the imperial march should play in your head as you read the review:
It’s Different! It’s Not! It’s Different! It’s Not!
The empire is still evil and Supreme Commander Snook
is creepy in the manner of Emperor Palpitane. Thin and tall
and long bony fingers controlling the force like never before.
The rebels are at the end of their tether again, and need help.
Again. The story seems same but if you sit back and enjoy
what Star Wars means to you, then the brilliant end will
make you feel like a happy child once again.
Those who have watched Han Solo being killed by his son who
has gone over to the Dark Side, the villain of this film is clear.
It’s Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren. He wears that mask but does not
invoke the same fear as Lord Darth Vader when he appears on
screen. There is no music, no deep voice, no helmet wheeze…
Daisy Ridley’s Rey makes you want to hug her. She’s earnest
to a fault and there’s no one to say, ‘The Force is strong in this
one’. But you have Star Wars fables imprinted in your brain.
And she’s on the island persuading Luke Skywalker to help.
You see a glimpse of Luke’s Starfighter submerged in the water
and you want to see more of it. The Porgs try to be cute, but
they aren’t. Personally, they reminded me of pigeons who get
everywhere and nest anywhere. Was so happy to see
Chewbacca barbecue them. The crystal creatures could
go far in the Star Wars creature role bible.
Watching Carrie Fisher and Laura Dern (purple hair
notwithstanding) and Mark Hamill is such a pleasure, you know
you really are a fan of the franchise. The new characters, who
are really taking the place of the old order – Oscar Isaac who
plays Poe, a replacement for Han Solo – just pale in comparison
and don’t really make a mark.
The connect between Rey and Kylo Ren is very interesting
indeed. And the last confrontation between the empire and the
rebels (no matter what they call it now!) is awesome, indeed.
Star Wars remains visually mesmerizing. The aliens don’t have
anything spectacular to do, and yes, you don’t miss Jar Jar at all.
The lesson, ‘Let the past die..’ did not work. The past was so
glorious, they need a super fabulous story in the next movie to
keep the Star Wars madness alive. Having said that, I’ve booked
to see the film again. Go figure.
(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com)