Star Wars is precious. At least, this is what most fans of the long-lasting series believe. It makes sense, though. It was a creative outlet for fans of all ages. It captured our imagination. It made the hair on the back of our necks rise. It even brought families together and gave them something to bond over. Therefore, when it's criticized, it can be a bit of a sore subject for some. This is what contributed to the incredibly divisive redirect from the fans on the recent film, The Last Jedi. Although it may not seem like it, The Last Jedi's polarized opinions actually stem from what J.J. Abrams and Disney did with the first movie in their new trilogy, The Force Awakens.
The Force Awakens was a 2015 film that brought back the original stars 30 years after The Return of the Jedi. Additionally, it introduced us to an assortment of new heroes and villains, some of which have gone down as just as good as the originals while others are strongly disliked. Regardless, fans were so pumped about seeing a new Star Wars film that was better than George Lucas' prequel trilogy that many found poorly written and riddled with overwhelming CGI. Although The Force Awakens did avoid some of the traps of the prequel series, there were a number of things that fans completely overlooked about it.
Now that it's been a few years, as well as The Last Jedi has taken most of the heat, it's time to go back and see the 20 Things Wrong With The Force Awakens That We All Chose To Ignore.
There's a difference between remake and homage. An example of an homage would be the shot of Kylo Ren trying to take the lightsaber out of the snow via the Force. An example of a remake is basically the entirety of The Force Awakens.
The similarities between the two are far-reaching. Not only are there a number of glaring character similarities between Rey and Luke, as well as BB-8 and R2, Kylo and Vader, and more, but the structure of The Force Awakens and A New Hope are almost identical. Sure, it diverges in places, which is a nice way to subvert expectations, but, for the most part, they follow the exact same beats. This is something most of us totally ignored just because we were so excited to see a new Star Wars film after so long.
Since J.J. Abrams is currently directing the final film in the Skywalker Saga, chances are we'll finally learn how Maz Kanata got ahold of Anakin's lightsaber after Luke lost it during his battle with his father. Regardless of how she got it, fans should be annoyed at the fact that it survived Luke's fall during the duel in Cloud City. If you can't recall, the blue lightsaber was knocked into oblivion when Vader removed Luke's hand.
The odds that it didn't crack when it fell hundreds of feet are pretty slim. Not to mention, the garbage disposal would have dumped it out into open air after it hit the bottom. Honestly, this entire story thread seems outlandish at best.
Luke Skywalker saved the galaxy thirty-years before the events of The Force Awakens and yet, he's constantly referred to as a "legend". Do you know anyone who refers to the events of thirty-years-ago as "legends", or actually believes them to be? Chances are, you don't. This is because it takes far more than thirty-years for important events, such as saving the ENTIRE galaxy to fade away and become a debatable fact. Additionally, Luke didn't disappear after the events of Return of the Jedi. He left around ten years before the events of Force Awakens. So, why are Rey and Finn surprised that he's real?
Adding this detail into the film was a cute way to get the younger audience excited for something that happened long before they were born. However, as a story decision, it contained little to absolutely zero logic.
It's not that Maz Kanata was poorly animated altogether, it's that her animation was poorly integrated with the rest of the film. One of the best elements of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi is that they brought Stars Wars back to its roots in terms of the use of alien animatronic, puppets, and costumes. However, Maz wasn't one of these characters.
She was given extended scenes where she was the focus, therefore it became increasingly obvious that she didn't hold the physical weight like the animatronics and real-life actors surrounding her. She moved like a CG character, whereas the others did not. This made it even more difficult to get into her character who wasn't particularly engaging, to begin with.
It seems inconceivable that Han Solo would part ways with The Millenium Falcon for an extended period of time. Sure, it makes sense for Han to have lost it in some deal gone wrong, but wouldn't he have stolen it back? This is also assuming that you buy the fact that he left The Republic/Resistance to begin with and reverted back to his smuggler persona. This does take a bit of a leap of faith.
However, if we go with this story thread, we have to believe that Han would have done everything possible to track down and steal back the Falcon. It's his baby, after all. Han is also fully capable of doing this. Instead, he completely left it, only to get extremely lucky one day when Rey flew it off of Jakku.
Poe Dameron is often referred to as "the best pilot in the Resistance". However, after his escape from the desert of Jakku, it seems like he should have been on Survivorman or Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls.
