Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Thoughts On The Force Awakens: Episode Two

  • Finn, Rey, and BB-8 hide in the secret compartment just like in the first film but it’s not the bad guys boarding the ship: it’s her rightful owners!
  • Han!
  • Chewie!
  • YAAAAAYSTARWARSYAAAAY!
  • I like the white girl and the black guy and Oscar Isaac, but Han and Chewie are here now.
  • They have not changed their clothes: Han is still rocking the black-over-white look, and Chewie is still naked save for a bandolier.
  • That’s where he keeps his harmonicas.
  • The five of the become instant best friends and say portentous things to each other, except for Chewie who says, “GNAAAARgh” and things like that.
  • That may be a very portentous statement in the Wookiee language, but I don’t speak it.
  • Shyriiwook.
  • The Wookie language is called Shyriiwook and I knew that fact without looking it up; I despise myself.
  • Then the whale shark ship that ate the Falcon is itself eaten, or maybe boarded, or perhaps some minor bad guys are teleported onto the ship: I may or may not have been playing with my phone during this scene.
  • Han is smuggling some sort of space monster–not, for some reason, gundarks–and the minor bad guys threaten him and the space monsters get released.
  • And though the sequence is forgettable, it is chockablock of subliminal Star Wars: during the showdown between Han and the minor bad guys, he stands in light broken by an overhead grate (people in Star Wars are lit this way a lot), and then a black guy gets a tentacle wrapped around his leg.
  • Our Star Warriors escape on the Falcon, where Finn immediately bumps the holo-chess set which looks just the way it did thirty years ago, shitty holograms and all.
  • And God bless his stoned, cranky heart: Harrison Ford is trying.
  • He hasn’t been for a while not, but the guy’s giving it at least 80%.
  • It’s like when Billy decides to give a shit.
  • Back at Space Nazi HQ, Kylo Ren is revealed not to be the actual bad guy, as he kneels before a hologram of a giant monsterface.
  • His name is Shmoop.
  • Shmuck?
  • Snooki?
  • Anyway, he’s a big evil monsterface and it’s 5 to 2 that he’s a cloned Palpatine or some other foolishness.
  • Or Han’s other kid from a previous marriage.
  • Speaking of Han, the good guys have landed on a planet somewhere to see a CG character who is not Yoda.
  • Yoda was interesting.
  • It’s another remix scene: the cantina from Star Wars with snatches of the Dagobah sequence–mostly the evil tree part–from Empire.
  • There is a nifty juxtaposition between Kylo Ren fondling Vader’s burnt mask and Rey finding Luke’s lightsaber.
  • This family has made a lot of problems for the galaxy with their bullshit, if we’re honest.
  • It’s like if the Bushes knew magic.
  • We cut back to Mt. Doom, where the lead bad guy is giving a speech to his whole army and it is straight-up The Triumph of the Space Will.
  • The OT (Only Trilogy) used the black and white of the Nazis for the Empire, but they were sparing with the red; the color was only associated with the bad guys via Vader’s lightsaber and the Emperor’s guards.
  • If you use too much red, you go Full Nazi.
  • The Force Awakens went Full Nazi
  • The First Order has somehow built a weaponized asshole into the core of the very planet they’re standing on and they are ready to witness the awesome power of a fully-operational Giant Death Anus.
  • SHWOKATHOOM it spews red all over the galaxy, destroying not just one planet–like that punk Death Star–but an entire system.
  • It is at this moment when The Force Awakens makes a phase-transition from silly to completely incomprehensible: our heroes see this event occurring in the sky of the planet they are on.
  • Finn just looks up.
  • “Oh, that’s not good.”
  • One could quibble pedantically about planets and their relative distance from one another, but Star Wars has a point and astronomy is not it.
  • I’ve said this before: you don’t think about Star Wars, you feel about it.
  • The First Order then invades the planet our heroes are on and sends men in armor to engage in hand-to-hand combat, because the First Order is nothing but idiots up and down.
  • Daisy Ridley has lovely calves.
  • She is also a crack shot, as is Finn; they both have close to a one-shot/one-kill record in the movie
  • Stormtroopers remain poor shots.
  • In their defense, they are required to by the laws of drama.
  • Then Finn fires up the lightsaber (which he knows how to use) and sword fights a Stormtrooper with an anti-lightsaber truncheon (that he just happened to bring with him).
  • Again: best not to think about it.
  • Just when all seems lost, they are saved by a squadron of Resistance X-Wings; they swoop in low over a lake and dogfight over the land and they’ve got cool new paint jobs, but the pilots are still in the orange suits with the white bibs.
  • Oh, right: the good guys are the Resistance, not the Rebellion; very small amounts of time are spent on the political situation of the galaxy in The Force Awakens.
  • This is because J.J. Abrams is capable of learning from other people’s mistakes.
  • The Republic is in charge, which would make the First Order the rebels.
  • There is some nonsense about the Republic and the Resistance being separate things, but I went to the bathroom.
  • Anyway, the Resistance wins the Battle of the CG Character’s Bar and a transport ship lands and IT’S LEIA and she’s just fucking awesome.
  • No buns, no cape, no metal bikini.
  • A practical vest for a practical general.
  • She meets Han and is very meaningful because their son is an evil Jedi and they are sad and old, and we are all sad and old, and all of our sons are evil Jedis now, too.
  • General Leia meets Finn and Rey and BB-8 and Chewie in very meaningful ways.
