Star Wars: The Force Awakens Conversation-Style Review

SPOILER WARNING – This is one and only warning you will get.

The biggest movie in the world deserves to be talked about, which is why we are back with a new conversation-style review for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Moderated by editor Gabrielle Bondi, Alex Suffolk, Michael Fairbanks, Jordan Decker, Mason Shell, and Donald Strohman sat down on Sunday night to talk about the new Star Wars movie: what they liked, what they didn’t like, and some of the interesting theories the film brings up, like Rey’s parentage. We also discuss what we hope to see in Episode 8 and 9.

Read our discussion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens below.

Gaby: What are your thoughts on the new Star Wars? Apparently no one saw it this weekend.

Mason: I really enjoyed it.

Jordan: I loved it. I loved the fan service, and I loved, even more so, the new characters and how they carried the film forward. As a huge fan, my real worry going in was that this would be Luke, Leia and Han romping around like the good-ol’ days… but think of the 7-year-old kid in the audience that hasn’t seen any Star Wars movie yet: he/she deserves their own generation of heroes. We got that in Rey, Finn and Poe. Overall, I wish I could have watched myself watching TFA, because I felt, and I’m sure I acted like a giddy, joyous child from start to finish.


Alex: I loved it! I’ve seen it twice already, and I loved it even more a second time. I often forgot I was watching a movie with The Force Awakens, I was just entirely engrossed in the story– that’s how I knew it was gold.

Donald: From someone who’s never watched a Star Wars film (but gets the jist of what’s been going on), I thought it was really good.

Michael: Even though I saw it at 1:10 in the morning, it made me feel like a kid again. Very, very good. Fantastic performances, and brilliant visual effects. It did fall a little short in the story department for me though. It was definitely saved by how well rounded the characters were. I loved all three of the new leads and was very intrigued by all the characters we didn’t see more of. In fact, I felt like several were short changed.

Gaby: It definitely has its shortcomings story-wise. But I had so much fun watching it. I saw it three times already.


Mason: Wow. I loved the fact that the CGI was very minimal. They used puppets and a lot of practical effects. I really enjoyed seeing that.

Michael: Me too! Practical effects make all the difference in giving the creatures and objects weight.

Donald: BB-8 was the show stealer for me personally. When he gave the thumbs up, the theater roared with laughter

Jordan: Agreed, Mason. That Cantina scene was insane… I think I saw a table of mosquitoes playing poker?


Michael: I was digging the island music in that scene. I still need to see it with a crowd. I saw it with 3 other people.

Alex: Yeah. The story suffers a lot by recreating beat-for-beat sequences from A New Hope. But I think the movie is toying with themes of history repeating itself, and the characters were so good, I was willing to forgive it on most fronts.

Michael: I thought the last 30 mins were a little weak. That’s when they really just started copy pasting

Alex: I have to say though, the score this time around wasn’t nearly as bombastic. There was no new Duel of the Fates, or anything other than “March of the Resistance” that stood out.

Jordan: I’m torn on the ending, Michael. On one hand, it’s pretty dumb of them to rip off the Death Star assault, and even say: “this is old Death Star, and THIS is the new one.” Blowing up five planets instead of one, etc. But it also allowed for one of the coolest locations for a lightsaber fight ever conceived. Rey and Ren clashing swords, blue and red sparks flying in their faces while the snow planet gets darker every second? Beautiful. And the rift between them in the ground. Symbolic stuff, right there.

Mason: My favorite part was the first 30 minutes. It just didn’t stop.

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Donald: I would have liked to see a little more Captain Phasma.

Michael: Oh, absolutely.

Alex: YES. She was my biggest disappointment.

Michael: It was like they had all these great characters in the background, but the movie was just too overloaded so they all just popped in front of the camera to wave.

Alex: They pumped her up as this great new female villain, and all she did was bark some orders, get tackled by Chewbacca, and then get literally thrown in the trash.

Michael: Especially considering the big deal they made about her.

Alex: Exactly.

Michael: I don’t think she’s gone though.

Donald: Oh, I’m sure she’ll be back.

Michael: She might even be the main baddie in Episode 8. I don’t think they actually threw her into the trash.

Alex: Yeah they did, the trash compactor, haha. No, I expect her to do a lot in Episode 8. I feel like she’ll be hot on Finn’s tale in the next story.

Gaby: I believe she’s coming back in the next film and probably going to hunt down Finn for revenge. Speaking of Phasma, let’s talk about the new characters.

