Monday, 4 January 2016
Star Wars: The Force Awakens...an old dude's thoughts.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW - Don't read any further if you've not seen the movie and don't want to know several of the major plot points, but the film's been out a few weeks now and I can't really explain what I liked about this film without talking over some of the finer points. Firstly bringing back the original cast is the best thing about the movie, and tossing Luke Skywalker into the background and concentrating on Han Solo is even better . If both of these characters were given equal prominence then the new characters would have struggled to make an impact, but this time Han drives the movie while Luke's part is merely a cameo played out right at the end, just as the credits roll - this creates incredible anticipation for the next Star Wars movie. And of course Luke Skywalker was kind of a boring character next to Han Solo, who truly is the coolest guy in the universe. Next time Han won't be about to overshadow Luke and everyone else, so it should be all systems go...no that's Thunderbirds! I'm getting my ancient franchises all mixed up.
Harrison Ford is brilliant as the aged version of the character that originally made him a superstar - he's greyer. more wrinkled and a little slower but he's still the same old lovable rogue. He also steals every scene he's in - from the moment Han and Chewie take to the screen, this movie really comes alive. And - AND HERE'S THAT BIG SPOILER- when Han Solo cashes in his chips it truly is an emotional moment. I'm no longer that twelve year old kid that first fell in love with the intergalactic con man, , I'm a fifty year old guy with more than a few wrinkles myself, and yet the death of Han Solo brought a tear to me eye. My reaction, like Chewi's was astonishment and anger and I could have quite happily blasted the killer, Kylo Ren (actually the son of Han and Leia) myself. I guess this is testament to the skill of the filmmakers but we have so much invested in Han Solo that his loss...well, it makes you feel bad inside, almost like you've lost someone real. And in a way we have - back in 77 we all went to see Star Wars, and for most of us the focus was on Han Solo. All the mystical mumbo-jumbo about the force was just filler...the real story was the adventures of Solo and his walking carpet Chewbacca. And so when Han Solo died it was as if a piece of that twelve year old I'd once been, had died with him. Here lies innocence and a belief that movie characters are immortal.