Sunday, 21 February 2016

Review: Star Wars - The Force Awakens (eleventh-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2D) Poster

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (eleventh-pass / 2D / SPOILERS)
Cert: 12A / 135 mins / Dir. J.J.Abrams / Trailer

Previous reviews:
• First-pass (spoiler-free)
• Second-pass (spoiler-free)
• Third-pass (thematic-spoilers)
• Fourth-pass (plot-spoilers)
• Fifth-pass (plot-spoilers)
• Sixth-pass (plot-spoilers)
• Seventh-pass (spoiler-free)
• Eighth-pass (plot-spoilers)
• Ninth-pass (plot-spoilers)
• Tenth-pass (plot-spoilers)
…you're right. It does look a little excessive when I put it like that.

"Today is the end of the Republic! The end of a regime that acquiesces to disorder! At this very moment in a system far from here, the New Republic lies to the galaxy while secretly supporting the treachery of the loathsome Resistance!"

~ General Hux, Starkiller Base, 34ABY.

Right, sorry to go back to this again, but hang on a minute: 'in a system far from here'? Really? How far? You are aware, aren't you Hux, that Starkiller Base is a hyper-lightspeed weapon, yeah? Even the folks in your much-maligned Resistance have figured that one out. Like, it can actually travel to the places it wants to blow up? Almost as if that was the very point?

What I'm getting at is, if there's one thing more long-winded than destroying an entire star (and by extension its dependent solar system) only to use that energy to pulverise the planets in another system, it's got to be carrying out the second part of that watertight plan by firing the weapon from so far away that it's going to require more energy to get the Destructo-Beam™ to the planets in question than it is to actually neutralise them.

It's not like the beam travels at the speed of light, remember. Kylo Ren stands on the bridge of the Finalizer and watches it lazily pootling through space at the rate of a London bus down Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon. Now I get that the path of the beam is pre-calculated to account for the planetary position on its arrival (that's just standard astro-navigational practice), but even being fired at just under light-speed it could take years for the Mega-DeathRay™ to reach its targets in the Hosnian System's primary star's orbital range. Space is big, remember?

Once you factor in that you can't really can't remove an entire star from the cosmic balancing act that is The Galaxy without having unforeseeable gravitational knock-on effects in adjacent systems (and beyond), Starkiller Base really is starting to look like a completely impractical weapon, used thoroughly inefficiently. By a moron.

+ + + + +

Oh and while I'm on, am I the only one wondering if Jakku is Tatooine after all? There's been speculation and subsequent denial ever since that first trailer hit showing Finn in the Goazon Badlands. And while it's clear that for the purposes of this movie, Jakku is Jakku, the planet's dunes, shanty-towns and moisture-vaporators seem remarkably familiar from a visual standpoint, doesn't they? Like, too familiar. And relatively little about Jakku's long-term history has actually been revealed in the rebooted continuity as of yet.

I mean, the main (and let's face it, only) marked difference is that Tatooine has two suns and Jakku only has one, right? What I'm wondering is, what if one of Tatooine's suns was depleted/destroyed in order to provide the initial charge for Starkiller Base? When we catch up with Snoke and Hux in SW:TFA, the superweapon is completed and ready-charged; it must have drawn that power from somewhere. Granted, this would probably have a catastrophic effect on Tatooine, as mentioned above, but if it didn't... what if Tatooine was then reclassified as Jakku, in some bid to erase/reset its galactic reputation? It seems unlikely that such a feat could take place in as short a period of time as thirty years (the new Battlefront game posits the Battle of Jakku as happening a year after Endor), but let's not forget that everyone basically forgot who the Jedi were in less than twenty…

Ultimately, I don't think it's a particularly likely scenario (or even that workable). But if it does turn out to be the case that we've visited this dustball several times previously, then I want to be directing people to this post and pointing out that I nailed it.

Otherwise, we shall never speak of this again ;)

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Er… Star Wars?

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
If you haven't and you can, yes.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Pretty much.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Maybe a little.

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There definitely is.

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 0: It's Star Wars.

Although it's also worth mentioning that Star Wars: The Force Awakens features veteran performer Andrew Jack, who also also made an appearance in the 1950s TV series ITV Sunday Night Theatre, a title which also boasted the presence of Mr Peter Cushing, who starred in 1981's Mystery on Monster Island, alongside Terence Stamp, who rocked up in 1968's Modesty Blaise with Clive Revill also on the payroll, an actor who also appeared in the TV series Crown Court, as did a certain Don Henderson, who slipped into the 1968 adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, along with Sebastian Shaw, who clocked up eight episodes of the aforementioned ITV Sunday Night Theatre, a show which starred a young Andrew Jack, who appeared as Major Ematt in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I'll be completely honest with you, I'm not going to miss doing these.
Don't know if I'll have the strength once Rogue One comes around in December...

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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