Star Wars: The Force Awakens delivered. Something unbelievable, considering the restraints placed on the movie and its future episodes. The movie was from the beginning going to be constrained into a copy of the original trilogy, any other move would have been too risky to the franchise. The script upon first viewing seemed a copy, which is why many people disliked it; seeing it as a copy for the sake of money. Everyone I have talked to has seen it as this, and this is why having writers and directors that are previously fans causes problems. The movie was constrained, forced into a mold of the old ones. No studio would risk another Phantom Menace, so it seemed like they did the safe thing and copied the original trilogy to the letter. Except, this was done on purpose, used as a smokescreen. The movie was cosmetically the same: a hero trapped on a desert planet by their parents. Both characters were mechanics, and excellent pilots. But this is where the similarities, the cosmetic similarities anyways, end.
[Cosmetic similarities.] Rey was a hardened orphan, abandoned by her parents, living off her own skill. Luke was chilling on his moisture farm with his Aunt and Uncle, drinking blue milk and shooting womp-rats. Rey is held on Jakku because of her own decisions, Luke was there because Uncle Owen wanted someone to fix droids. The closest thing to Obi-Wan is Han Solo, and although they are both betrayed by people they think of as sons, Han never knows he’s letting his son kill him, while Obi-Wan does willingly so he can join with the force.
Leia’s counterpoint can only be assumed to be Finn, and any love interest between the two is unlikely to be disrupted by them being twins, and Finn used to be part of the First Order, while Leia was always a part of the rebels. Poe is supposedly Han Solo, but their connection is cosmetic, they both fly ships, and are quick witted cool guys, but any similarity ends there. Han-Solo is a shady smuggler, that almost leaves the rebels before being pulled back by his love for his friends. Poe Dameron is the resistance’s best pilot, obviously showing that he is deeply invested in their fight. Han constantly runs from things until he is redeemed during the original trilogy, Poe is always fighting, and is the very definition of rebel with a cause.
The Force Awakens is a complete film on it’s own, full of fun and humorous family moments like a Star Wars film should be. It had its own witty characters, interesting and multidimensional. It had throwbacks to the original trilogy, a smart move by the screenwriter, and was directed by J.J. Abrams a bonafide Star Wars fan. The Force Awakens was limited in hundreds of ways, but instead of being weighed down and hindered by its faults, it focused on its strengths and produced what was expected impeccably.
The Force Awakens should not be seen as a copy, but as something forced to be a copy; and then copied in such a way it became a beautiful and original masterpiece of cinema. The perfect sequel.
By: harrison Fuller