Now that a couple weeks have past since its highly anticipated release, and the hyperbole is starting to die down, I’ve noticed a lot more backlash for “Force Awakens.”
When I saw it, I loved it. Yes, it had many flaws, but I had the stupidest grin on my face the whole time. The flaws were minuscule compared to how happy this film had just made me. That last time I experienced something like that was “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”
I’m not a huge Trekker, nor am I a huge “Star Wars” geek. But I love both of the franchises. Both also happen to be directed by J.J. Abrams. Both also have a ton of fan service within them that probably could’ve been left out.
My immediate reaction to “Into Darkness” was unconditional love. That love faded over time. “Star Trek: Into Darkness” is alright, but what ruined it for me was the realization that these “fan service” moments were shoe-horned into the narrative. While the first “Star Trek” film chose to controversially wipe the slate clean and bring in a new villain, “Into Darkness” brought back someone all too familiar. I freaked at the reveal when I saw the movie, but in time and reflection realize that it was far too forced.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” needs a lot more reflection than we’ve given it, even with multiple viewings. My one gripe was that the fan service moments were shoe-horned in. Paying homage is alright as long as it’s not forced and “Force Awakens” does have moments of motivated homage, but also moments of forced homage that hurt it mildly now, but probably more so upon reflection.
Again though, as a “Star Wars” fan, I have immediately forgiven the flaws of “Force Awakens.” While there was a lot of homage there was a lot of fresh characters and fresh conflict that expanded the universe. I do believe though, for episodes 8 and 9, any kind of homage can be left behind. We now have a new story that needs to be told. You’re up Rian Johnson.