  • Also, Poe Dameron is still alive.
  • YAAAY!
  • They brought sexy back.
  • They don’t bother to actually explain it or anything, but he’s back and that’s all that matters.
  • Finn is overjoyed to see him.
  • “I thought you died!”
  • “I didn’t.”
  • “Okay.”
  • And then Oscar Isaac mispronounces Princes Leia’s name and it made it to the final cut of the film.
  • He calls her General Or-gone-a.
  • I’m beginning to believe Oscar Isaac’s entire performance is a put-on.
  • Threepio has also made his way onstage by this point, though not to do anything useful, but he does lead us to Artoo, who has been sitting in “low-power mode” since Luke disappeared.
  • (Have I mentioned that everyone is looking for Luke? Han and Leia’s son Ben was his apprentice before turning to the Dark Side and becoming Kylo Ren; Luke fucked off out of guilt, like Mickey in 1971, and now everyone’s looking for him.  I feel as though I’ve gotten a lot of details right, but missed the big picture. On the other hand, you could just watch the film; I’m under no obligation to make sense.)
  • Remember when I said Rey met Leia?
  • Lies.
  • Rey got captured (so much capturing in Star Wars) by Kylo Ren and taken back to Mordor for the most dramatic scene of the film, and one that could have gone terribly wrong and pushed the movie into laughable camp.
  • Kylo Ren removes his scary mask to reveal he’s Adam Driver, and it’s one of the movie’s best scenes, honestly: he plays it perfectly, and Kylo Ren is suddenly Ben Solo, a little Vader fanboy who shops at Space Hot Topic.
  • He uses the Force on her, activating his powers by gesturing ominously and making faces.
  • But Rey begins to make faces back!
  • Her Force powers have manifested at the precise moment she needed them to, and she and Kylo make faces at each other for a while.
  • It looks like Scanners, kinda; if John Williams’ score wasn’t under it, the scene would play much differently.
  • But then there’s an evil emergency and Kylo Ren has to leave; Rey uses her newfound abilities to Jedi Mind Trick the guard.
  • Some viewers, such as those with an IQ higher than a cabbage, might ask “How did she know she could do that? How does she even know a ‘Jedi Mind Trick’ is a thing? Leaving aside the question of how she pulls it off: doesn’t it require practice? What’s the use of living in a swamp with a magical frog-person if you can just pick up all the Jedi bullshit the first day?”
  • Some viewers.
  • Not me.
  • She escapes and wanders around the Not Death Star while we join the good guys in a mash-up of the battle-planning scenes from Star Wars and Jedi.
  • Ackbar!
  • Nein Numb!
  • Holograms!
  • A countdown to doom!
  • It makes sense that this scene is a combination of the preludes to the third acts of SW and ROTJ because the rest of the movie is a blend of those two films, as well.
  • Han and Chewie and Finn take the Millennium to disable the shield generator, while Poe and the X-Wings fly down a trench to blow up a big, scary thing.
  • Then the single dumbest thing in an exquisitely dumb film happens: the shield which surrounds Starkiller Base only keeps out ships traveling at sub-light speed, so Han flies through it at light speed and drops out in time to land semi-safely.
  • He doesn’t even let the computer do it: he eyeballs it.
  • Whatever.
  • Finn is there because he was once stationed at the base as a janitor, so naturally he knows he to blow up the shield generator.
  • That’s something they cover in the orientation: where the mops are kept, what time lunch is, and how to blow up the entire base.
  • They kidnap Captain Phasma (who is a Boba Fett-level example of style over substance) and set the explosives and reunite with Rey, who–as it happens–was twenty feet away from them.
  • X-Wings shoot at TIE Fighters, and are shot at by the blockish, rotating laser turrets from the first Death Star battle.
  • The Star Warriors are about to leave, but Han sees his son, and Harrison Ford didn’t want to be in any more of these, so Kylo kills Han.
  • Spoilers.
  • The shield generator blows up, and Poe Dameron and the X-Wings leave the trench they were flying down to go to a different trench and fly down it.
  • The entire planet begins to blow up as Kylo Ren shows his ass: Finn has no idea what he’s doing with the lightsaber and he almost holds his own in a duel.
  • But he doesn’t and is out of the fight but lives because John Boyega would like to be in more of these.
  • Rey takes her turn; surprisingly enough, she is a champion-level lightsaberist.
  • Her technique consists of awkwardly thrusting the ‘saber towards her opponent and then letting the director cut to a wide shot starring her stunt double.
  • The ground beneath them senses their conflict, and opens a chasm between them in a very symbolic fashion.
  • Then Chewie shows up because he does.
  • The planet explodes because it is the end of a Star Wars movie, but everyone except Han is fine.
  • Han’s dead.
  • They go home to Leia and the Resistance and Leia hugs people.
  • I said people, not Wookiees.
  • Chewie didn’t get a medal, and now he doesn’t get a hug.
  • Artoo wakes up because the script says he does; he tells everyone where Luke is.
  • Anyway, Rey and Chewie–who is still the co-pilot instead of getting a promotion–and Artoo fly off to find Luke, who is living at the top of a cliff in Ireland with his beard.
  • I wonder if they’ll make a sequel?

3 Comments

  1. Ooh! I hope they make a sequel!

  2. Poe was thrown … Clear….I can’t stand me for saying that, but I couldn’t stop.

  3. Dear Mr ToTD…
    Write me a post
    Something thats fucked up and wacky

    Do anything..
    Take us out of this gloom
    write a poem,
    animate a chair,
    make it snappy.

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