Ten Things I Loved About Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I know what you’re thinking: “Only ten, Hook? Are you slacking in your old age?”

Actually, I’m a slacker from way back, one of my high school torturers teachers, Mr. Kidney, made a point of telling me that every… single… day.

“You’re a slacker, Hookey! You always will be! Someday, if they invent something called the internet…. you can quote me on that in your blog thingie!”

Okay, so maybe I’m paraphrasing a little…

The point is, Mr. Kidney’s assessment didn’t really bother me; he looked like Herb Tarlek on acid, so who gave a toss what he thought? But back to the mater at hand: I’m going to keep this review tight and to-the-point. I’ve held off on sharing my thoughts on the latest Star Wars film out of respect to the four-percent of the world’s population who have yet to see the film or even a review. Now on with the blogging show!

DEATH -STAR-SIZE SPOILERS AHEAD… SO BEWARE!

1)  The Familiar.  From the unforgettable, soul-stirring score to the original cast, and of course, the infamous crawl, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will take you back, past the horrific memory of those godawful prequels, to the first time you ever viewed a war among the stars.  This film revives the cinematic techniques, the drama, the humor, the… everything that made the original films so iconic.

This addition to the mythos will feel like you’ve wrapped yourself in that blanket your grandmother knitted for you in the Seventies; it’ll protect you from the icy cold memory of Jar Jar Binks and that disgusting droid army.

2)  J.J. Abrams.  He’s everything George Lucas used to be, kids. 

  • Creative beyond measure.
  • Willing to add more than one chick to the core cast.
  • He doesn’t hate the black race so much he’d create Jar Jar to punish them for some imagined slight.
  • Unwilling to insert his daddy issues into the franchise. (Although, that one actually worked out pretty well.)
  • He actually listens to his cast and crew – and it shows.

In short, Abrams loves all things cinematic (and TV, too), and it’s apparent in every frame of film. He’s a mega-fan but he knows when to rein himself in and be a world-class director. Good on ya, J.J. Abrams.

3)  Han Solo.  Who doesn’t love The Solo? Harrison Ford may not be everyone’s cup of tea, you may be a die hard Luke fan, you may be convinced Han shot first and hate him for it, but after watching The Force Awakens you won’t be able to deny Ford’s contribution to the overall awesomeness of this flick.

Like his original co-stars, Luke Hamill and Carrie Fisher, Ford looks ridiculously-beat-up – but it makes sense in the context of the story. Solo’s been to hell and back, and Ford uses that weight to give the lovable rogue a layer he was lacking in previous films.

My only criticism? Solo’s at his best when he’s trying to talk his son, Kylo Ren, back from the Dark Side… and then Han meets his end. Ford has always been the heart and soul of the Star Wars franchise and I honestly don’t know how the next chapter will fare without Solo’s sardonic wit and indescribable charms.

4)  Actual sets!  Yes, kids, portions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, were actually filmed on location in Ireland, Iceland and even Abu Dhabi. A far cry from a sound stage, right?

5)  The new look Stormtroopers.  The Empire is dead. Long live The First Order. And a new regime demands a new look for its grunts. And I love these guys – their look at least.

star-wars-first-order-stormtroopers-set-sixth-scale-hot-toys-feature-902537

6)  The new elements.  A new Sith Lord. A kinda new planet-destroying weapon. New locales. Abrams has reinvigorated the franchise. What more can I say?

7)  Daisy Ridley.  Her Ren may or may not be a Skywalker, but one thing is for certain: Rey kicks galactic ass like no female ever has in this franchise.

star_wars_force_awakens_abrams_on_set

8)  Adam Driver.  Driver’s Kylo Ren is struggling – with the call of Light Side of the Force. How cool is it that we have a villain who is fighting to stay villainous? Adam Driver is a revelation in this film.

9)  John Boyega.  A reformed First Order Stormtrooper? Never mind that no trooper has even been given more than a line or two in a Star Wars film, this one has become a hero? Boyega put this flick over the top for me.

10)  Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens with my daughter.  As you can tell, these films have become a big part of my life, to say the least. To be able to share this latest chapter in the franchise with my daughter is surreal. I mean, I was a kid when the first film was released and now I’m watching the newest installment with my flesh and blood?