Michael: BB-8: charming as hell, fantastically brought to life.

Donald: When I first saw the shot of BB-8, I thought he looked ridiculous in the teaser.  I didnt think I’d end up loving him.

Alex: If we’re talking new characters, I’m gonna have to say my favorite was Finn.

Mason: All the new characters were wonderfully cast in my opinion. Poe is hilarious. Finn annoys me.

Michael: I loved how lovably goofy Finn was. Poe was definitely the MVP.

Mason: I did too at the beginning. Yeah, Poe was.

Alex: All of the other characters had parallels to other characters in previous movies, but Finn was something completely different: a stormtrooper that gains a conscience. He moved the movie forward, he was hilarious, and he had arguably as much growth as Rey by the end of it.

Michael: He needed to be in the movie more, the film started with him, and then he was just written out.

Mason: I thought Finn was parallel to how naive Luke was.

Jordan: I also dug how they misled the audience about Finn being a Jedi in all the promotions.

Gaby: I love Rey. I didn’t know what to expect from Daisy Ridley, but she was so fierce and determined. And yeah, when it was Rey who was really the Jedi, that felt like the biggest moment in the movie for me.

Michael: I was a little underwhelmed with Rey as a character, but I liked her performance.

Jordan: Feminism all the way. Rey kicks ass.

Gaby: Did anyone think Oscar Isaac was a bit hammy as Poe (in a good way)?

Alex: No, I loved Poe. I’m hoping to see a lot more of Poe in the next one. He was instantly charismatic, but got hardly any screen time. Loved his and Finn’s bromance.

Michael: I think Oscar was just playing up the cheese to a charming degree. He did have one of the worst lines though. “As long as there’s light, we’ve still got a chance!”

Mason: Yeah, that’s a bit cheesy.

Alex: He had the non-forced confidence that Han Solo brought in the original movies.

Donald: A part of me wishes Kylo Ren would have stayed an intimidating bad guy (in all honesty I think his design is a lot more fierce than Vader ever was), but I also really liked the fact they made him young and unstable.  It really made him a good character to both hate and be invested in.

Michael: I absolutely loved Kylo Ren. He was my favorite part of the film. Even though I just said Poe was MVP.

Donald: There can be many MVPs.

Michael: I’m not even a huge fan of Adam Driver, I find him very off-putting but they used that to maximum effect, my god, that voice.

Alex: I loved what they did with Kylo. Everything about him, even his lightsaber, screamed “rough around the edges.” He’s sinister, but unstable. He’s completely unpredictable, and I love that.

Mason: He’s a badass, and you could really see his inner conflict, unlike you do with Anakin in the prequels.

Jordan: Yup. The fact that Ren wasn’t a monster underneath the mask made the whole “Vader fanboy” concept even better. He is such a try hard.

Michael: So off kilter.

Alex: Kylo Ren is how Anakin should have been in the prequels.

Michael: Yes!!!!

Alex: That’s dark and brooding done right.

Michael: I was thinking the same thing.

Mason: I agree.

Jordan: Now, he has the face scar to boot, Alex.

Alex: And he had to kill younglings and a family member. Got the hair too. He’s checking off all the Sith boxes. haha.

Gaby: I actually came up with a theory that Kylo Ren is pulling a Severus Snape. I think Luke told him to be a double agent of sorts to bring Snoke and the First Order down. Otherwise, it’s a basic rehash of the original story.

Donald: How does Han’s death incorporate into that theory?

Gaby: To prove to Snoke that he really went Dark.

Michael: ^My favorite scene btw

Mason: Well, the whole movie is a throwback to the original series. I don’t think Ren is a double agent.

Jordan: He seemed WAY too into killing his dad for him to be a double agent.

Alex: Oh no. His pain is genuine. He’s a dark, twisted Luke. Whiny and impatient. But this time, tempted by the Light instead of the Dark. He strikes his father down, where Luke resisted in Episode 6. Kylo is for real bad.

Jordan: Agreed.

Michael: Damn, I didn’t even notice that parallel.

Donald: Yeah, he seemed too tempted to decimate everyone in his path.

Mason: And if he was a double agent that just ruins Han’s death.

Alex: Oh yeah, man. The bridge was totally the same type as the one Vader took Luke down in Empire. Only in this movie, it was the son striking down the father. Also, his real name is BEN! That killed me.

Michael: When they said that, out loud I went “classic Ben.”

