It's one of, if not the most profitable and innovative film franchises in the history of the medium. Star Wars has fascinated audiences around the globe since George Lucas first revealed A New Hope, in 1977. Three years later The Empire Strikes Back was released, and it remains the favorite for many fans of the series. Another three years went by and Return of the Jedi finished off the original trilogy; considered a decent movie with a fitting ending, but ultimately not the strongest of the three.
Over a decade and a half later The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith made us all wonder whether Lucas hated us. Maybe this is an exaggeration, but suffice it to say, the three prequels were a vast and poor departure from the legacy of the originals.
A little over a month ago, fans of this incredible series were treated to something that was a long time in the making: a new and awesome Star Wars flick. The Force Awakens was the most anticipated movie event of the last several years and for the most part it did not disappoint. But there is that modifying phrase: "for the most part". I'll admit, The Force Awakens was an awesome addition to the Star Wars story, with the kind of storytelling that devotees and casual fans alike have come to expect. Unfortunately, the movie was oversold from the start and plenty of people, despite having experienced the final product, are praising it as something both figuratively and literally out of this world. While some fanboys seem to be making this film out to be one of the best films of all time, it isn't even the best in the Star Wars series. While I, and many of my colleagues loved this movie, it has plenty of flaws. Here are twelve reasons The Force Awakens is overrated.
14 Kylo Ren: Multiple Issues
To start off this list, the new bad guy, Kylo Ren, does not stack up well compared to other Star Wars villains. Obviously he's essentially a minion to the new bad dude on the block Snoke, but as the main menace in this film, he's a step down from the likes of Darth Maul, Count Dooku, Darth Vader and Darth Sidious. He's well above General Greivous, of course, but that's another story.
13 Some Fans Are Still Caught up in the Hype
11 Poor Cliffhanger
A cliffhanger is important for a Star Wars film. A New Hope left us wondering how Darth Vader would attack next. We saw his fighter careening through space, him regain control and then fly off. There was no doubt that the big man in the black suit would be back. The Empire Strikes Back did it better, with Han encased in carbonate and Luke finding out his true ancestry. I don't like to say many kind things about the prequels, but Attack of the Clones ended with the start of the Clone Wars.
Very little was left unsolved at the end of The Force Awakens. The First Order isn't gone, Kylo Ren lives and will likely come back stronger, but Rey and Chewbacca found Luke Skywalker, Finn's in a coma but breathing and the resistance will live to fight another day. I want to see episode eight and every other movie this series will ever produce but in the same way I wanted to see number seven. Fans still want to see the story progress and the legend continue, but there is no sense of urgency.
10 Humor: Questionable Timing
9 Awkward Dialogue Strikes Back
I should clarify, much of the dialogue was worlds better than the prequels, but much like there was no chemistry and poor dialogue between Anakin and Padme in episodes two and three, Han and Leia's chit chat about their past relationship and son-gone-wrong was just painful...kind of like most of their back and forth was in the originals though.
8 Too Many People Compare it to the Prequels
7 Money Earned
6 Han Solo
Spoiler alert, but if you still haven't seen the movie you have no excuse anymore, get it together. The best character in the entire series was killed off in a disrespectfully unceremonious way. The beloved scoundrel himself was skewered with a red lightsaber by his kid and then fell off a platform into who-knows-what on some cold, miserable planet. Qui-Gon Jinn said his last words to his padawan, Obi-Wan came back from the dead to guide Luke, Yoda told Luke the identity of his father, and Anakin returned to the light side of the force. These were all great deaths, worthy of those characters.
I can sympathize with the choice to kill him off. We all have to go sometime, and the death of Solo at the hands of anyone would get the required reaction out of fans. No matter how he went, the crowd would be crying out for the death of whatever character did him in, but for it to happen in the way it did was more painful than it had to be.
5 So Many Lingering Questions
After Return of the Jedi, it seemed that the light side of the Force, in the form of the rebellion, had taken the upper hand in the war, and that the Empire was on the run. Obviously this is a story that could be played out in future installments of the series, but what exactly happened to keep the rebellion/resistance from actually taking some kind of control in the galaxy? Why do they still seem to have inferior numbers of both bodies and equipment?
Luke Skywalker is a smart guy. He controls his emotions as a Jedi should (he did in episodes four through six anyway) but as the story went, he left all of known space and went into exile after a padawan turned bad. What changed? It's no fault of his that such a thing would happen, so why give up and leave the galaxy essentially at the mercy of this rebuilding group of pricks?
4 Rey the Self Taught Jedi Babe
Rey is a great addition to the Star Wars franchise, and I can't wait to get to know her story better and see who she'll mangle next. However, her ability to mind trick a stormtrooper, along with her lightsaber skills developed absurdly quickly, and with no formal training. It has been established that kids train from young ages to use the force and that it takes over a decade to become an effective swords-person.
2 Anti-Climactic Action Scenes
The special effects that accompanied the aerial fight scenes were amazing, and looked worlds better than the space battles that were made in the early 2000's in episodes one through three. Ultimately though, these main battle scenes were less climactic than their equivalents were in episodes one through six. The first and second Death Star battles, of Hoth, Endor, and even Geonosis and the fight scenes from Revenge of the Sith, were entertaining and left the viewer with an adrenaline high. The same can't be said of the major battles in The Force Awakens. When Poe and the X-wings interrupt the First Order's assault in search of Rey and BB-8 on Takodana, the battle starts out entertaining (especially watching Poe vaporize four or five Tie fighters in the same amount of seconds) but the action quickly winds down. The same can unfortunately be said of the final battle, in which Poe skims along a trench, flies into the main core of the planet-weapon and then just flies in a circle firing at anything and everything.
1 The Story
There really is nothing wrong with a good re-hash. Family Guy copied The Simpsons, who copied The Flintstones, so on and keep rewinding through history just a bit farther, and you'll end up with The Honeymooners.
The stories of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were good ones, so good in fact that the two were essentially squished together and remade for episode seven. Much like Avatar (another good, but overrated flick) the story of The Force Awakens is great, but unoriginal. This shouldn't take away from anyone's enjoyment of the film, but anyone claiming that the story is anything new and original should go review episodes four and five.
J.J. Abrams has admitted that he gave the fans a product that he wanted to honor the older films, and given the final movie that we have all seen, it was a good product, and did what he intended. The story was great, but unoriginal.
Sources: forbes.com, bgr.com, dailymail.co.uk
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