The best part? My daughter LOVED this film! I’m not sure what I would have done if she had hated it like she loathed the latest Bond film. That was not a comfortable movie-going experience, to say the least…

All right, I’m done. Time for you to make up your own mind and go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

See you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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28 Responses to Ten Things I Loved About Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    Bringing generations together. THAT is the real magic here, I think. God bless Star Wars. 🙂

  2. Definitely the best film I’ve seen in a while – did you know that Daniel Craig is the Storm Trooper that Rey tells he wants to let her go…

  3. NancyTex says:

    I think I may be a unicorn. I have never watched any of the Star Wars movies. Ever. Not a scene. Nothing. And, it’s not that I’m opposed to, either. It’s just that at this point it feels like I’m on a streak, and I’m not sure I want it to end.

  4. jlheuer says:

    Saw it, loved it and of course, like you, blogged about it. I agree with all your points. I think Harrison Ford agreed to be in the movie if Abrams would write Solo out.

  5. My son & I saw it together and I too was thrilled with the bonding experience. I agree 110% with all your reasons!

  6. Harrison Ford finally got his wish… he wanted to die in The Empire Strikes Back. But as soon as he did, I understood why he was paid 50 times anyone else in the cast. It made total sense. I was still pissed about that though. He didn’t HAVE to die, did he?? Oh well…
    I did like the movie. It kind of makes me want to go back and watch the originals again, but I probably won’t. I have way too many hours already on my DVR I have to watch first! LOL!

  7. I still think they should have stopped at The Return of the Jedi.

  8. shimoniac says:

    Solo did shoot first in the Mos Eisley cantina. To be fair, Greedo (the green one) had his blaster out and ready as he approached Han. At that point it’s a matter of “If it’s between me and you, I’ll kick in toward your funeral.” Totally justified, so there.

  9. inidna says:

    So much yes. This movie was ah-may-zing! Completely agree with everything on your list 🙂

  10. Ana Trofin says:

    Concise and precise 😀 I loved the movie and I love the premise for this new trilogy. It’s incredible how they re-write this story in so many ways and it will still keep us on the edge of our seats 🙂

  11. Everything you said. Sad to see what happened to Han. I actually cried (stupid hormones). A friend I made through the diabetes community last year is a travel writer who actually WENT to Ireland and CLIMBED that staircase…and posted a pic and said how magnificent it was.

    Hubs and I saw it on New Years’ day – the kids were with their dad. We LOVED it. My son – who’s 15 and whom I introduced to the original series when he was a little guy, which he subsequently became obsessed with for the next several years (think thousands of dollars spent in Star Wars Legos and every lightsaber ever made) – wasn’t too pleased to know we’d seen it without him. I told him I’d take him (his little sister is not a fan, and not for lack of effort on our part) and then the hubs jumps in and said, “it’s okay I’ll take him.” So now we’re arguing over who’s going to see it a second time. I vote ME.

  12. curvyroads says:

    Hmm, I haven’t seen any of the movies since the first one, so I can’t comment, but I am glad you and your daughter enjoyed it together!

  13. The generational thing is probably the coolest part.

    Although I loved the original, the in-betweens were best forgotten…so have been hesitant about this new one. Not Han Oh well, for the best, hate to see roles go to other actors when there can be only 1 rogue Solo. (Hmmm, ironic the name when you think about it?)

  14. Hi Hook, I had to exercise TREMENDOUS willpower in order to not read your post until I’d seen the show, and now I’ve seen it, so please find my “like” attached. I have to agree with you on all fronts, but most especially pts 2,4,7, and 10.
    This was the first time i’d seen Star Wars on the big screen (what can I say? I was sheltered) and loved it! Favorite scene? Rey ripping it in the Millenium Falcon! Oh yeah! I love that’s she’s such a fantastic girl-power girl, without being all Beyoncé about it.
    Anyway, all that and sharing the experience with my 12 yr-old son. Priceless.
    Just gotta find him (and me) some of those Jammies now!

  15. She could be a Skywalker…

    And you’re right. It was awesome for all those reasons.

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