Jordan: After Obi-Wan, which is even sadder because it shows that Han came around to believing in the Force.

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Michael: Do you think Kylo Ren will be back?

Jordan: He’ll be back. Snoke said “time for us to complete your training”.

Michael: He didn’t die, but I feel like he’s not going to be the main villain next time.

Gaby: For me, it’s like Han was okay with Kylo killing him? That’s the impression I got from the scene, that Han was helping him with this.

Alex: No, Han was tricked. He wanted to help his son see the good. Kylo wanted Han’s help in making killing him easy.

Mason: It was a weird scene.

Donald: I think that was just Han in a way saying, “It’s ok, I still love you.”

Michael: Exactly. He wanted to be killed by somebody he cared for and not just shot to death by some random blaster.

Alex: You can see it in the lighting in that scene. Han has light and blue on his face. Kylo is in the dark, cast with red. Then the light goes out, and darkness prevails in that moment. But Han’s face isn’t of pain or anger in the last moments. It’s not acceptance either. It’s heartbreak. It’s remorse.

Jordan: I thought it was a great double meaning. Han thought he was helping his son “do something very difficult” meaning turning to good, but he really just wanted to look his dad in the eyes to KNOW what he has to do.

Mason: The whole scene in my opinion was a bit strange. I think Han really thought his son wanted help.

Jordan: Yep. I agree. Weird, but effective.

Mason: Oh very effective. A movie finally had some balls to kill someone.

Michael: Even in that moment though, I don’t think Kylo accepted it

Alex: That scene was a gut punch. It is weird, but so is the situation.

Donald: It was a great scene for me personally. He had a struggle within between light and dark and killing his father would help seal his fate to the darkness.

Michael: For the rest of the movie, he’s much more angry and unbalanced than normal. He’s feeling the agony of the loss of his father, and I think it’s gonna eat away at him more and more.

Alex: And they cut to Leia feeling it in the force! My heart broke at that. You know she’s gotta live with the guilt now that she told Han to confront Kylo.

Jordan: Can we each give our pitches for what we think went down with Luke, his new Jedi order, Rey and Ben Solo?

Alex: Luke was teaching a new generation of Jedi, Ben included. At some point, Snoke seduced him to the Dark side to join his new Dark order, the Knights of Ren. Kylo’s first initiation: killing all of Luke’s younglings.

Michael: I’m still not sure how Rey fits in. I don’t think she’s Luke’s daughter

Donald: She’s somebody’s daughter. They kept emphasizing her abandonment in the movie.

Michael: Everyone is.

Mason: That would be too much.

Alex: I don’t want Rey to be a Skywalker. It would be too cheesey. It doesn’t make sense right now.  She thinks Luke is a myth, so she can’t be his daughter. She can’t be Han and Leia’s other kid, because they’d recognize her or say something.

Mason: She’s a very engaging character already; she doesn’t need to be Luke’s daughter.

Jordan: She IS UNDOUBTEDLY somebody’s daughter. In the casting for the movie, Rey and Kylo Ren were the only two parts to have a specificity about their ethnicity.

Alex: And her memory can’t be wiped, because even she knows that her being hidden is “classified.” With her exchange with BB-8, she says her placement is a secret.

Mason: Maybe they will introduce her parents in the next movie.

Michael: I think she’s related to Obi Wan.

Donald: I know she’s Chewbacca’s daughter.

Mason: Maybe she is the daughter of one of Luke’s dead students.

Alex: She’s definitely related to someone. I’d rather she just be an entirely new person that the Force decides to awaken in, but they’re making a big deal out of it.

Gaby: The movie heavily implies that her parentage includes someone we find important. I would be surprised if it was someone new.

Michael: You hear Ewan Mcgregor’s voice in that little fantasy scene, and I think that might be why Luke is so drawn to her. She’s the daughter of his mentor.

Alex: But Obi Wan was a hermit, and a true Jedi to boot. I don’t think he’d ever take a wife.

Mason: How does that work? Unless Ben was a player in his later years.

Michael: Then, how come they used Ewan’s voice?

Alex: They used his voice because that lightsaber is heavily connected to the Force and the events of all the movies. When Rey touches it, she is flooded with everything that talisman has had a stake in.

Michael: I think there might be something in between 3 and 4 we don’t know about him.

