So almost everyone was well behaved, and nobody spoiled the many giant things about it. LET’S TALK.
Things I loved: GIMME THAT DROID. I want a BB-8. I want one to follow me around the house and keep my Roomba in line and bring me breakfast and give me a thumbs-up with a butane lighter when I do something cool and chirp at me sarcastically. I’m madly in love with that little ball of squee.
Finn’s confusion and conflict, and striking out blindly in all directions at once. Poe Dameron’s escape from a Queens pizza parlor or wherever to be a kickass pilot. Gwendolyn Christie because Gwendolyn Christie.
LEIA. LEIA. LEIA. Everything about Leia. How old she was, and how tired, and how she still kept fighting. Husband/love/whatever gone, son gone, brother gone, stupid war still not goddamn won, C-3PO up her ass all day like “Princess” like he hasn’t had 30 years to figure this out, and she’s still in charge. She’s still pushing them forward. She’s still fighting. God, I’ve always loved Leia and how the original trilogy never once put her down for being good and smart and tough, and if everything else about The Force Awakens had sucked ass the set of Carrie Fisher’s shoulders in that underground Situation Room would have been enough for me to declare this the best film of 2015.
She owns Leia’s body and walks around in it, and there were moments the years melted away from Leia and moments you felt every second she’d been alive. Tired, so tired, but her mind won’t stop working, and she doesn’t know how to live above ground. We should be honored she’s still Resisting. We really don’t deserve her.
Speaking of the ladies … CHICK X-WING PILOT just all, “You don’t need me to have a name or a very special story because women are so all over this air force that it’s not even a big deal.” And REY. Holy shit, Rey.
In the prequels we had female Jedi, but they were like, Hello I Am A Female Jedi and now I’m dead and what was my name again? And we got to see Leia realize who she was, but we didn’t see her journey the way we saw Luke’s. As a kid I loved Luke Skywalker and identified with him profoundly despite me being a girl, but it was something, something, something watching a young girl who looks like so many of the young girls I know discovering she might be a hero. She didn’t need saving and she wasn’t anybody’s audience and she learned and grew, and for a while she was the new Han Solo, and that was amazing and gorgeous.
Han Solo loved Rey instantly, and I think it’s because she reminded him of Leia as much as she reminded him of him. Like if Leia had been good with a wrench. I would have watched ten thousand hours of a buddy movie of them fixing shit. I love this primarily about Han Solo: He likes and admires women and even when he’s arguing with them he’s arguing on the level. We’ve had a lot of years of movies where men didn’t do that so much. It’s nice to see it again.
Things I didn’t like: Rey’s posh accent, dewy complexion and well-manicured nails despite living in a desert hellscape, because everything else about her including her physicality made sense for her existence. Maybe “high tea with the Queen” is what scavenger scum sounds like on Jakku, but I don’t know where she’s scrounging up paraffin treatments.
I’d have expected the child of Han and Leia to have a little more swagger. Whiny McDaddy-Issues is not a good look on anybody, kid.
Bill Weasley the unhinged shrieking fascist. Domhnall Gleason is excellent, go watch About Time if you haven’t seen it, but I wasn’t scared of him the way I was scared of all the old guard Empire functionaries, the ones who were like Boltons, looking at the spreadsheets to decide who to kill, leaving the religion to the Sith.
FUCK SHIT JESUS HAN SOLO. I liked the movie. I understood why they had to do what they had to do. Narratively, Star Wars-ly, you have to kill your parents’ demons before you can face your own. Light or dark, that’s what you have to do. And from a character perspective, until you get rid of Han Solo you’re not even going to be able to see anyone else on screen, because that’s how cool Han Solo is, even at age 72, even running from himself, running from his son, running from everything. Even broken and alone and afraid to hope again, he’s still the coolest person alive having the most fun anyone has ever had. You have to get rid of him. I get it.
But Han Solo. That hurt like a rug burn. Han and Leia were the first ‘ship I ever ‘shipped and after everything they went through, I so wanted them to get their happy ending. To live happily ever after, because despite the back-and-forth the fault lines weren’t there the way they are with some couples, like you can hear the divorce in how they write their vows. I hadn’t realized how happy I was with where I left Han and Leia at the end of Jedi (I haven’t read the later books) until I saw that they hadn’t ended there.
I get it. But I just feel like maybe we should have a shrine or something. I want to go somewhere and leave some flowers. One of the best characters of all time.
In conclusion: I loved what everyone loved, the space porn and explosions, and the Millennium Falcon and Chewie and John Boyega should be a huge fucking star too. I’m excited to see where Rey ends up, and I squealed like a little girl when I saw Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, really as Luke Skywalker, again.