The Force Has Been Awokened and Suchness

The Wolfpack x Star Wars: Dave, Eddie, me, Megan, and Mukunda (as Darth Vader), who made his costume entirely out of cardboard and tape. Check out his costumes and movie artwork in Vogue!

Star Wars has not only awakened The Force, but after years of dormancy, it has awakened my need to write about it. Blogging makes me feel like a little ol' granny trying to reach out on Facebook, so please get me on your nerdy Episode VII group texts ASAP.

As a Star Wars lifer, I loved this film. Not because it was better than the original trilogy, but because it brought me back to it. This is an important feeling for early fans who lost their passion for the legacy after The Phantom Menace. The storyline was simplistic and there were some hokey moments, but I appreciate how this film echoed it's own roots. Some of my friends have complained about the script being lazy, but George Lucas went so off plot through four convoluted and poorly cast films, it's relieving to see JJ Abrams take control and get the franchise back on track. I respect and worship George Lucas, but once Jar Jar Binks hit the screen, the world realized he was in over his head. Jar Jar holds steady as the all-time worst character in film history, although Mad Max's Guitar Flamethrower dude is definitely sizzling on the scene (sidenote: everyone involved in the creation of that character should be forced to attend a job fair to find a new career path). ANYHOW!

My thoughts on The Force Awakens (SPOILERS):

FINN - I was happy to see a black lead character and I'm curious about his future, but unfortunately I didn't feel connected to Finn at all. He was a wee tad too puppy-like for my taste. However, I anticipated him replacing Luke Skywalker, so preemptively overhyping his role is the primary reason for my disappointment. Nonetheless, I can't help but anticipate him somehow replacing Han Solo in the next film, so I'll just be over here gearing up for another let down.

THE BAR SCENE - I wish the filmmakers had spent more time in the bar on Jakku. It made me really miss Mos Eisley and Tatooine. The locals at Ergel's bar (the featured tavern in Cratertown) should have had one more minute of screen time. Not just for extra chuckles, but to showcase the innovation of Industrial Light & Magic's creature department. However, there was an Easter Egg for us Mos Eisley groupies, including a cameo of the original jazz band, Figran D'an & The Modal Nodes from Episode IV: in A New Hope.

MAZ KANATA - I know this is extremely shallow because Lupita N'yongo is an astute actress and role model, but why did JJ Abrams waste her gorgeousness on an ET-looking-ass barkeep who - no big deal - has Luke Motherfucking Skywalker's light saber laying around in an unlocked box? That's like leaving the One Ring in a file cabinet in the manager's office at a Dave & Busters. IT'S PRECIOUS, Y'ALL. Also, Maz is just an off-brand Yoda the way Jakku is an off-brand Tatooine. On a lighter note, I appreciated the diversity of this film. They were able to create a range of backgrounds for characters without making it a racist shitshow (coughcough The Phantom Menace).

STARKILLER BASE - Creating a new Death Star seemed redundant, but I did love the Nazi scenery of the First Order's militia. I keep forgetting to ask more knowledgable pals about the necessity of an ice planet, so please weigh in!

REY - Daisy Ridley, the actress who played Rey, was strong all around. Her character had a nice mix of Leia's courage, Luke's sensitivity, and Han's snark, but she was an intelligent warrior with her own style. I found her pretty compelling as a female protagonist and I think she will carry the series, no sweat. Can't wait to see her in the next chapter.

FASHION - The wardrobe was insahhhnely good. I'd wear almost anything seen on screen, male or female, Finn's leathers in particular. Here's a good interview about the costume designer's thought process when creating the wardrobe. Aside from dressing General Leia as someone's aunt who breeds Golden Retrievers in Maine, I felt the film was respectful of the legacy of Star Wars fashion.

THE LIGHTSABER - I found Kylo Ren's two sided saber superfluous and off-putting. The lightsaber is a sacred icon that should not be altered. However, Kylo's silken mane really transformed dorky Adam Driver into a smoldering pony, amirite?


HAN, R2D2, C3PO, LUKE, LEIA (in that order) - I didn't expect it, but I got pretty ferklempt seeing my childhood friends appear on screen. The Empire Strikes Back was the first movie I saw in a theater; my cousin Dalton took me to see it in Times Square, and even though I couldn't really follow the plot at such a young age, I remember being awed. I fell in love with Yoda immediately and was genuinely scared of Darth Vader. We didn't have spaceships and creatures like that before Star Wars. The Rebels were my very first heroes outside of Piggy and Kermy, so every time a vintage character appeared in The Force Awakens, I cheered and clapped along with the UA Sheepshead Bay IMAX audience. D and I kept side-hugging and holding hands, and I could hear Megan squealing 6 seats over. It was definitely a highlight of the experience.

POE DAMARIN - After watching Ex-Machina, I simultaneously added Oscar Isaac into both my Greatest Actors and Would Definitely F lists. However, he has surpassed all canon and moved into a very important role formerly occupied by Jason Mantzoukas and James MacAvoy: Poe Damarin is officially my TOP DUDEFISH. This means I will think about him at inappropriate times. Hope I meet him at a dinner party and he wifes me. Will keep you posted x