Not only did he survive the crash landing, as well as possibly the sinking sand, but he also navigated himself to a village where he was able to either call for help or board a ship that took him back to the Resistance. Given the fact that the Resistance is underground, it also seems highly risky to ask for help to contact them. Frankly, there are just too many unlikely elements at play here. It's just too farfetched. Therefore, it feels like the writers just wanted him to find his way back, versus making a legitimate story decision.
The only moment we get of the Republic in The Force Awakens is when they are being wiped out by The First Order's superweapon. Although most fans were happy not to receive an overload of politics as they got in the prequels, the Republic felt noticeably absent in the movie.
In fact, they're nowhere to be seen. The Republic neither supported the First Order nor openly supported the Resistance. It just hangs out while the two parties battled for its soul and future. This is really odd since the Republic consisted of a United Nations-esque union of planets who were there to uphold democracy. One would think that they would have sent armies to help the Resistance defeat The First Order. Additionally, they seemed oddly unaware of the awful things The First Order had been up to.
There comes a point where a blockbusters desire to sell merchandise overtakes the story. This is precisely what happened with Captain Phasma. The character was shown in a lot of promotional material, as well as on lunchboxes, in games, and as a toy. However, she basically did nothing in the story. In fact, her two or three scenes were mostly treated as a joke.
Additionally, they cast Gwendoline Christie and hid her behind a silver mask the entire time. They didn't even give her more than a handful of lines. Do to her physical design, she often gets compared to Boba Fett. However, Fett actually had an important role to play in The Empire Strikes Back. His presence impacted the plot, while hers did no such thing. This begs the question, why was she really there?
It made sense to have Luke hide part of the map to his whereabouts inside his trusty droid, R2-D2. However, it didn't make sense for the Resistance to wait until the end of The Force Awakens to access it. Of course, a reason why they couldn't access it could be because the droid shut himself off. This was due to the fact that he was depressed that his master had vanished. He remained this way for the vast majority of the film's runtime.
Well, luckily for the Resistance, R2 decided to wake up right when the Resistance needed him to. It wasn't for any particular reason. The plot just needed him to do so. This was such a manipulative and downright lazy decision on the part of the writers and studio.
If the Resistance supported the Republic and the Republic had the power in the galaxy, how did the two not stop The First Order? How did the splinters of the shattered Empire reform in such a way that didn't overthrow the Republic, but yet gave them the upper hand?
Frankly, there are just so many questions surrounding this topic. Questions that came up at the beginning of The Force Awakens when we read it in the opening crawl. These are completely valid questions to have, and yet none of them were answered within in the film. In fact, none of them were even alluded to. It was a smart decision to have most of the politics happen off-screen, but we needed some information on how there was suddenly an exact copy of The Empire roaming around.
There just no way that Finn was the only Stormtrooper to quit The First Order. What are the chances of that? Even if he was, it didn't make sense for Kylo Ren to be as angry as he was when the two met face-to-face in the snowy forest. Kylo didn't even know Finn. He made eye contact with him once. It's not like the two were buddies before the events of the film. If they were, it would have made sense for Kylo to scream, "traitor".
Even though Kylo was emotionally triggered during the forest scene, chasing after Rey and the lightsaber was his priority. Instead, he made a big deal about Finn before finally engaging Rey. Was this just to give Finn something to do in the scene? Regardless, it was pretty silly.
Although some see the "Mary Sue" title that Rey often gets may anger some for a variety of creative and political reasons, there is some fairness to the criticism. Although some fans can defend how Rey mastered the Force so quickly, it's harder to understand how she was able to do a host of other things. For example, Rey has no problem piloting the Millenium Falcon despite never flying it, or any other spaceship before. Additionally, she can completely understand Chewbacca's dialect.
It's not like Rey spent a lot of time on Kashyyyk with all the Wookies. Nor did we see her with any Wookie language books. So, just how could this incredibly isolated young woman know how to understand Chewie at all? It seems awfully convenient.
For some reason, The Force Awakens made sure to put Kylo Ren in a category of villains other than the Sith. Instead of being a member of the Sith, he was a member of the Knights of Ren, which is an organization that works alongside the First Order. However, very little more about them is revealed. Unlike the Sith who have an entire lore, nothing about The Knights of Ren is revealed in The Force Awakens or in The Last Jedi. The only thing we get is a rainy flashback of Kylo and his group after the attack on Luke's temple.
