It Isn’t Too Late To Review ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally went full circle from inception to home release this week, and many of fans stuck to their guns to wait for it, perhaps too jaded to visit the movie theaters where the studios initially put their money on.

Up to the home release of The Force Awakens, the marketing magic was still doing its work, releasing never-before-seen footage for the standard/high definition digital version which debuted last Friday, for streaming or download.

But there’s a certain point when most people can tell the difference of quality between the marketing and the actual product.

Star Wars merchandise
A display of Star Wars merchandise from original films. The best part of The Force Awakens might have been the merchandising and marketing leading up to the release of the actual film? [Image via Sam Howzit|Flickr|Cropped and resized|CC BY 2.0]
Philosophically speaking, nowadays, fans don’t really feel like they own anything anymore, and that alone has spread its own share of cynicism about products and Star Wars is no exception. This is post George Lucas era, but even when the new trailers were making their rounds for The Force Awakens, even the biggest professional nerds “got on board” for this thing.

For a bit, it restored the excitement for everyone who was waiting for it.

That’s not to say it wasn’t worth it — before I actually say it wasn’t worth it — but it did not meet the level of expectation even the biggest cynic was forced to anticipate.

Star Wars The Force Awakens included in a fan's movie collection.
Many waited to see the movie, for a lower rental price, just in case it wasn’t worth buying. This image shows a fan’s collection with The Force Awakens[Image via Pcutler|Flickr|Cropped and resized|CC BY-SA 2.0]

Theatrically speaking.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens did, however, arrive at a RedBox near me and so I prioritized it for a Tuesday evening over another rental of The Hateful Eight.

Up to this month, I told a friend of mine I hadn’t seen the movie yet and was waiting until April 5, to which they told me that I would probably be crying in my living room.

A previous article on the Inquisitr provides an example of the kind of emotionally moved fan I was hoping to become on my first viewing.

Well, I was waiting for it and nothing happened.

The opening credits didn’t even impact me that much, because I had already seen them before with the Phantom Menace in the theaters, which was my official Star Wars experience.

Sadly, I came to find that there really wasn’t much to anticipate here, because as many times as I’ve seen Harrison Ford in other movies or even making appearances on late night television shows, there was no feeling that I had been waiting to see Han Solo back on the big screen at all.

As a matter of fact, the biggest sell about The Force Awakens was Ford and sadly, he couldn’t be bothered to be interested enough in holding up his end of the bargain and becoming the character again.

Really, Harrison Ford seemed like he was in a role he doesn’t remember.

Also, an incident that might raise some flags according to a source, Abrams apparently hurt his back trying to pick up Ford after he broke his ankle on the set, something which either says that Ford was so “not into it” that he decided to become dead weight, or that Abrams is just that out of shape. But I would say it’s the former before the latter.

The story was very rushed at certain points, long before there was real chance for character development. Viewers still don’t know much about Ray other than what the storytellers want them to know, as if the creators don’t even trust themselves to reveal too much.

For instance, in the case of finding the lightsaber, it seemed so conveniently positioned where the main character(s) could find it; it seemed rather rushed and didn’t bridge very well from one scene to another.

And this has happened to J.J. Abrams before.

Back in December, Abrams admitted to the problems he didn’t entirely solve with Star Trek: Into Darkness via IGN.Perhaps he had a similar problem here?

The viewers are still left somewhat hanging here, as the story was driven forward with very little set up, other than nostalgic moments.

The other bit of nostalgia was that of General Leia, who played less of a part than she could have, and even then, she could have been a bit more emotional, rather than rely on the fact that she hadn’t been on the screen for years and depending more on the legend of her character.

The best thing the movie did was to restore the nostalgia, technically, with regard to the sounds of the tie-fighters, the sets, and the Star Wars universe. But there was definitely a problem with the CGI in places where it was too obviously present at times and therefore, unable to trigger my suspension of disbelief.

Carrie Fischer at convention in 2012.
Carrie Fisher reprises her role as Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens which has just been released for home viewing this week. Here, she is at a convention in 2012. [Image via Gage Skidmore|Flickr|Cropped and resized|CC BY-SA 2.0]

Professional movie critic Leonard Maltin agrees with some level of nostalgia, and is even more in awe of Harrison Ford than I am.

Of course, the numbers don’t lie. The fact is that the movie has pulled in billions of dollars, which certainly isn’t a sign that millions upon millions of fans have only fallen for the marketing. Star Wars certainly has qualities to it that make it more than a short sell.

J.J. Abrams knows enough about making movies that he can certainly get viewers caught up in the action, and the ability to pack movie theaters. In the end, much like Ford’s response to replaying Han Solo in The Force Awakens referred to in the video above, the bottom line is that “he got paid.”

[Image via Lucasfilm]

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