J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is true to its name because it awakens the force behind Star Wars that has been dormant since the end of the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI). The Force Awakens has fewer eyeroll-inducing scenes than the second trilogy (Episodes I-III) and has more relatable and modern characters compared to the original trilogy, but it is mostly a rehash of the old Star Wars films, specifically A New Hope. It is a great rehash though because it almost made me cry thrice.
In case you change your mind and do not wish to continue reading this entry, the no spoiler entry of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is this way.
The table below compares Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
|Scenes/Characters||Star Wars: A New Hope||Star Wars: The Force Awakens|
|Escape of a droid carrying an important plan/map||Princess Leia gave R2-D2 the plan of the Death Star||Poe Dameron gave BB-8 the map of Luke Skywalker’s location|
|Seemingly normal person with a dead-end job in a wasteland becomes the hope of the light side||Luke Skywalker works for his uncle in Tatooine then he becomes a Jedi||Rey works as a scavenger in Jakku then she defeats Kylo Ren|
|The father figure of the seemingly normal person dies||Obi-Wan Kenobi||Han Solo|
|The good guys||The Rebel Alliance||The Resistance|
|The greatest pilot in the galaxy||Luke Skywalker||Poe Dameron|
|The scoundrel||Han Solo||Han Solo|
|The old wise person||Yoda, 900 years old||Maz Kanata, over a thousand years old|
|The bad guys||The Galactic Empire||The First Order|
|The leader of the bad guys||Darth Sidious||Supreme Leader Snoke|
|Former good guy who switches to the dark side||Darth Vader||Kylo Ren|
|Enemy base that seems impenetrable but has weakness||Death Star||Starkiller|
My Favorite Characters
Rey (Daisy Ridley) – Rey is this generation’s Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia rolled into one hell of a woman. She is a great pilot with uncanny instincts (Han Solo). She is Force sensitive and wields the lightsaber like it is part of her limbs (Luke Skywalker). She is a strong woman that little girls can look up to (Princess Leia). Rey moves like a Jedi and has the mental strength of one. She fights with Kylo Ren with zero Jedi training and escapes with a win and all of her body parts intact. Okay, so some segments of that fight are questionable. How does she defeat an almost Jedi-turned-bad-guy Kylo Ren? It is a movie of disbelief, so logic means squat. Rey is also the name of my favorite basketball player, so that is +7777777 ganda points.
BB-8 (voiced by Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz) – It breaks my heart to write that BB-8 is the better version of R2-D2. I love R2-D2, but his diminished scenes in The Force Awakens and BB-8’s cuteness make me switch from the cylindrical side to the spherical side. BB-8 moves in ways that R2-D2 cannot and BB-8 knows how to banter! R2-D2 needs to up his game in Episode VIII and start it by replacing C-3PO as his banter buddy.
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – Kylo Ren owns that weird-looking lightsaber, which proves its advantage when he injures Finn (John Boyega) during their fight. Given his power and proclivity to throw tantrums, he will be a legendary diva. He destroys everything in sight with his lightsaber with ease and fluidity of a seasoned dancer. Due to his lithe movements, Kylo Ren might be known as the Roger Federer of villains in the Star Wars universe.
He is and will forever be an ass for what he did to Han Solo, but he is the most human among the bad guys in all of Star Wars films. He has doubts about his decision to defect to the dark side and shows some degree of mercy for his victims. He is the villain with existential crises, and this adds depth to his character.
BB-8 tries to reanimate R2-D2 – I am biased because they are the most adorable characters in the film. They are slabs of metals, but they express the most sense and emotion in the scenes they appear in. As I said in my other entry, if Disney decides to have spawns of these droids, millions of children (or their parents) will line up for months to buy their blue and orange babies.
Kylo Ren kills Han Solo (Harrison Ford) – It was so predictable, but just before it happened, I had that transient hope that maybe, just maybe, Ren would change his mind and not kill his father. Oh yes, Han Solo is Kylo Ren’s father. Ren killed his father to cast away his doubts and completely immerse himself in the dark side. What makes me sadder is the fact that Han Solo’s remains will be forever lost in the cavernous nothingness of the reactor shaft with no chance of having a proper burial. Adam Driver is spectacular in this scene; he shows equal measure of vulnerability, doubt and cunning.
Rey finds Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) – Just before Luke’s face was revealed, I had that momentary doubt that maybe it was Supreme Leader Snoke under the hood. Thank goodness, it was really Luke. For some selfish reasons, I consider this last scene of the film as a sign that R2-D2 is not losing his grip as the cutest droid in the galaxy because his master is alive and well! It means (might mean) more scenes for R2-D2 in episode VIII!!!
BB-8 and R2-D2 – Their yapping is tolerable even though it is gibberish. They understand each other, and they complete each other’s map. It is destiny. 🙂
Finn and Poe Dameron – They have limited scenes together, but their friendship has good foundation – with Finn saving Poe from the hands of Kylo Ren. They will be the successors of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in terms of skills and bromance.
Finn and Rey – They genuinely like each other, with Rey being more vocal about it. Their short friendship thus far has been through a lot – escape Jakku together, fly the Millennium Falcon together and fight Kylo Ren together – but they survive each misadventure with greater resolve to save the galaxy from the hands of evil.