Why I liked The Force Awakens, a spoiler-free reaction by Laura P., age 42

Well, if you’re trying to stay entirely spoiler-free, skip this ’til you see the movie, just to be safe. But no plot spoilers.


 

So like every person of my generation, I’m a Star Wars fan. I was four or five when A New Hope came out; I was old enough for Empire Strikes Back to vehemently argue with anyone who asked that Darth Vader was lying; he was a villain and villains lie all the time; I was young enough for Return of the Jedi that the Ewoks beating the Empire didn’t really bother me;[1]  I had the action figures.  Princess Leia was very likely a formative influence on my budding young feminist sensibilities. But I was also way more into my Skipper dolls and books than I was Star Wars.

Scott, though. Scott had all the action figures. He had Slave I.  He knew the names of all the minor aliens and droids. Of course he read the comics; the only geekdom that rivaled Star Wars for my future husband was comic books.

The point of that background is to explain that when I saw the prequels, I was able to watch them, think wow, that could have been written better, and then ignore their existence beyond Mace Windu and that kickass Yoda lightsaber fight.

Scott, though. The prequels kind of ruined Star Wars for Scott.

And so as we waited for Force Awakens to start last night, I said, “This should be cool.”

Scott replied, “It should. I hope so. I’m hedging my bets.”

(I immediately started plotting my revenge on JJ Abrams if he pulled a Star Trek: Into Darkness on my husband.)

But then … amongst all the audience clapping and gasping (man, I thought the Vision/Mjolnir thing in Avengers got a reaction; Star Wars got reactions all over the place) and me smacking Scott in the arm in utter delight, I glanced over at Scott, and he was smiling. Huge, huge smile.

So yeah, there are things I can nitpick with this movie (and Jason and I did, at 1am over text). I have some complex emotional reactions I probably need to work through because I am just that much of a nerd. But I honestly don’t care, because Scott was smiling, and after it was over, he said it was really good.

More than that?  On the way home, when I mistakenly used “hyper drive” when I should have used “lightspeed,” he corrected me in an exasperated, dorky tone of voice that I haven’t gotten about Star Wars in years.  I missed it so much, this morning I deadpan asked him if the hyper drive put the Millennium Falcon into warp speed.

My husband got his fandom back, y’all.

I might forgive JJ Abrams for Into Darkness.[2]


1[back] To be honest, it still doesn’t. The Empire underestimated its opponent. Had the plan not worked, had Luke been defeated, I have no doubt there would have been an Ewok genocide a short time later.

2 [back] Okay, probably not.

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2 thoughts on “Why I liked The Force Awakens, a spoiler-free reaction by Laura P., age 42

  1. I never got to see Star Wars until I was in my late 20s/early 30s, so I come at it with a different perspective. My issue with it, honestly, was that it was too sentimental. Not enough _stuff_ and too many little cameos, etc., that would tug at the heartstrings of the crowd. I would’ve liked a better, stronger story and fewer swelling orchestral pieces as they re-introduce a character or a thing.

    (in all the ships on all the planets in all the galaxies, she gets the Millennium Falcon and _then_ Han Solo just magically appears? Come on)

    I can absolutely see why others would love it so much, but to me it felt like I was watching a Star Wars version of the new Veronica Mars movie.

    1. (Okay, WP on a tablet is a godawful thing when it comes to comments–I CAN’T SEE WHAT YOU WROTE!–so bear with me.)

      The thing for me is, there is so much stuff in the movie that was *good*–female lead with an equal amount of storyline to the male lead, male leads who aren’t generic handsome white dudes, and at some point I will expound at length on my love of Kylo Ren, emo Sith–that I don’t care about the rest of it. Admittedly, I am exactly the audience they were aiming at, but I think it was, overall, a solid popcorn space fantasy that opened its particular universe up to a lot of people who maybe weren’t in it before.

      That said, I do seem to remember when the Veronica Mars movie came out, and our positions were reversed completely, so … :D

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