Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was not prequel levels of bad. It was worse. There is absolutely nothing unique about this movie. It has no identity of it’s own. The movie follows protagonist Rey, a young woman isolated on a desert planet (Sound familiar). She soon finds herself in the middle of a rebellion against the Empire… sorry “First Order”, where she joins a group of rebel soldiers (*cough New Hope *cough) and discovers that she has an untapped potential to manipulate the force. She even meets an oddly shaped droid, who conveniently holds an important secret. In this case, it’s the location of Luke Skywalker, who has gone awol. Rey is one of the most boring characters in Star Wars history. She’s instantly good at everything she tries and receives no character development throughout the film. Unlike Luke Skywalker, who had to struggle to become a Jedi, Rey manages to use the force with ease, mastering every technique instantly. She’s accompanied on her journey by Finn, a former Storm Trooper, turned comic relief.

Next we have Kylo Ren, or who I like to call “Darth Crybaby”. He’s this film’s attempt to have a Darth Vader like character. His motivation is that he wants to be just like Vader, who (Spoiler) is his grandfather. Kylo is the son of Princess Leia and Han Solo, but unfortunately for them, he resembles Anakin Skywalker in all the worst ways. There are plenty of cameos in “The Force Awakens”, but the manner in which these Star Wars veterans are introduced, makes me wish they hadn’t been in the film at all. Han Solo is just in this film to be Han Solo and to tell us how cool these new characters are. Leia’s role is similar, but far less plot relevant. Later in the film, we find out that the “First Order” built a new Death Star, creatively named the “Star Killer”. Except, here’s the twist. It’s even bigger than the last one. This one can blow up multiple planets at the same time. So the obvious sequence of events play out, Rey and her new friends disable the shields on the “Star Killer”. Han Solo gets killed by Kylo Ren in a manner resembling Obi Wan getting killed by Vader. Rey beats Kylo (a seasoned Sith warrior) in a light saber fight, and everyone escapes right before Death Star 2.0 explodes. In one of the dumbest scenes in Star Wars history, R2D2 just so happens to reactivate, after being shut down for no apparent reason, just in time to reveal where Luke Skywalker is hiding. All so we can get a final scene of Rey meeting Luke before the credits begin to roll. Imagine “A New Hope” without any originality. Imagine “The Empire Strikes Back” without the heart wrenching drama. Imagine “Return of the Jedi” without the satisfying conclusion. If you can imagine these things, then you can begin to see why “The Force Awakens” is so bad. This was a lazy attempt to cash in on the popularity of one of the greatest cinematic stories ever told. The fact that this mess of a film is considered just as canon to the official “Star Wars” universe is just depressing. Mock the prequels all you want (and there is plenty to mock). At least those films attempted to tell a unique story, albeit a bad one.

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