A Force to Reckon With

December 26, 2015 at 7:30 PM | Posted in Fandom, Film Reviews, Geekdom, Movies | 1 Comment
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Ever since I heard that there would be a new Star Wars trilogy, I had been eagerly awaiting for its first installment’s release. But unlike most fans, I was not hungry for spoilers. I avoided reading about leaked photos and possible plots about the film. There were so many of them that I wouldn’t even know which ones to believe. I wanted my experience of watching the new Star Wars movie to be unspoiled and untainted with plot theories.

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True enough, when I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the first time, I was blown away. I got so excited the minute the classic theme song played on screen and the all-too familiar opening crawl text came on. The movie started with a raid scene by an army of Stormtroopers at a small village in the desert planet of Jakku. They captured a pilot named Poe who was part of the Resistance group fighting against the evil First Order. Apparently, Luke Skywalker – the last Jedi – was missing and there’s this map that Poe had gotten hold of that the First Order wanted. The map contained the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, who of which the First Order wanted destroyed. Thankfully, Poe gave the map to a droid called BB-8 before he was captured.

If you’re a Star Wars fan then you’d know that Jedi knights are capable of bringing balance to The Force and the galaxy.

I loved the fact that the movie started off with a battle scene right away. As an audience, I was immediately pulled right into the action and enjoyed every minute of it. Kylo Ren, the main villain and leader of the First Order along with General Hux, was obviously a nod to Darth Vader. He looked menacing and as sinister as Darth Vader in the first scene.

And then there’s Rey, the main protagonist who was a scavenger in Jakku. She sells scrap metal for a living. She lived a lonely life until she met BB-8 and Finn, the Stormtrooper who deflected from the First Order. From then on, her life changed forever.

Before watching the movie, I was mulling over the idea of how cool it would be if there’s a female Jedi. Aside from Princess Leia and Queen Amidala, the movie franchise has always been dominated by male characters. There was never a female Jedi as a main character.

I was surprised and extremely delighted then when I found out that Rey turned out to be a Jedi in the making. She manifested the powers of a Jedi just like Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi before her. When I realized that I said to myself, “Finally! A female Jedi!” I loved everything about Rey. She’s strong, smart, independent and capable. She could defend herself without any male help. And she knew how to fly the Millennium Falcon! I almost made a fist pump during the scene where Kylo Ren was trying to will Luke’s lightsaber into his hands but it whizzed past him right into the hands of Rey. That was such a fantastic scene. And of course the lightsaber fight scene between her and Kylo Ren was absolutely fantastic.

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I only wish the writers could’ve given her a much cooler name than Rey. Rey is such an ordinary name for an extraordinary girl. Kylo Ren, on the other hand, is a cool name for a villain.

Speaking of Kylo Ren, I liked him with his mask on. He looked and sounded as fearsome as Darth Vader. But when he took off the mask, I was kind of disappointed. He didn’t look menacing at all. He actually looked boyish – like a teenager trying to look tough. But perhaps that was the intention? After all, he was Luke’s apprentice. Maybe J.J. Abrams and the writers wanted him to behave like an immature teenager rebelling against his parents because he still had much to learn about The Force. He could not control his emotions. He’s not a complete Jedi yet.

The scene where he stabbed Han Solo with his red lightsaber was gut-wrenching. I could feel his conflicting emotions in that scene. Should he go back to his father and mother and be in the light side of The Force or should he continue to serve the evil supreme leader Snoke? In the end, he chose to be with the dark side of The Force and there was no turning back after that.

Kylo Ren and Stormtroopers

I have several questions about the movie when I left the cinema. And one of those questions was how come General Leia (formerly known as Princess Leia) never trained as a Jedi or used The Force? She was definitely capable of it. She felt the Force when Han Solo died. She could’ve used the Force to track down her brother Luke.

Also, why did Leia and Han Solo breakup? What caused the breakup? Is Rey the daughter of Luke? Is she a Skywalker after all? I highly suspect that she is Luke’s daughter. But if she is, then who is her mother? And why was she abandoned in Jakku?

What is Kylo Ren’s motivation of joining Snoke and practicing the dark side of The Force? Why does he want to be like Darth Vader?

How come Maz Kanata had Luke’s lightsaber? Who gave that to her?

The movie left so many questions unanswered. And I know the writers intentionally did that to make room for the second installment of the movie. All I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I want more.

Plus Points:

  1. The Chewbacca and Han Solo scenes were adorable.
  2. Poe and Finn bromance – need I say more?
  3. Girl power was in full force – from Stormtroopers to Resistance fighters, there were females aplenty!
  4. Well-known actors in cameo roles

An Ode (Sort of) to Star Wars

December 24, 2015 at 10:16 AM | Posted in Fandom, Geekdom, Movies | Leave a comment
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I am one of the thousands of Star Wars fans out there who couldn’t wait to see the latest installment of the film franchise. I saw the original Star Wars films (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) on a VCR when I was a child. The movies were such a big deal in my family back then. I grew up in a big, ancestral house where my family and my aunt’s family lived together.

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My male cousins, aunt and two uncles would talk about Star Wars often and watched the films over and over on VCR. In fact, my relatives were such fans of Star Wars that they bought a tape of the making of the Star Wars movies and watched it again and again. Having lived in the same house with them, I was able to see the movies on tape and watched how the Star Wars movies were made including behind-the-scenes footage of how they filmed the action sequences involving the spaceships and droids. I was amazed by how spectacular the movies were and even more amazed by how they were made.

Star Wars posterBack then, I liked the movies enough but didn’t catch on with the important details. For one, I didn’t know the name of Han Solo’s ship (*gasp!*) nor the name of Darth Vader’s killer star (*double gasp!*). I know right?! But hey, I was a kid back then and English was not my first language. So I had trouble understanding the dialogue.

But over the years, I had the chance to watch the movies again as a young adult and came to love them. And I eventually learned all the important names in the movie franchise — yes, including the Millennium Falcon and Death Star.

So when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit local cinemas, I went to see it as soon as I could. And it didn’t disappoint. It was spectacularly amazing. I felt nostalgic while watching it. The movie felt like it was an old friend I haven’t seen in a long time. It filled me with fun memories and I felt so at ease.

However, like most fans out there who’ve seen the movie, I have questions that are left unanswered by the end of the film. Check out my review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens here.

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