Jordan: Here’s what I think went down: Rey is the other Solo child. Luke and Ben were thrown for a loop when they felt her getting much stronger than either of them in training. Ben got jealous and tried to kill her on Jakku, but couldn’t bring himself to do it so he left her, wiping her memory. Now she’s basically a “Russian sleeper agent” Jedi, who can use the force and a lightsaber VERY well despite not knowing why she knows that.

Donald: It’s still a possibility she’s a Solo.

Mason: Maybe. But why would the filmmakers do that?

Donald: I don’t know how likely though.

Alex: You know what crazy parentage theory I’ve come up with? Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter. He was the ruler of the galaxy, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine he’d take concubines or something. In a fear for their lives, his children could escape, and then once that child had Rey, they’d know she’d be safer hidden. Because the First Order would definitely seek out the blood of the Emperor.

Michael: I subscribe to Jordan’s more only because there was a definite emphasis on putting Rey and Kylo together, and he did always seem to not want to hurt her. Remember, he throws her out of the way of the final battle. He doesn’t want to fight her.

Alex: It would go with the inversion of the players too. An evil Skywalker versus a good Palpatine.

Mason: That’s interesting.

Jordan: That would be very interesting!

Alex: I’m not a fan of the memory wipe idea. I don’t rule it out, I just think it would be clumsy to have to explain how Han and Leia just didn’t even think to treat or see Rey as their daughter.

Jordan: The reason he got his ass kicked in the last fight is because he thought there was NO WAY she still remembered her training she had when she was like 7.

Michael: Maybe she has a different name.

Jordan: Maybe.

Michael: Maybe she made up her name.

Mason: I don’t think she’s related to anyone. It doesn’t make sense for her to be.

Alex: He got his ass kicked because the lightsaber (his pride, lineage, birthright) chose HER instead of him. Not to mention the wookie bowcaster blast to the gut, haha.

Michael: They definitely made Han and her have quite a bit in common.

Donald: And now she runs the Millennium Falcon.

Mason: She was the replacement for Han essentially.

Donald: Although most people are saying that’s Poe’s role.

Michael: Spiritually it’s Poe.

Alex: I agree with you, Mason, I’d prefer she’s entirely new. I don’t like how Skywalkers have a monopoly on heroism, haha. However, the film does pump up the significance of her parents, so yeah.

Jordan: OH, Alex, I like that “the lineage chose HER” idea. Because Luke’s lightsaber is feeling more and more like Excalibur.

Alex: Definitely.

Jordan: It has a mythic quality, it gives her visions, she could force grab it and not him.

Alex: I actually liked how the same saber has shown up again. It’s quite literally a baton to be passed, but it’s also so connected to the Force and events, that it seeks out a hero once again. It goes with the whole cyclical nature of this movie. Although they completely glossed over how Maz Kanata got it, haha.

Mason: Well, plenty of people have been able to force grab lightsabers that aren’t their own.

Michael: It likely needs new batteries though. Rey needs to get to that Duracell shop.

Alex: The battery is the Force, you heathens!

Michael: Well, it’s actually the crystals in the saber, but I digress.

Mason: They probably only put the lightsaber there as a reference to A New Hope.

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Jordan: One thing I just wanted to mention for a moment is the Knights of Ren. There are seven, like the Seven Samurai, which I thought of because in Film History class (which Michael and I are currently taking at Chapman U) we learned about the original Star Wars taking influence from Japanese Jidaigeki (samurai) movies. One of the most famous is “Seven Samurai.”

Michael: Get it Jordan. Get that extra credit.

Alex: Oh definitely.

Michael: I need to see more.

Mason: Also Seven Samurai comes from the Greek play Seven against Thebes.

Michael: I was really disappointed that The Raid guys were not Knights of Ren; that’s what I was hoping for.

Alex: What I think is interesting is that Kylo is the last one… which begs the question what happened to the six others? My theory is that they had to fight each other to see who’s the best, Dark Side Natural Selection style.

Donald: They got Kylo Ren’d

Alex; Yep, pretty much, Donald.

Jordan: Kylo Re’KT, Donald?

Michael: That’s a Kylo blow, guys.

Alex: Kill-o Ren’d?

Mason: Since we’re doing puns. Did you know Chewbacca is dropping his Solo album?

Alex: Too soon, Mason!

Mason: What if Luke killed them all and spared Ren?

Alex: Mason, now THAT’s a flashback I’d love to see. Old Master Luke still kicking tons of ass.

