I’ve seen it twice now and I’ve loved it both times. It is one of the best films I’ve seen: entertaining, humorous, dramatic, and tense. The characters were all believable, no matter what some nay-sayers say. So, let’s talk about them, shall we? THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS SO YOU ARE WARNED IF YOU READ THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
(if you are outraged at spoilers you read after this point IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT YOU’VE BEEN WARNED)
There are SO many pieces dedicated to Rey, so I’m just going to write what I think about her personally. I think she’s awesome. She’s resourceful and smart and strong and brave. She’s also got some emotional issues to over come, not the least of which are abandonment issues (well earned as they are). She and Jessica Jones need to get together for some coffee or maybe a nice strong drink. The second viewing of the movie led to an epiphany: the force awakens!!!! She is obviously strong in the force and she’s been using it unknowingly, much like Anakin did with his pod racing. The thing that really brought that home was when she was chasing after Finn while dodging tentacles as if she knew where they were going to be next. OH WAIT, SHE DID. I loved how she was learning from Kylo Ren, just watching and picking up his tricks, and then realizing at the end that HOLY SHIT THAT’S THE FORCE. She faces her fear of missing her family’s return and decides that she wants Luke to train her. And it’s because of Finn and Han Solo and all of the trials and battles that she’s experienced since she met BB. She wasn’t untested in survival and conflict, but she was in regards to relationships and family.
I love Finn, too. His character makes one of the biggest journeys in the movie. Unlike Rey, who’s been in a challenging environment since she was left on Jakku, Finn experiences his first battle, his first conflict, his first act of independence in the film. He goes from one of a mob, to a coward, to a friend, to a hero. He, like Rey, has no biological family, but his comrades were family of a sort, people he could bond with and hang. It was the loss of a friend that led to his defection. BUT he was trained from birth to disconnect, to follow orders and adjusting to a life where he can make his own choice and facing TOUGH choices like what he wants to do versus what he SHOULD do is challenging for him. The fact that a good person survived his conditioning and training as a stormtrooper is really rather remarkable, but it’s also an indication of holes that are still present in the First Order, not everything is a seamless operation the way the Empire was.
Oh boy. First, his parents named him Ben. My poor heart! His mother stated it clearly for us: he has too much of Darth Vader in him. The fear that lives in Kylo is what drives him into the arms of the Dark Side. His fear that he’s not strong enough or good enough, that he’s not as strong as Darth Vader, it’s what powers his every decision. He thirsts to prove himself, not to himself, but to his parents and Luke and Snoke. He wants approval while desiring independence. He’s YOUNG. And holy shit is he strong in the force. He is way stronger than Darth, from what I can tell. He stops the blaster ray and holds it there without any seeming effort. He can pull information out of a persons head like nothing. He doesn’t just walk off a shot from Chewie’s crossbow HE GOES AND FIGHTS FINN AND REY. It takes him being wounded and against two people, one a trained Stormtrooper and one who uses the Force, to beat him. AND Snoke admits his training is incomplete. HOLY SHIT GUYS IT’S GOING TO GET REAL. Yes, he throws some tantrums. Yes, he’s emotional. That’s what makes him so damn terrifying. He wants, desperately, to train Rey, to become a leader and a mentor, TO MATTER. The surprise on his face when his grandfather’s lightsaber flies past him to Rey is key. One, that she figured out how to do that and two: SHE’S STRONGER THAN HIM. He was weak, injured and tired, but she was strong enough, untrained and after a blow to the head, to move it past him and out of his grip of the force. His tells her she’s using the force and she connects all the puzzle pieces to go on to win the game. Rey is watching his every move, learning from him, even as he’s fighting her. It’s his fear of not being good enough and his arrogance that he’s better than her that is his downfall. I cannot WAIT for the second movie to see how these two develop and move against each other.
Character development is so awesome. I love character driven plots. LOVE THEM. I cannot imagine how strong Rey will be as a trained Jedi. How will Kylo deal with murdering his father? Will Finn and Poe be a team? How will THEY grow and change and how will that determine the path of the plot. When is the next movie coming out?!