Preparing for The Force Awakens

December 13, 2015 at 8:38 am | Posted in Film Review | 1 Comment
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Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens on December the 17th, and to prepare for my midnight screen, I re-watched episodes II through VI.

Warning: plot elements discussed.

I watched them in Machete Order: VI, V, II, III, then VI. Watched in this order, episode II and III are treated as two closely flashbacks in the middle of the mini-series that is episode V and VI.

One of the benefits of this order is that you meet Luke and Leia as adults, prior to watching episodes II and III that reveal the political and personal events that created them. We also see the similar vents that shaped their lives as shaped their parents. Another benefit, is that it preserves the primacy of episode IV, as being the pivotal episode – thereby respecting the fact that it was released first. Yoda’s talk to Luke makes so much more sense in light of episode III (than the first time around).

I was also struck by how rich episode III is. There is romance, angst, action and political intrigue. The politics neatly summaries the transformation of the ancient republic of Rome to an imperium – and sets the stage for episode IV. Episode II also shows how Anakin is seduced by the Chancellor – Anakin wants a galaxy where his loved ones are safe, and by extension everyone’s loved ones. The Chancellor wants the same; their initial disagreement is the methods.

Things that I did not like the first time around were of course still there:

  • Why is the level of marksmanship so poor in the ‘elite’ Imperial Stormtroopers (and before them the Senate Army), and the droid army?
  • Why when the X-wings are making their attack runs down the trench, don’t other X-Wings parallel them above the trench behind them? (Yes, the mosquitos had to fly down the fiord in ‘633 squadron’, but there is no overhand in the Death Star.
  • Why didn’t the X-wings make  vertical dive bombing run?
  • Why did the empire opt for robotic prosthetics over organ/limb regeneration? After all they could speed grow clones.
  • The Ewoks could not have overcome an Imperial Legion – clubs would never prevail over energy weapons.

Things that occurred to me watching this time;

  • Why didn’t the Jedi knights have a shield or buckler? These would have allowed them to deal with adversaries armed with rapid fire distance weapons. Bucklers being small and light would not have significantly impeded their movements.
  • Who designs a military vessel – like the Death Star – and does not distribute the power generators throughout the vessel?

Of course with J. J. Abrams and Disney in charge, will the plot take a very different direction? Will Luke or Leia have children that will become sought after pieces in the ‘great game’? Will Luke even play a significant role? Will they finally pass the Brechdel test? Will we see a third generation confront the ‘Darkside choice’?

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  1. […] re-watching the early episodes, I took myself to the midnight session of Episode VII of the Star Wars saga: The Force Awakens. I […]


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