i think han (or some other main character) would have been better eliminated in the second or third installment of the trilogy. if the script dictates that a main character be lost, the audience will feel the emotional complexity that comes with the territory; however, the script squandered opportunities to explore his character by killing him off so soon. ford has been a turd about the production process, in addition to breaking his leg with a hydraulic door, so i suspect that he influenced the decision to scrap the character. the subtext of production is evident from the fact that han – the guy who shot first – would probably not have been so blind to have played into kylo’s hand on the catwalk of a spacecraft doomed to explode. are we supposed to believe he has a death wish? or is having a kid supposed to leave someone foolishly vulnerable?
the cgi of the sarlaks (sp?), stoke, and maz kanata led to some jarring scenes that diminished emersion. these scenes were disappointments in light of the other exquisitely crafted special/practical effects implemented in the film. however, maz kanata, as her character was portrayed, easily stole the show for being so wise and grounded.
rey and finn have the potential to match the energy and chemistry between leia and solo. this will likely happen, and i am excited to see it unfold. the main cast consists of decent human beings with talent and charisma, and i’m proud to witness their careers take off into warp speed.
i appreciate the fact that this new trilogy harnesses the archetypes that communicated so well to the first generation of star wars fans, but by reconfiguring them. kylo ren embodies the archetype of the ‘knight’, but does so by methodically eliminating every glimmer of light he’s had. rey embodies the ‘hero’, despite cultural norms insisting on male heroism. poe and finn exude shades of ‘scoundrel’, notwithstanding their hardline military backgrounds. in addition to the reconstructed character outlines, the force awakens explores other star wars motifs in new ways. like luke did to his father, leia and solo approach their son with the hope of restoring his honor. generations have switched roles, and it ends badly this time around. in addition, rey is tapping into the force, but through the intuition that so many years of unprivileged experience has granted her, rather than grueling tasks. finn rebels and acts as a ‘trickster’, but in opposition to corruption.
while darth vader will always be more iconic, kylo ren uses the force literally as though he sold his soul to obtain it. though vader overly touts a menacing presence, kylo’s malevolence may be found in his subtle devotion and calculating persistence to achieve his goals. behind the layers, i honestly find ren to be the scarier of the two, if not for the soul reason that i cannot imagine him turning over to the light side. he probably believes that vader was the victim in the events of the jedi strikes back, which demands that luke and/or rey undergo more character development before they could ever redeem him. but, i mean... fuck that guy.