So, before I start you should be aware that there are going to be SPOILERS in this page. Please go away if you don’t want to read anything about the plot or what I thought about the film.
You have been warned.
As normal I rated this film on IMDB and tweeted my result. You should read this communication about my rating system as it explains quite a bit.
— Ian Parish (@iparish) December 27, 2015
So, I rated this a 10. You MUST be made aware that according to my rating system a film which I will definitely buy or pay money to see again gets a 10. I am going to buy this film on Blu-Ray and I will watch it with my sons. By default this film gets a 10. Not because I thought it was great but because I am going to buy it. Damn.
I went to see this film on Boxing Day  in Milton Keynes. Sally and I went to the 4DX screening, mainly because it would make it more enjoyable for her. 4DX is a cinema system with moving seats, jets of air and water, scents, fog and rattles in parts of the seat.
You can trust me that the experience isn’t really like the promotional picture. It’s quite good fun, it doesn’t add anything to films really. If it’s a good film you won’t really notice the effects and if it’s a shit film then it will still be shit. We first saw Jurassic World in this screen.
If I had to honestly rate this film then I can easily and categorically say it is better than episodes 1,2 and 3. After that I would probably say it is worse than any of the originals, 4,5 or 6.
The film itself looks lovely. It would have been so good if it was the very first film. There wasn’t a great deal of prior knowledge required. I suppose a vague understanding of the family trees would have been helpful but mostly it could stand alone. All of the effects looked organic and the whole feel of the film was one of pleasure for the eyes. Thank god that they didn’t use all the CGI backgrounds, if they did the technology has come on leaps and bounds. The film looked lovely.
Now, here’s the tricky bit. The story itself was bollocks. Yes, it was a Star Wars story and it was always going to make a fuckton of money. But it was a shit story. The further I get away from seeing the film to more annoyed I get at them wasting the opportunity to really add to the Star Wars universe. Let’s just take some of the plot bit by bit, just indulge me, or if your indulgence is not forthcoming then go ahead and read a random communication within this website.
Orphan (?) girl lives alone on a sandy planet making her living in the desert [episode 4].
Cute robot, who everyone understands, befriends girl [episode 4]. Now this is OK, the whole point of the original was that the film was about the robots.
Droid holds secret plans/map to find something important [episode 4].
Bad man in a mask [episode 4,5,6].
Bigger bad man appearing via hologram [episode 5].
Good girl gets interrogated but manages to resist and not give away secret family history to interrogator who is a very close relation [episode 4].
Pimped up light sabre [episode 1].
Giant spacecraft to destroy large things [episode 4].
Shield of giant spacecraft needs to be destroyed and this can only be done from within enemy system [episode 6].
Girl has to be rescued from big bad spaceship [episode 4].
Girl who has the force looks in a basement and experiences the dark side of the force and foreboding [Luke in the cave episode 5].
Big bad spaceship has to be destroyed by a single X-Wing fighter flying through a trench to get to the centre [episode 4 and 6].
Angry teenage boy is annoyed at his parents [episode 4].
Big bad space ship blows up and rebels celebrate [episode 4,6].
Last Jedi who failed in his training of young Jedi disappears off to far flung planet to live alone [episode 4,5].
Bad man who might be dead but probably got away [episode 4 (kinda)].
So, overall the film is just a rehash of the good films from before. It looks beautiful. The story is terrible. I have more moans and groans and things that annoyed me. I will probably keep getting these over the next few weeks so you might find that I add to this page quite a bit.
Kylo Ren is a spoilt child who needs a slap and his allowance should be removed. What an utterly terrible character. He desperately wants to be like the grandfather he never knew. What a twat. I apologise to the actor who played him but he looked really annoying once he removed the mask. He also looked nothing like his parents. NOT SCARY. He could have at least been seriously disfigured in a childhood accident, there could have at least been some form of credible back story to him.
Rey [which I first heard as Ray and thought “oh, that’s a little odd”], grows up on a sandy planet and then escapes with a droid with a secret map. She then discovers she has the force and learns really quickly to use it to her advantage. I am pretty convinced she is going to be the twin sister of Kylo, she wasn’t aware of who her parents were. Boring. It’s been done before. [Jase has just text to say he thinks Rea will end up being Luke’s daughter which does make more sense than my theory].
I did almost audibly cheer when the Millennium Falcon appeared in the film. But WHY oh WHY did they have to include reference to the terrible and incorrect line about making the Kessel run in under 12 parsecs. Everyone knows that a parsec is a unit of distance. Arrrrrgh. I have just looked at Wookieepedia and they use some awesome apologetics (perhaps as good a biblical twats who try to explain why the incorrect stuff in the bible is true) to justify the use of wrong units in the films. I’m not impressed, it’s a clever argument but it’s made after the fact to justify bullshit (again, like the bible and ALL other holy books). Also the Wookieepedia page claims that you have to use distance because of the problems with relativistic time, well, I’m sorry but if you are going to include a correct reference to relativity then all the Star Wars films have massive time dilation issues. It’s classic apologetics, creating an explanation post hoc and then ignoring other factors.
Why was Luke’s light sabre in a trunk in the basement of a bar on a forest planet? How? What?! Also, Rey found it so the entire Star Wars universe is pure coincidence.
I thought the battle scenes looked very good, however, I am somewhat concerned at the g-forces experienced by the pilots of X-Wings and TIE Fighters. They seem to overcome these without any major tech to help them.
When the star is consumed by the new Mega-Death Star shouldn’t everything pretty much freeze straight away? There wouldn’t be any external source of light energy.
Why did R2 suddenly wake before Luke had returned? He seemed to come to life at a random time. Perhaps I missed it but I’m sure that BB-8 had already been near R2.
C3PO has a red arm. What? The rebel alliance are so tight fisted that they have no replacement arms for a historically important droid who was hand made by Anakin?
The military control base for the attack at the end seemed to look a lot like the base at Hoth. I guess we are to assume that technology hasn’t moved on and that it is the best possible organisation of systems.
Finally, for my initial communication about this film I wish to bother you about the communication system the rebels have with the Mega-Death Star. They seem to have a link to the Empire’s secret base and understand its operational procedure because at the end of the film the countdown to firing and status of the weapon is known by the rebel HQ. How do they get this information in real time? At least in episode 4 the count down was provided by line of sight and Yavin being in the way. It was irritating.
So, here’s the thing. It’s a Star Wars film and it’s better than 1,2 and 3. I enjoyed it. It looked good. It just doesn’t make a great deal of sense and has a stupid plot. I would rate this film a 6/10 if I hadn’t already defined my rating system.