Michael: Instead of just staring blankly for a second and then cutting to black? Seriously though, I really liked this movie, but I hate that last scene.

Jordan: Let’s talk about the ending! Like that last scene. And just holding off on showing Luke in general. How did you guys feel?

Donald: The handing of the lightsaber scene?

Michael: It made me genuinely mad. Definitely brought the movie down a point or two.

Mason: I loved it.

Jordan: Why Mike?

Donald: I would have liked more Mark Hamill, but I thought it was a nice enough pay off. I honestly didn’t think we’d see him till the next film.

Alex: I knew they’d end it like that. I knew that Han was like their Obi Wan in this film, and Luke would have to be found like Yoda to teach the new Jedi.

Mason: It was shot brilliantly, and it leaves a cliffhanger.  Will Luke come back or not?

Alex: Yeah, I wish Mark got just one line of dialogue.

Donald: Same

Gaby: I wanted Luke to say something. Anything.

Alex: He’s high in the credits for a guy who just turns around and takes off a hood.

Michael: Because they spend the whole time building up this mystery of where Luke’s gone. That’s the big end goal, and then we finally get there, and they’re like “NOPE, BUY YOUR TICKET FOR EPISODE 8 ON FANDANGO.”

Donald: But at least we saw what he looked like now. Even if it was briefly

Michael: It just felt like a big middle finger to the audience who’s been waiting for years to see what the big mystery with Luke is. He’s so fat now. lol.

Alex: It was a fitting ending though. Right from the beginning, opening line, the text crawl is that this movie is all about finding Luke. And it ends the moment he is found.

Mason: But that’s what was so great about it. You’re left wondering what is he gonna say.

Jordan: It was all in his face. We spend the whole movie waiting to see this legendary Jedi that everybody is talking about, and when we finally get to the literal (old man atop the mountain) he is… broken. He exiled himself because he couldn’t look his friends in the eyes after failing their son and tearing the family apart. It was so intense. And the MUSIC. it starts with hearing the empire theme on him for a moment, then goes to his theme.

Alex: Nail on the head, Jordan. Michael, he actually lost a ton of weight. Mark Hamill looks incredible compared to what he was in like, 2012.

Michael: I know, but if he has even said anything that would have made all the difference to me. Maybe I’m just comparing to how he looks on the flash, where he looks worse but to me he looked large, but then again he’s older now. lol.

Jordan: Thanks, Alex! And yeah, Michael but in The Flash, he even got to say “I am your father.”

Alex: He’s just as defeated as Yoda was by the end of Revenge of the Sith. He feels like he’s failed the Jedi order.

Mason: Well, technically, the Jedi order was destroyed again. That’s gotta really hit him hard.

Michael: Oh, I totally agree. I just think there needed to be one line.

Jordan: Are you guys okay with the cliffhanger ending? Did you want more resolution?

Alex: I’m ok with it. Like I said, it’s what I was expecting.

Michael: I’m ok with a cliffhanger, but I wanted a little more payoff

Donald: It was enough of a resolution to the “Search for Luke” storyline.

Gaby: I didn’t think it was much of cliffhanger, since we all know it’s the first of a series.

Mason: I’m good with it. We got 2 more movies to get to a resolution.

Michael: When we can just pop in Episode 8, maybe I’ll feel differently. But for now, it definitely hurt.

Donald: Yeah, 2 years from now.

Mason: Better than 32.

Michael: But we get Rogue One in between, and that movie sounds incredible,

Alex: Rogue One is gonna feel bittersweet for me though. I’m gonna love it because Star Wars, but it’s not the Star Wars I’ll want.

Michael: How do you mean?

Alex: It’s gonna be like a caffeine addict drinking Decaf. Same flavor, not the substance I’m seeking. I want Rey’s story to continue! I’ll love Rogue One, but it will just make me even more impatient for Episode 8.

Michael: I feel like expanding the universe and telling different stories in different genres is what’s so exciting about having a universe. I’m almost more excited for Rogue One because it’s gonna be something completely new, but I see what you’re saying.

Alex: True. I’m not saying Rogue One will be bad, by any means.

Mason: I think that’s the best way to keep the series going. Tell stories in between the big movies.

Gaby: Do you think Luke is going to survive this trilogy?

Michael: I bet he dies in 8, and 9 is the one where only the new characters take on the First Order.

Mason: I’m not sure.

Donald: I don’t know. it was a big deal killing off Han. Killing Luke in 8 might be a little too much.

