The Force Awakens, but the Writers Slumber…
Warning: if you are lucky enough not to have bought into the hype and have yet to see this disappointing train- wreck of a film, some spoilers are ahead – proceed with caution.
There’s so much wrong with Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens, but I’m going to try my best to stick to the main problems.
First, Kylo Ren is established as a badass. He effortlessly stops a blaster bolt in mid-air, paralyzes Rey in her tracks, and is clearly fueled by unadulterated hate, as shown when he rage-slashes the computers when he fails. In fact, Kylo was so badass that he slayed all his Jedi classmates and chased off Jedi master Luke Skywalker.
Then, he is completely undermined throughout the film. He struggles to convince Po to give him information, even though other Jedi do this effortlessly in the prior films. First Order officers constantly disrespect him. He takes off his mask, which he must’ve worn for completely arbitrary reasons, and reveals his face to Rey, and then utterly fails to gain information from her. Not only that, he actually ends up revealing his thoughts to Rey, who is untrained in the force. This brings me to my next point.
Why is Rey so powerful with the force and good with a lightsaber? She has no training with either, yet she picks up skills that have taken previous Jedi decades to master and hone. She bests a trained sith, Kylo Ren, in a lightsaber duel, even after being knocked out cold, just two minutes earlier. The only reason he is still in the series is because of some seriously overwrought deus ex machina, when the ground magically splits between Rey and him, right as he’s about to die.
Regarding Rey’s mastery of the force, she convinces a stormtrooper to release her just by trying, she resists Kylo’s force “information extraction”, and she has visions at two separate points throughout the movie. Now, if she’s so good with the force, why couldn’t she resist Kylo paralyzing her in the forest or Kylo throwing her into a tree during perhaps the dumbest scene in the movie.
The three-way battle between Kylo, Fin, and Rey is anti-climactic at best. The writing is atrocious. Rey, who previously bested Kylo’s force abilities, is thrown into a tree at probably 50mph and about 30ft in the air. She then falls to the ground unconscious, but unharmed, which in itself is unbelievable. Kylo, instead of doing the same to Fin, and instead of paralyzing Fin like he did to Rey earlier, proceeds to duel Fin with the lightsaber. Their duel leaves a lot to be desired, but the thing it most desired is consistency.
Fin ends up cutting Kylo. This is strange, because earlier in the film, Fin loses a fight with a random stormtrooper, who just happened to carry around a ridiculous lightsaber fighting weapon. I guess it must have been standard issue in a galaxy with no Jedis around. Anyways, this means that this random stormtrooper is likely more skilled at close combat than Kylo Ren. By extension, this means that this random stormtrooper is also more powerful than all Kylo’s Jedi classmates and perhaps even Luke Skywalker himself. Maybe this random stormtrooper should be the one calling the shots. The defence for this is that Kylo was hurt from Chewbacca’s bowcaster bolt he got shot with in the scene where Han died. That scene, however, actually trumps this one in nonsense.
Chewbacca shoots Kylo with the bowcaster. The bowcaster shots throughout the movie explode, completely destroying anyone or anything they hit. But, when Chewbacca shoots Kylo, Kylo doesn’t fly back in an explosive mess, but rather bleeds and falls to his knees. This is akin to getting a “boo boo”. I’ll ignore the fact that throughout every movie blasters don’t draw blood and I’ll move on.
My question is, why didn’t Kylo stop the blaster bolt in mid air like he did earlier? Why didn’t he block it with his lightsaber? Also, and more importantly, why didn’t Chewbacca just keep shooting if he knew he could hit Kylo? Why did he all of a sudden start killing the stormtroopers instead of finishing off Kylo? After Han’s death he clearly meant to avenge him.
Speaking of Han’s death, I would like to mention the part of the movie that is most at odds with the original trilogy. When the heroes get back to the Resistance base, Chewbacca walks right past Leia. Why? Han Solo, her previous lover just died. Chewy didn’t think it was important enough to share this news with her? Maybe he knew she already knew. Also, since Leia knew, maybe she would want to console Han’s best friend and partner for the last 50 years?
Chewy and Leia are obviously friends, signified by the hug at their reunion earlier in the film, maybe they would like to mourn the loss of one of the most important people in both their lives together? Instead they walk right by each other, not even a glance, and instead we are forced to watch this strange interaction with Leia and some random woman from Jakku and we are supposed to feel something?
Unfortunately, this all fits together within the poorly written, steaming heap of garbage that JJ (which will forever stand for Jar Jar) Abrams decided to call a movie. I could speak for hours (and I have) about what was wrong with this nonsensical New Hope rip off, but for now I leave you with the suggestion that maybe the Force should’ve stayed fast asleep, just like the writers.