of everything?

In the end, Rey has become Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in one person. Whereas Finn seems to be useless and just the nice guy, but a big looser. For one thing is clear: He cannot wield a lightsaber! This seems a bit unbalanced. The old movies, not just Star Wars, but also Star Trek, lived by a clear balance of character. The newer ones do not have this anymore, and thus miss a vital part.

New Hope was all in all still a bright movie about hope. Force Awakens seems to lean much more towards dark themes. We have two family tragedies in the center, and they hit hard from the start instead of slowly building up. Concerning Han and Leia, I would have been happy to see a less sad constellation. Han could have just been on a undercover mission, both still a happily bickering couple after all this time. Instead we are presented with esentially a third family tragedy here.

New Hope had the plans about a death star as its plot, and they were the cause of its destruction in the end. Force Awakens has the search for Luke Skywalker as main theme. The new super death planet going on a rampage comes across just as a side theme, its destruction too easily invented, not even a triumphant ceremony takes place after its destruction.

Why R2D2 reboots just at the end of the movie as a veritable deus ex machina, escapes me. Little unexplainable inattentions like this annoy me. It would have been much better if BB-8 would have managed to activate him, like R2D2 did so famously on the Millenium Falcon´s hyperdrive in Empire Strikes Back.

The scenes of travelling to Luke Skywalker are almost anti-climatic compared to all the fireworks before. I would have preferred an ending like Empire Strikes Back: Rey and Chewie launch on their search for Luke. And then I would have been content to see a much more engrossing encounter with Luke, later on. Not that open mouthed, staring fat old man.

That super death planet. Now that we have CGI, and there are still a pittance of a dozen space fighters racing around, what is this? In my imagination, the Republik should already have knowledge about a thing that big. The new actors should have stumbled in between that climaxing conflict where the Republic sends all of its fleet versus the super death planet, the sky should have been crammed with spacecrafts in a huge battle. It would then have been much more explainable how a small ship like the Millenium Falcon could have gotten through a possibly already battered planetary shield.

The invention of another rebel organisation called Resistance was unnecessary. We have a Republic, which rose from the ashes of the Empire. The victory of the Rebellion must have not been ignored by the plot! Leia´s and Han´s position as heroes of the Republic should have shown at a much higher level, as high ranking officers of a huge republic fleet. This wouldn´t have hurt the plot at all. Too much fan service here, I guess.
Ah, and the Millenium Falcon: I feel so sorry for it. Excellent flight scenes! But the poor thing gets hit and kicked around all the time, does not complain, and still work fine until the end. No single repair in between! In my opinion, any space craft should have disassembled forcefully ten times over.

But, you know, I am ready to forgive, but just because of one thing: Rey is so damn hot! And of course, she will have to receive a lightsaber staff once she is fully trained! My best hopes go to Finn, may he find his place and some usefulness! And I bet my arse on one thing: That overly large Snoog evil main guy is nothing but the twin of that Maz Kanata kobolt; this is just too obvious already. Boring; a real giant life form as dark overlord would have been a refreshing counterpoint to all this Yoda-ism.

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