For those of you who have not yet succumbed to peer pressure and seen the movie, I won’t yield any spoilers in this review. It is well-established that I love science fiction, so it is easy for me to give a positive review of any film in this genre.
I was lucky enough to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens with two people who are not partial to science fiction. In fact, for one of them, English is her second language. The good news is that we all enjoyed it, despite our personal preferences. I have to admit that, after the first two thirds of the movie, the plot took a predictable turn, and it seemed quite apparent where things were going. However, the action was entertaining and in plenty of supply throughout the movie. Maybe it’s because of my eye for detail as a lawyer, but I did find fault with the following:
- Kylo Ren. As a character, he is, as my bubbe used to say, mneh. He’s a bit bland and could use some multidimensional pizzazz. I assume this was intentional.
- Rey’s obviously perfect manicure. Really???
- Poe Dameron — Why didn’t we see more of you?
- Rey — I could have lived without the last facial expression you had in the movie!
Aside from those minor matters to grumble about, The Force Awakens gives us plenty of poker-faced humor and action from our beloved characters of old. The special effects are fast-paced and gripping without being overdone. For those of us whose childhoods seemed inseparable from the first Star Wars movies, the writers have included a mash-up of all our favorites: a lost robot who is certain to make an appearance in fast food meals, an evil guy in a black hood, a young warrior turning against a master and an untrained but nevertheless profoundly skilled hero. For the attentive folks in the audience, there are also inside jokes and spelled-out references to encourage fans to rewind and re-watch the movie to ferret them out.
The Force Awakens begins in a time when the Jedi don’t appear to be active. In this film, the bad guys in control of the universe are part of “The First Order.” These antagonists strike parallels with the Nazi regime, as their entire existence seems to be linked to that movement, despite the apparent lightyears of separation between them. The (super)hero is finally a woman who boasts some rather surprising and impressive talents. This comes as a pleasant awakening indeed for critics of Hollywood’s history of gender inequality.
It is clear that J.J. Abrams directed the movie through the eyes of a self-confessed Star Wars fan. A vast majority of fans did not like the direction taken with Anakin and Amidala. As a result, the movie builds upon the original Star Wars franchise and eliminates almost all references to The Phantom Menace and its similarly disappointing sequels.
Do not be surprised that the movie primes the pump for the next installment. There are a lot of holes in character development — which I hope will bloom more fully in future installments.
May the Force Be With You! D
Judith Keene (formerly Rosenblum) has practiced law in the intellectual property arena for more than 28 years. As Senior Counsel with Holzer-IPLaw, PC, her practice emphasizes the development and protection of each client’s unique intellectual property portfolio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.