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It’s a war movie. You’re bringing your kids to a war movie. Remember the recrimination of the adult nerd/dork/geeks of the world when the first prequel came out? No way any of those people say this film is “for babies.” I felt slightly tricked into seeing a dramatic war movie. I never do want to see a dramatic war movie but it sure was awesome.
And, hey guys, they seemed to have set themselves up for a sequel. WHAT WILL HAPPEN? Heh. See what I did there?
It was a smart, funny and Star Warzy. It was also All Quiet on the Western Front and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. So, battles are fought and no one knows what it means to the next guy in line.
Rebellions are run on hope. We were told in Star Wars: A New Hope that people died to get the plans to the rebellion. They didn’t mention EVERYONE died but, then, what did George Lucas really know when he made Star Wars.
It wasn’t perfect which was a relief. This had that actual feeling of science fiction. As opposed to science fantasy. This was geo-political, mystic religion, trench warfare.
I had three moments of disconnection in the movie:
First when Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has to time her jump to the platform through a chute that opened and closed (a la Galaxy Quest) I felt pandered to, and not in a good way. Seriously, we’ve all seen Galaxy Quest and you just can’t do that to us.
Secondly, the CGI of Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia was jarring. But only because I was there in 1977 and knew it was CGI.
And, third, for me, the only real misstep was Princess Leia’s smile when she gets the disc. She was just at that battle. A grim smile would have been better than the beatific triumphant smile. It felt a little cold after that movie. Granted, in A New Hope, we know how she takes the death of Alderaan. Stoically. Forced weirdly into consoling Luke for the loss of his 72 hour friendship with Obi Wan. She never gets to grieve that her entire family and all of her friends just died. No one consoles her.
I wish they would have used the Princess Leia of the Mark Waid comic (https://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Princess-Leia-Marvel/dp/0785193170) smiling.
My favorite fan based thing is that the story was about The Force. Not the people or the Death Star (again) but the power of The Force. Not Midichlorians. Hope and Faith. They all believe in The Force and they all know that they are fighting against a terrible use of power but none of them know what it will mean to the next person. They do their part to make sure the plans make it through to the fleet. They don’t know if the fleet will get the plans. They don’t know that the fleet will find the flaw. They know only that they give their lives to TRY. They believe that they are doing the right thing and that The Force will provide a direction for the good that they do. And then they all die. Crazy Star Wars movie. But adding something very real to the canon.
In summation: Fun character specifics. Fun robot companion voiced by Alan Tudyk. Not enough Forest Whitaker.