An Unstoppable Force?
A Review of Star
Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is full
of magnificent themes: good and evil, faith,
fatherhood, and herosim. If you see the
movie, get the most from it: discuss it
The Star Wars franchise has not been a
culture changer but it continues as a
cultural carrier. It has followed the lines
of the epic myths: the hero receives a call
in a desolate (or desert) time or place –
like a prophet called in the wilderness. He
leaves his home in response and gets trained
by a mentor to do what he must. He faces
severe trials, and in the end, he emerges
triumphant. That story-line is a compelling
one, whether it is the story of Hercules,
Moses, King Arthur, The Lord of the Rings,
or countless sports movies. These stories
live because they inspire dedication.
But who is the epic hero of The Force
Awakens? Rey doesn’t vanquish her foe. Finn
is only a half-hearted convert. Leia Organa
does nothing more heroic than admitting she
didn’t handle her son or his father very
well. Poe, the pilot, finishes the
destruction of the Starkiller, but is was a
job Chewbacca and Han began. Han Solo, the
reluctant, spontaneous, brash, lucky, funny,
sardonic hero – Harrison Ford playing
Harrison Ford – is the hero who dies in
battle. But maybe Han had to die before the
next hero could rise.
The Nature of Evil
In The Force Awakens, the evil of the dark
side mainly gets conveyed superficially:
deep bass voices, Dracula capes, and the
Nazi based themes of storm troopers, red and
black color schemes, and a massive staged
rally. The main goal of the First Order is
simply that it wants order.
The film passes over a great chance to
display the nature of evil when Finn merely
reports that all storm troopers were
kidnapped and indoctrinated as children.
Imagine that horror depicted.
Kylo Ren has the potential to be a master
villain. He is a Darth-Vader-wannabe with an
anger problem, but his pure choice for evil
through killing his father begs us to ask
for the deeper cause to be revealed.
He will need iconic music like Vader’s
Imperial March before he will be deeply,
impressively, truly evil.
The Force remains a mystery of faith. Only
the select believe. Most people in the film
Periodically the Force goes out of balance
toward the dark side. Fortunately, the good
guys always show up with spontaneity and
panache to bring balance back to the force.
This is when all can see that the Force is
the real power. Other weapons, powers, and
technologies ultimately fail against it.
Interestingly, those who exercise the Force
are all “orphans”: Anakin, Luke, Leia, Rey,
and Kylo Ren.
The “Snide-Side” of
(The Kairos staff poke some fun about the
Snoke, the Supreme Leader, is a cross
between the Wizard of Oz and Gollum.
Carrie Fischer is better as a princess than
So, how does Rey instantly master the force
with no experience of it, no mentor for it,
no training in it, and no understanding of
Rey has a Jedi distaste for hand holding,
but like Anakin she might not master the
romantic side of the Force…
R2D2 remains the most intriguing Star Wars
character and C3PO is an all-time great
sidekick. BB8 is an orange and white
beach-ball with a bug-eyed fruit bowl on top
and the person-ality of a child.
This was Mark Hamill’s best performance so