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Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

“There has been an awakening.” It’s our ranking of Episode VII: The Force Awakens! It’s fun to think back during the time of its hype. Is it more than just a rehash of A New Hope? Why is it Brody’s favorite film of the saga? Should it have even been added to the saga? Tune in as we dive deep into Han’s so-called ‘sacrifice’ and whether or not Kylo should’ve kept the mask on. It’s going to be great.

“Lots of feel goods.” - Charley

It was fun seeing the opening crawl for Star Wars again after ten years of nothing. We weren’t expecting anything during that period though, and then Disney decided to revive the beloved franchise. I enjoyed this film very much, but I don't necessarily praise it. It’s certainly a crowd pleaser. Sure, it’s A New Hope rehashed and it’s not that original, but it had to be this way for Star Wars to be where it’s at today…or did it? I was happy to get Rey, Finn, Phasma, BB-8, Kylo Ren and more. I was curious to learn more about every one of these characters, and I have to admit it got me excited about the future of Star Wars. However, I can’t rank it higher than the previous six films because that saga was already complete, for ten years, and The Force Awakens wasn’t any more enjoyable than the Star Wars I already knew. It just reminded me of how much I loved those older movies, and not this one specifically. Despite the new characters, I think they rely on the old ones more than I thought a new beginning should. On the contrary, Amanda thought the old characters were brought in just enough to propel the new characters. She said it may be a rehash, but we get to see Finn defect from the First Order. A new element for us on screen.

“The Skywalker saga did not need to be touched. The saga was complete. For ten years!” - Christian

For me, the killing of Han Solo seemed out of place. Kylo was just a conflicted villain for me at this point, not really his son. So it looked like a stranger was killing a beloved character. I was also disappointed in the lightsaber choreography; it took a step backward when compared to the prequels. Can we not get better choreography, if not the same, ten years later? It’s a beautiful film, but from the prequels to TFA, it’s not that big of a leap in terms of technical aspects in my book.

“I’m not buying that it ties into the prequels.” - Christian

Hot Takes

  • Kylo Ren should’ve kept his mask on.

  • Kylo Ren should’ve killed Leia instead of Han.

  • This movie had the greatest sacrifice.

  • We did not need a sequel trilogy to the Skywalker saga.

I think Kylo Ren should’ve kept his mask on, not because I don’t think Adam Driver is a beautiful man, but because I think that would’ve added to the mystery of who he was. It would’ve made us all more curious about who he is. We’re copying A New Hope; we might as well copy Vader’s timing too. Charley thinks if Kylo killed Leia instead of Han, that would have made him the ultimate villain. Nobody likes anybody killing their own mother. You just don’t do that, and Charley thinks it may have been a deeper wound as well. Brody thinks TFA has the greatest sacrifice. Han laid down his life for his kid. He thinks Han would rather not go on living knowing that he didn’t take the chance to try and reach Ben Solo. Charley and I downvote this due to Galen Erso’s sacrifice.

“Han had been outrunning death for too long.” - Amanda

individual Rankings

  1. Brody = 24

  2. Amanda = 20.5

  3. Charley = 20

  4. Christian = 18

Overall Score = 82.5

The Force Awakens is Brody’s favorite movie of the saga. He doesn’t like the claim of it copying A New Hope. He takes a further leap saying that Lord of the Rings copied A New Hope too, and yet it’s widely accepted as nothing short of fantastic. TFA characters feel human compared to A New Hope. We get to learn (or ask questions) along with Rey about who she is. After seeing her challenge Kylo, she’s got to be filled with midi-chlorians. Brody likes Finn, he thinks Snoke looks fantastic, and he believes Adam Driver is the best villain actor in all of Star Wars. He lives by his passions, much like the Sith and unlike the Jedi, which makes him more of a lost puppy. His heart was ripped out during Solo’s death, and their father-son scene. With these characters, Brody can relate to them the most. He feels the relationships as a parent, friend, and son.

“It’s a beautiful movie.” - Brody

He, like the rest of the group, loves the nostalgia of this film because it worked. The cameos, the music, the slight change in designs (like BB-8 and Kylo Ren’s lightsaber) that don’t fundamentally break Star Wars. The lore of this film gets him excited with things like Maz Kanata and her collection of souvenirs, how she got the lightsaber, and how she has lived to be 1000yrs old! Kylo briefly mentions clones, which is good enough for Brody to tie into the prequels. However, even he doesn’t like Starkiller Base ripping off the Death Star. It wasn’t necessary and he suggests that we could’ve had an amazing fleet instead. Starkiller Base was not very well defended, despite General Hux’s motivational speech, which Brody believes is the best speech in all of Star Wars.

“They should’ve titled this A Newer Hope.” - Charley

Charley is fired up due to Brody’s blasphemous claims. How could he rank it higher than the others? The audience is more accepting of the new characters because of their ties to the old. He’s troubled by the many questions surrounding Rey and how powerful she is. To him, it’s nothing more than a good reboot to A New Hope. But that’s ok, he likes reboots! For Amanda, TFA didn’t expand too much on what we already know. It can exist comfortably in the universe that was laid before it. However, she is more emotionally invested in this one than A New Hope. And she loved the classic alien vibes from the rathtars. For her, Rey’s theme is one of the top themes of all John Williams’ scores. The music, the characters, the nostalgic aesthetics of Star Wars... It births a new generation of fans. And we can all agree, that’s a good objective to have.

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