Mason: My question is what happens now that the Republic has been destroyed again?

Jordan: Going with the parallels with A New Hope and TFA, you got to assume that Episode 8 will carry over thematic elements. I’m thinking we get Rey’s family reveal at the end (just like Vader and Luke’s at the end of Empire). I just hope that they don’t copy locations and plot stuff like TFA did.

Alex: Oh yeah. This was a rush to introduce us to new, and give us a chance to catch up to the old. Episode 8 should be more narrative driven and focus on fleshing out the characters further.

Mason: It’s a new writer for 8. So it might not happen.

Michael: I just hope they go crazy with 8. Rian Johnson just does whatever he wants and they completely break the formula.

Jordan: Amen to that. Bruce Willis shows up.

Mason: NO.

Michael: In Joseph Gordon Levitt makeup.

Alex: I can’t wait to see Rey training in the Light to parallel Kylo training in the Dark. Then they meet for an even bigger round 2.

Jordan: Alex, yes. That would be great. In Empire, nobody really meets up. I’d be happy if Rey barely sees Finn because he and Poe are off on their own, Ren is training, etc.

Gaby: Thoughts on JJ Abrams?

Michael: Spectacular direction.

Alex: I thought JJ delivered on a tremendously tough order.

Michael: The best job he’s done on a film so far. He didn’t succumb to style and just focused on the movie.

Alex: He carried on a beloved franchise, trying to balance making it feel like the original trilogy while also trying to make it something new.

Mason: He made the Star Wars movie people had been waiting for. Exciting, action-packed with just a little humor.

Alex: It’s hard, but I think he pulled it off. I will say that he relied maybe a bit too heavily on some of the things in A New Hope.

Michael: I think he had to play it safe on this one. It was a crowd-pleasing thing.

Alex: I mean really, Starkiller Base is literally just a bigger Death Star? Wasn’t a fan of that.  It blows up five planets at once, and yet it didn’t have the same impact as the first death star blowing up Alderaan. I like how it worked by absorbing and shooting stars, but it didn’t have the same weight to it because this is the third time we’ve seen something like this now.

Mason: Well, in my opinion, that’s not a bad thing that they pulled from A New Hope. One thing this movie does is pays respect to the original trilogy. And it’s a throwback to it as well. I’m not complaining. Again, it’s the first good Star Wars movie in 3 decades.

Jordan: People are VERY confused about Mr. Abrams. Everyone is making a connection in their heads that: “Oh, he rebooted Trek and Wars, and in both cases recycled plot elements in the films”. What they don’t understand is that A. Both Trek and Wars were written largely before he was even on board to direct and B. The stories were made by the studios! I think Paramount screwed up MUCH worse with the plot/feel of Trek reboots. Abrams’ job was as follows: make the best damn Star Wars movie he could with the story they were going with. He could have sat on his ass and green screened everything, but he DIDN’T, because the guy is a huge Star Wars fan. It shows.

Michael: Meanwhile we’re getting X: Games presents Star Trek Beyond.

Mason: He wrote the screenplay for Star Wars and Star Trek if I remember correctly.

Jordan: Trek was all written by Kurtzman and Orci, and Star Wars was drafted by Michael Ardnt, Kasden, and lastly JJ made tweaks. He came in when things were pretty much set.

Donald: Considering what we’ve gotten from other studios since the original trilogy, I still think Disney acquiring Star Wars was a good move.

Michael: Oh, it was absolutely our best move.

Alex: Oh yeah. I definitely love what Abrams did with this, and as I’ve said, I like how the movie toys with history repeating itself. I’m just saying there were a few moments it felt less like homage and parallel, or more like reprinting.

Michael: It was like watching a kid play with action figures.

Alex: But a smart kid! A kid who understands character development!

Jordan: Haha yes. Exactly.

Michael: Oh, I meant that in the best way. In the way that a kid knows everything going on in that story.

Alex: Yeah you know what, that’s a great compliment! This movie felt playful, just like the originals. One of the reasons the prequels sucked is that it always took everything too damn seriously.

Michael: They have fun in the prequels. They go to see the purple bubble show.

Jordan: Leaving the theater, me and my friend saw two little boys in the bathroom having a pretend lightsaber fight with sound effects and everything. One kid was like: “I’m Kylo Ren!” and the other said “I’m Rey! But like… if she was a BOY!”. It made me so happy.

Donald: And from what I hear 3 is the only one that really adds anything to the Star Wars mythology.

