Force Awakens — Random Thoughts
Warning: Contains spoilers, and won’t make a lot of sense if you haven’t seen the movie. Important: I loved it and am totally going to see it again. And again. And buy the Extended DVD and the “Making Of” and watch all the Robot Chicken parodies and…
But as anyone who has been reading my epic Arduin saga knows, just because I love something, doesn’t mean I don’t mock, nitpick, and criticize it…
Things I Learned From Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- There’s no need to train Jedi from infancy. All you need to master telekinesis, mind control, and light saber combat is to simply be told there is such a thing as the Force a few hours earlier. It’s like Hagrid saying, “You’re a wizard, Harry!”, and Harry going, “Cool! Avada Kedavra, Dursleys!”
- Addendum: Having had some time to settle in my brain, and having read other analysis that bring up points I missed, I realized it was strongly implied Rey had prior Jedi training which was somehow buried in her mind, and she was more than likely recovering knowledge she’d rightfully earned.
- A slightly less long time ago, in a galaxy just as far away, there is still no OSHA.
- Transporting droids carrying information vital to the Rebellion is a great way to get into trouble. Again.
- JJ Abrams left most of the lens flare home, but doubled down on the daddy issues.
- It’s possible to have an economy based on scavenging ruined spaceships… without anyone to sell the scavenged parts to. (I don’t mean the sleazy guy buying the junk. I mean, who is he selling it to? He’s clearly a middleman… so who is on the other side?)
- Addendum: Somehow, I wrote ‘too’ for ‘to’ twice. Corrected.
- A planet roughly a thousand miles in diameter can have 1-G gravity and a breathable atmosphere.
- Trailers lie — in a good way. A lot of the scenes in the trailer happened in a different context than I thought, and that’s good.
- Escape now, hug later, is good advice.
- Even garbagemen (sorry, “sanitation engineers”) can be heroes. Seriously.
- Jedi can invent weapons which contain a plasma field perfectly, using a power cell a few inches log, but never invented elevators.
- We will be absolutely freakin’ besieged with Mary Sue self-insertion fanfics about Kylo Ren, because he’s so mopey and emo and conflicted and just look at those big pouty lips and quivering eyes. An entire generation of tween girls entered puberty the instant his mask came off. I guarantee it.
- Skywalker family gatherings must redefine “awkward”.
- FTL travel, sapient robots, and personal plasma weapons? Sure. Better graphics than an Atari 2600 on your targeting computer? Not so much.
- JJ Abrams really doesn’t understand how space works. This is much more forgivable in Wars than in Trek.
- Contrary to a lot of high-falutin’ nonsense from lit-crit majors, it is sometimes the case that the original creator of a work of art is not actually the best steward of it.
- A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, a black guy standing around minding his own business is still going to get jumped, knocked to the ground, tazed, and called a thief.
- Wookies are the most patient and forgiving species imaginable. If I took a tenth as much crap for being Jewish as Chewbacca does for being a Wookie, I’d be in the JDL.
(Posted on FB, but it occurs to me I could use actual content here once in a while.)
So, #AgentsOfShield is finally the show I wanted it to be. Contrary to some claims, neither I, nor, I think, most fans, wanted “a Marvel movie every week”. If anyone expected that, they were morons. What I wanted — and what we’re finally getting — is what I expect from any good action drama: The sense that Our Heroes are up against a tough fight, that (other than the knowledge of plot requirements) they can lose, that victory is a struggle, and that they’ll survive by being smarter, stronger, or more determined than their enemy.
Having what seems to be serious, and permanent, changes in characters — hopefully with no reset button, because, damn, someone left the Moral Event Horizon in their rear-view mirror a dozen headshots ago (So, HYDRA agents are trained to take headshots. SHIELD agents aren’t. This is why HYDRA is winning, people!) — is icing on the cake (which is a lie), but what really matters is that it’s no longer easy. They aren’t the most elite team of the most elite agency with every resource at their beck and call. They’re down to a rag tag fugitive fleet…er… airplane… and they have a traitor in their midst. And it’s good-guy spy agency vs. bad-guy spy agency, which is what SHIELD began as in the comics and what it needs to be now.
Thus, the ratings are probably tanking. Joss Whedon wanted to really get us comfortable before pulling the rug out, but it took long enough that I was just about convinced the rug was nailed to the floor. I’d stopped expecting to be surprised, which in one sense is good, but if people aren’t watching when the surprise finally comes, that’s not good.
At this point, SHIELD deserves a second season, and for the first time since the premiere, I actually care if it gets one.
Oh, this link has nothing to do with SHIELD. Just buy my book!