So. Last night it occurred at last. I can return to social media, no longer needing to avoid spoilers. I have seen Star Wars.
I was the seven year old who drew copious Star Wars drawings with markers, sang the victory song from episode 6 in the bank, and requested to listen to Star Wars Cantina over and over. I am not as deeply invested a fan as my husband, who read all of the expanded universe novels–His feelings towards the new movie are a mixture of glee, rage, and acceptance. (Experienced while viewing in that order.) While I can’t claim to feel as strongly as he does, I care deeply about my original trilogy, and here are my thoughts.
I loved it. It was Star Wars.
There’s been definite anger about how much the plot “mimicked” 4-6, but I contest that that was absolutely necessary. They are treading dangerous waters, and they had to make it feel as much like the real Star Wars as possible. While the Death Star copy cat felt rather lame, I approved of everything else. It was shamefacedly mimicking in a lot of places… but I think that was the best decision they could have made. If we’re being honest: in the depth of our hearts, don’t most of us just want to revisit 4-6 again? That’s why I was there. I was satisfied.
I was delighted by the casting and the characters. Kylo Ren was beautifully cast. From the moment of his reveal, the film deepened into something more realistic for me. Young Snape. His physicality, history, and moments of real vulnerability impressed me. At first (and because of the trailer) I had been expecting an obnoxious cliche. But his character pulled together in the end.
Finn was delightful. I applaud from the bottom of my heart casting a black actor as one of the new mains. The world needs that. Thank you. He was charming, hilarious, a bit dorky, very real. His physicality was superb, and he had most of the best lines (in terms of funny.) He is his own character, not a reboot of the original 3, and for those cranky about lack of original thought in the film– an ex storm trooper? Now that is an innovative move!
Rey was of course my favorite. Oh, how my little heart sings. She was real and human and feminine and powerful. She’s the kind of fighter I’m elated for my daughters to be able to grow up and see. All of the new cast were unknowns who can act wonderfully, and I was especially impressed by her. She’s a strong woman, but she’s not a cliche. She’s the one this new beginning of Star Wars is going to center on, because she is the Jedi, and she’s a female. Standing ovation.