(this post is about the new Star Wars movie and there will be spoilers, not that you haven’t already seen it…)
I’m a Star Wars kid. I was born in 1972 and had a childhood steeped in all of it. Nowadays, any sense of awe or wonder I had toward Star Wars was eaten completely away by the first two prequels. So much so that I didn’t even bother with the third. I thought that I had maybe outgrown the whole idea of getting geeked on Star Wars movies. I was really surprised to hear all of the good reviews of Star Wars 7 so I went with the family to see it on Christmas Eve. I already knew the big surprise in the movie, the death of Han Solo, but I had successfully avoided learning anything else about what was happening. I wanted to see it and talk about it before I heard about anything else.
I’ve cooked up this list of things I liked and didn’t like so my curmudgeonly attitude can be documented for posterity.
-Rey is an awesome protagonist. Smart, fast, brave, all of that crap you want in your hero.
-Finn was great sidekick material, but not structured like a classic Robin. He’s full grown with his own ideas, but he didn’t want to lead the way.
-The Millenium Falcon. It was one of very few throwback moments that worked for me. Probably because it didn’t have any dialogue.
-Kylo Ren. His modulated voice was creeeepy and the way he went into not-terribly-Jedi tantrums helped build out the character.
-All of the goddamn Fanservice. Every time someone over 45 started talking I was pulled right out of whatever cool/new Star Wars they were trying to build. It was really frustrating.
-R2D2 and C-3PO, see above. Nothing more than some fanboy slathering.
-Poe the new hotshot pilot. Super-boring.
-Maz Kenada, every time they said her name I could only think of the Sergio Mendes hit song. I thought the character was fine, but the name was terrible.
-The new, new, new Death Star. This was particularly dumb. Planet-sized guns again?
-The hologram chessboard. This was overkill on the throwbacks after the lightsaber training ball thing.
-The CGI monsters that ate everyone. They looked like something from a Men In Black movie, which is to say they were well-rendered but looked out of place in Star Wars.
For the record, my wife and kids thought it was great. They gave me plenty of the “cranky old man” treatment afterward. I deserved it.