Mason: Yeah it is. But one thing the prequels have are amazing fight scenes.

Alex: Hey now, I thought the lightsaber fighting in this one was amazing.

Mason: I enjoyed it. But it just wasn’t as epic or well choreographed.

Michael: It was much less dancy and more aggressive.

Alex: I was actually emotionally invested in it, and it felt real. None of the combatants were at their peak form, and I thought that made the fights more unpredictable and interesting.

Mason: It did. But one thing I love for the prequels are the fight scenes.

Michael: I love how Finn just got his ass handed to him when he fought Kylo.

Alex: Plus, Finn picking up the lightsaber was perfect for his arch. He jokes in the beginning how “doing the right thing” isn’t his real motive, but by the end, it’s really the reason he’s fighting.

Mason: Finn tries his hardest though.

Donald: I’m definitely glad Rey got the final showdown, personally loved her character more than Finn.

Alex: He doesn’t care if he wins or loses. He’s standing up for his friend, and for what’s right in that moment.

Jordan: Can we talk about their connection being platonic vs. romantic? I for one was really happy that they didn’t try to hook Rey and Finn up.

Donald: Absolutely.

Michael: I agree, it was unconventional and completely natural.

Jordan: When she friend-zoned him at the end, as he’s unconscious… I’ve never been happy about a friend zone, but I was for that!

Michael: There was really no romantic subplot.

Jordan: If there was one, it would have felt SO rushed and crammed into the movie.

Alex: Yeah, I like how they didn’t instantly ship them. You can tell he’s into her, but she’s not entirely into him like that, and I think it adds strength to her character. She’s more focused on her own journey.

Gaby: I like that Rey and Finn are being established as friends before it moves into anything romantic, which I think it will.

Alex: They’ve definitely planted seeds for it. Finn is the only person who has ever come back for her, and I think that’s a powerful thing.

Jordan: I agree, Gaby. There’s more to come with them. After all, Han and Leia pretty much just hated each other in A New Hope. Look at them now, haha.

Mason: What if Poe and Finn get together?

Michael: It would make more sense Mason, haha.

Gaby: We talked about theories quite a bit, but what do you hope to see in the sequel? And what are your final thoughts on The Force Awakens?

Alex: In the sequel: More bromance between Poe and Finn, and Captain Phasma hunting them down like dogs. Kylo training, Rey training, and through their training we learn more about what happened with Luke and who the hell Snoke is.

Michael: I want more Luke, a darker tone, and further exploration into the characters.

Mason: I’d just like another good adventure through space with more light saber duels and epic clashes through space.

Michael: I want fewer action scenes, but I want the ones that are there to be better and for them to break the formula.

Mason: And I’d like to hear why Luke went into exile.. Be funny if he’s gone crazy like Yoda.

Donald: I think it is safe to say in either 8 or 9 we’ll see another old character death

Alex: Final thoughts on Force Awakens? 9/10 for me. It has its flaws, but it was so engrossing, and the characters were so great, I’m able to forgive almost all of them. Super excited to see where this story goes.

Michael: I’d give it an 8.5.

Mason: 10/10 for me.

Donald: As far as a first Star Wars movie goes for both younger audiences and newcomers, I think this is a great start.  You can get behind the characters, it’s really funny, well shot, and Kylo Ren is a great antagonist.  Maybe a few too many throwbacks and the third Death Star kinda bugged me, but otherwise great time. 8/10

Jordan: 9.5. Am I looking at it objectively? Not really. BUT… I feel like certain franchises have earned the right to be looked at through rose-tinted glasses; Star Wars didn’t get to be so loved through being bad: it changed cinema forever. I’ve always loved living in that world, and now I have another good Star Wars movie to do that in! Could have done without the repeated Death Star, but wow – Star Wars is back in a BIG way.

Gaby: I’d also give it a 9 because while it’s far from perfect, it definitely is interesting and opens up a lot of intriguing plot opportunities in the Star Wars universe (hopefully). Plus, I adore all the new characters.

Mason: I do too. It was cast perfectly.

Michael: Now are we ready to be sick of it in 5 years when they won’t stop coming out? Because I’m worried it’s gonna end up like Marvel where people feel over saturated with it.

Donald: Oh, please, I’m still not sick of all the Marvel movies yet.

Mason: I am.

Alex: I don’t think I can get sick of Star Wars. I still enjoy the prequels. I’m resilient.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters.


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