The Dilettante’s Guide to ‘The Force Awakens’

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By now all the fanboys, fangirls and fanpersons have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens with just my fellow ambivalents and dilettantes left checking the matinee prices and hoping the theatre sells beer. Although I have probably seen OG Star Wars at least 50 times, I never bothered to watch the prequel trilogy. Not interested.

I was also pretty meh about The Force Awakens, until I saw a preview, had my “Oh shit” moment and realized this was the true and honest SEQUEL to Jedi we’ve been waiting for. Suddenly, I cared.

Still, I’m just a Star Wars fan, not a Star Wars FAN. I couldn’t tell you the name of the cantina from A New Hope, or the names of any planets besides Endor, Tatooine and Alderaan. But I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s so Star Wars is part of my canon. Unlike FANS, though, it’s not part of my blood.

With that in mind, I give you the dilettante’s guide to The Force Awakens (complete with some potential spoilers, so beware).

• No. Lando. Dude was my first celebrity crush and he was nowhere to be seen. Maybe he was too “street”?

• Girlpower! I love movies with strong women who handle their own business. Little fangirls need to see big girls don’t always have to be the damsel in distress but instead can be badasses who open up a lightsaber of whoopass.

• More Girlpower! There’s a badass Stormtrooper with a non-stick helmet that makes me want to go darkside.

• BB8 doesn’t suck. Ok, for the record, I loved Wicket. I’m pretty sure I even had a stuffed doll. I also know there’s a general disdain for Ewoks and JarJar from the serious FANS. And because I like a good bandwagon, I was happily prepared to dislike BB8. Thing is, he was adorable and had shockingly good comic timing for something that doesn’t actually speak.

• Voldemort makes an appearance! I was so stoked my favorite book and film series of all time was represented in the Star Wars universe. Oddly, they kept calling him “Supreme Leader” but it was totally Voldemort.

• JP from Grandma’s Boy is a central character! Sure, they call him Rilo Kiley or Kilo Stimpy, but he’s totally rocking Matrix couture and perfecting his robot voice.

• The old gang is back and they look fantastic! Mark Hamill looked absolutely amazing as the aging, troubled Jedi. Amazing.

• Chewbacca colors his hair. Dude hasn’t gone grey. C’mon, tell me he’s not hitting Wookiecuts for root touch ups monthly.

• The orb from Alias makes an appearance. Coincidentally, right after a scene with Greg Grunberg. What’s up, J.J.?

• Hot dudes. Finn and bromance buddy Poe. Look out, One Direction, “Tiger Beat” has new cover boys!

• Maz Kanata. She reminds me why Golden Girls was such a perfect show and was my very favorite character in the movie. I hope when we discover Rey’s Jedi lineage it involves a one night stand between Yoda and Maz.

This movie made me care again. It’s like all the ambivalence fostered by JarJar and extraneous CGI nonsense was glimmered away by staying true to the original films while also being distinctly Abrams. I’m gonna go suit up and head to the theatre so I can queue for the next film as there are only like 500 days before its release. Spoiler Alert: I will be dressed as Steampunk Phasma.

See you in line!

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