Alrighty, onto something I didn’t do the last time I did this challenge because the sequel trilogy I think had just started maybe? You’ll have to forgive me; the last decade has kind of melded together in my brain as just one bad period of time, so pinpointing things is not my strong suit.
Now, of the three sequels, The Force Awakens is … not my favorite. It’s not my least favorite – that’s definitely Rise of Skywalker, but I’ll get into that in two days – but it just has that JJ Abrams feel to it that I’m not always a fan of. I feel like he’s a combination of Aaron Sorkin and Joss Whedon, but with lens flare* – he’s so concerned with quipping and kind of dumbed down observational humor (“The garbage will do!” I legit hate that line) that his movies just don’t do it for me**. Plus, it just felt … lifeless? Like at the end of A New Hope, you knew the characters well. You cared about everyone, Chewie and the droids included. Hell, even in The Phantom Menace, the characters were fairly well crafted, even if the next two movies basically undid any character definition that was set. But with The Force Awakens, by the end of the movie, I knew Finn and Rey in an acquaintance kind of way, didn’t really understand Kylo Ren except that he was Han and Leia’s son, had no idea why I was even supposed to care about Poe, and all I really wanted to do was watch Han and Leia flirt with each other or Chewie yell at Han for being Han. The best parts of this movie didn’t involve the new characters at all, and that’s … disappointing.
But! I did really like the scenes involving the already established characters, and I couldn’t really choose between two:
- When Han is trying to talk his way out of all the people he’d basically conned. Han will always Han, and that kind of consistency is just so refreshing in the midst of a movie that had no real personality of its own.
- When Han and Finn are discussing the fact that Finn worked in sanitation and thinks that they can just “use the Force” to solve whatever problems come their way. And then Han says, “That’s not how the Force works!” which I literally said that same exact thing in the theater – I love how much like Han Solo I’ve become as I get older.
I know they’re both fairly quippy scenes, which I said was one of my issues with TFA, but Han is a fairly quippy character, anyway, so it tracks. If he behaved any differently, I would have been pissed, especially since **SPOILER ALERT** he dies a few scenes after the second one I mentioned above.
* I actually don’t mind the lens flare. It’s a stylistic choice of his, and that’s fine. I just like to bring it up because people’s reactions to the observation are so polarized that it’s fun to see which side you’re on.
** The only reason I even like his Star Trek series is because I love Chris Pine.