10 Things to Expect from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I know, I know, I’m late to the party.

I saw the new Star Wars yesterday. After watching it, my brothers and I talked for forty-five minutes on a conference call, nitpicking and celebrating and discussing various details. Today, I spent seven hours of my eight-hour shift giggling about Kylo Ren.

I haven’t been this happy in a long time.

For those who haven’t seen the new Star Wars yet and are desperately trying to avoid spoilers, for those who are putting off seeing the film because they’re terrified it won’t measure up to expectations, for casual Star Wars fans who don’t feel motivated to head to the theater: here’s a spoiler-free look at what you can expect from this movie 32 years in the making.

You can trust me. I got you through Lunar Chronicles just fine.

  1. Force Awakens is a good movie.
    There. I said it. Now calm down. It’s a lot of fun, and you can tell while watching that it was made by people who love Star Wars. While my brothers and I questioned some of the choices made, we had no trouble accepting that this was a Star Wars movie; Abrams nailed the tone of the original series.
  2. That’s not to say it’s a perfect movie.
    But, as my mom wisely pointed out, the original Star Wars films weren’t perfect movies. The acting and dialogue are a little hokey at times…so Force Awakens fits perfectly with the rest of the series.
  3. The effects are really good…
    Especially the dog fights and space battles. Light speed never looked so good.
  4. …mostly.
    Using practical effects was a nice idea; at times, they become distracting. When they aren’t scrabbling for screentime, the non-CGI aliens and robots add a nice touch.
  5. Admiral Hux is Ginger Space Hitler.
    It’s as unattractive as it sounds, which is surprising, considering how much I love Domhnall Gleeson.

    obhdp
    A LOT, if you were wondering.

    I wasn’t crazy about the obvious Nazi symbolism in Hux’s character and the First Order in general, if only because Nazis are easy targets and I’m tired of World War II analogies. But none of that matters, because…

  6. Kylo Ren is the tortured anti-villain this franchise needed.
    It’s like J. J. Abrams watched Avatar: The Last Airbender and decided, “What Star Wars needs is more Zuko.”
    How right he was.

    kylo-ren-adam-driver-pic-pxl2
    I have nothing to add. He’s perfect.

    Mock me for being shallow later. Kylo Ren has an interesting backstory, believable motivations, and a sympathetic inner struggle. Fan reaction to his character has been mixed. Even among my friends, opinions are strong and varied. Kylo Ren was my favorite part of the movie; take that with as much or as little salt as you need.

  7. There is romance.
    Which is GOOD, considering I’ve been shipping Finn and Rey since the trailers came out last year! I was worried there would be a clumsily-handled love triangle between them and Poe Dameron.
    There isn’t.
    And don’t worry; the romance doesn’t reach Attack of the Clones levels. It doesn’t distract from the main story or detract from character development.
    Although, concerning Finn and Rey, I may have jumped ship (ha)…and that’s all I can safely say.
  8. Force Awakens pays homage to the original trilogy.
    As in, some shots (and plotlines) are almost directly lifted from the other films. Whether these nods are too much is debatable. I enjoyed the clever ways Abrams acknowledged longtime fans by including familiar icons.
  9. There are some really good lines.
    So good that I won’t spoil them for you.
    Except for one: “That’s not how the Force works!”
  10. My feelings on the ending can be summed up as:
    “Were you standing there the entire time!?”

Lay your worries to rest; Abrams hasn’t failed the fanbase. His carefully-crafted love letter to the original series stands on its own as a fun adventure flick. Go. See. Enjoy. Ship to your heart’s content. And may the Force BB-8 with you.

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