The Force Awakens A Recycled Hope

According to WordPress, the statistics for inaugural ten months of Matt The Catania were these:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed 12,286 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take more than 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Site visitors came from 181 countries.

I also made a book. Once you finish reading it, come back for my in-depth review of the newest Star Wars flick.

Despite my disinterest in it, I valiantly tried to avoid Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers as I realized I’d be obligated to see it anyway. The joke was on me though, as having seen the original Star Wars already spoils The Force Awakens for you! I was very confused by this being billed as a sequel instead of a remake.


Decades later, stormtroopers still suck. Their redesigned armor is still useless for anything besides drawing enemy fire even without asymmetrical greaves. It’s now canon that their duckface helmets only protect them from smoke getting directly in their eyes (but apparently not any carcinogens within the smoke) & even the dinky old respirators from the Mynock hunt are more effective at screening out highly toxic gases. Finn may not be the most adept hero, but I grok his enthusiasm for not being a stormtrooper.

I feared Captain Phasma would be disappointing, but I didn’t expect her to be that pathetic. In a franchise where the coolest looking villains tend to unceremoniously dispatched, she manages to be the least formidable. At least Boba Fett, Darth Maul, & General Grievous went down swinging. Couldn’t they have at least given TR-8R’s moment of badassery to her?  She’s so lame she doesn’t even merit an on-screen death. What as waste of both Gwendoline Christie & a spectacular costume!

Plotwise, The Force Awakens is canned soup incarnate: Progress-0. Although they were boring & terrible, at least the prequels were trying to tell new stories. (This movie is more enjoyable than the prequels, but that’s not a particularly low pole to limbo under.) It’s the same status quo as the original trilogy!  Apoplectic fans hyperbolically complain about reboots ruining their childhoods despite movies’ inability to time travel, but this sequel actually comes close by showing our heroes were so inept as to snatch defeat from the jaws of their hard-won victory. Thirty years after crushing the the Empire, the Rebels are still underdogs fighting the Empire? I’VE ALREADY SEEN THAT SCENARIO QUADRICE (BECAUSE WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL WHERE I COME FROM)! BORED NOW.

How did the Rebels not press their advantage to stamp out the remaining Imperial outposts? Why is the Rebel Alliance now The Resistance instead of the official army of the new Galactic Republic? How can the First Order honestly call itself that when it’s a cover band version of the Empire including its very own Palpatine by way of Mason Verger & a taffy pull? Did they intentionally install the same obvious design flaws into Starkiller Base to homage the Death Stars? So Kylo Ren is Jacen Solo cosplaying Darth Revan except his name here is Ben Solo because the Expanded Universe is the only continuity porn the movie won’t admit to indulging in. Not that it matters much since he’ll officially be upgraded to Darth Vader 2.0 for the next one.


Luke carries on the ignoble Jedi tradition of becoming a hermit after one setback . (Granted, I’d probably do the same, but that’s because I’m a lazy coward.) Meanwhile countless beings die as a result but he can’t be bothered ameliorating the situation until a new apprentice randomly discovers his whereabouts. Why does anyone support the Light Side again? At least the Sith follow through. Can we please get some Dark-Light Hybrids to bring actual balance to The Force instead of making it seesaw with a couple of wankers on both both ends of the spectrum?

This isn’t a bad movie per se, just a thoroughly unimaginative one.  That lack of creative ambition is worrying given that Disney’s non-episodic plans for Star Wars are even more prequels. With carte blanche, why couldn’t we have gotten a something with the former Rebls on top & no Empire? If you blame the merchandising for it’s narrative shortfalls, then you must never have encountered the franchise before.  The film is made of condensed nostalgia to the point where it would cease to exist if you removed all the callbacks. That makes it puzzling that the desert & ice planets specifically aren’t Tatooine & Hoth.

Most conspicuous is the absence of gratuitous dismemberments! Lightsaber impalements just aren’t the same. Marvel Studios must’ve maxed out Disney’s hand amputation quota during Phase 2. Sadly Captain Phasma doesn’t slice anyone in twain with a giant bzzsaw. We were robbed of finally seeing Chewbacca rip off someone’s arm!

I can see why people like this one, but I don’t get why they love it that much. Kylo Ren freezing a laser blast in mid-air & Rey smiting him were legitimutantly great.  Rey, Finn, & Poe Dameron are fun characters because Daisy Jazz Isobel Ridley, John Boyega, & Oscar Isaac weren’t directed to be completely solemn about starring in a Star Wars movie. (Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o is squandered as the CGI shamebaby of Yoda & Guinan.) BB-8 is more adorable than R2-D2. They deserve to be in one worthy of their charisma. At least the Ewoks’ reputation was unsullied by this film.

P.S. The Force Awakens is not the seventh movie in the franchise. It’s the eighth theatrical Star Wars thanks to The Clone Wars. Its the eleventh if you count the two Ewok movies & the Holiday Special. Pedantry matters, nerds!



12 thoughts on “The Force Awakens A Recycled Hope

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