Unless there was a specific plot reason why The Knights of Ren needed to exist, there's no need for them. It just hangs around to be another element that confuses the audience.
We expect more from our villains nowadays. We need to truly understand their psychology. We need to know what exactly they'd do if they won. The truth is, we have no idea what The First Order would do if they won the battle. This doesn't make them very compelling, nor does it make the stakes very high. In short, we don't know why it's so bad if our heroes lost the war. This is a humungous story error.
Sure, we get that The First Order is bad. Look how they dress, after all. Do they just not like democracy? Why? What would they do differently? Just another dictatorship. The fact that we don't know is a big missed opportunity.
A lot can happen in thirty years. It makes sense that things wouldn't be exactly the same as they were at the end of Return of the Jedi. But the reasons why Han left Leia seem muddled at best. In the film, it seems like Han left because he was hurt after Ben turned to the Dark Side. But wouldn't that push him and Leia closer? If not, wouldn't it send him on a mission to try and redeem Ben? Instead, Han went off to smuggle again and left Leia to battle to her possible demise at the hands of their son. That's pretty cold.
Not only is it cold, it just doesn't seem like Han. Even though he can be difficult, he has always loved Leia. It doesn't make sense that he'd abandon her like that.
The first time we see Rey, we learn that she was abandoned on Jakuu by her parents. She also believes that they will return and take her away. However, none of this impacts the plot, nor does it receive a payoff beyond her being sidetracked by another adventure.
Some would argue that this wasn't needed as it the first film of a trilogy. But, without it, Rey just appears to go with the flow. With the exception of one moment in Maz's castle, her desire to return home and wait for her parents doesn't impact the plot. She merely tells other characters what she wants to do and carries on with their own desires for her. If you look at the design of Luke's character in A New Hope, you won't find these problems.
Fans waited for thirty-years for Harrison Ford's Han Solo and the late-great Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa to be reunited on screen. The pair had such electric chemistry throughout the original trilogy and if they had the right writing, they'd undoubtedly have it again. Unfortunately, the few scenes they shared in The Force Awakens were entirely expository. There wasn't any character building, romantic tension, or tension between the two. They merely discussed their son, wished each other luck and that was the end of it.
The fact that these two legends didn't have the story they deserved in Ford's last Star Wars outing is terrible. Yet fans completely overlooked this because Ford was given a lot to do elsewhere.
How does one end a climactic fight that can't end in the demise of either the protagonist or antagonist due to their presence in sequels? There's no easy answer to this, but many great films have found solutions. An option that a film probably shouldn't explore is to create a giant chasm to separate the two.
Sure, the entire planet was imploding. But for a chasm to open up precisely between Rey and Kylo Ren feels pretty unlikely. In fact, it feels like the writers almost literally drew a line between them. This is what we call a "Deus Ex Machina" as something pretty unrelated stopped Rey from finishing Kylo. This is disappointing since this fight is one of the best in the series.
As much as fans disliked the fact that Luke abandoned his sister, friends, and the Resistance to become a hermit on some hidden rock, not to mention renounce his Jedi status, we think they should be more irritated by the fact that he left behind a map. If he truly didn't want to be found, he wouldn't have left behind a map. This map, by-the-way, was split into two and seemed particularly complicated to understand. Therefore, Luke just comes across as a bit of a jerk who wanted to play mind-games with his allies.
Perhaps his reasoning was that he had it as an option only to use in a dire situation, but wasn't the dire situation when The First Order first started to become a problem in the first place? Frankly, none of this makes sense.
Luke Skywalker was seen as the Messiah. The man who would definitively shift the balance in the war against The First Order. Prior to the start of The Force Awakens, General Leia Organa and the Resistance spent years attempting to find Skywalker, but then some Force-using stranger comes along and helps them find the map that leads to him. Afterward, she's chosen to go and bring Luke back herself. But why her?
Doesn't it make sense for Leia to go? After all, she has the closest connection to him. Sure, R2 and Chewie may have helped convince him to return, but another Force-user seems like an odd choice. Especially since he became angry with The Force. Even if Rey did go, Leia would have been the right person to send with her.
What do you think is something about The Force Awakens that we purposefully ignored? Let us know in the comments below!