I have seen it. I'm going to try and get out what I need to get out. I also just spent like 90 minutes trying to catch up on all of your comments from the other post.
First, I'm glad I didn't read all of the spoilers. It did not make the heartbreaking stuff any more heartbreaking and in fact allowed me more time to pretend for a little while longer that maybe Han was going to still be alive even though from the time they announced it I was convinced he would die. It was nice not knowing absolutely exactly what I was waiting to have happen.
I am not sure what to think at the moment. I do think a few of you may be overreacting more than slightly by ditching Star Wars completely or saying it was a bad movie. It was a pretty good movie, I just hated a lot of the things they had to do for it and think a fair amount of it was unnecessary to have just as much dramatic impact.
So where to even begin? It felt surreal, reading an opening crawl I really needed to read to know what has been going on. Poe in the beginning, I like him a lot. I thought it interesting after I had read some discussion of Leia being fairly close with him that they really almost didn't interact at all during the movie. Finn is maybe trying a little too hard to play off the cool-guy quips but overall he was fine and I think he and Rey had good chemistry. I want BB-8 to be my best friend and his design was marketing genius because he is endearing and adorable. It's like a puppy version of R2-D2. I love Daisy as Rey, I thought she did a fantastic job and I will be happy to see her carry the franchise forward. But seriously you guys, who the hell are her parents?!?!? My questions were all supposed to be answered and we still don't know. It would seem to make no sense at all to me that she is not Luke's or Leia's. But if she is Luke's who is her mom? And if she is Leia's why was that not made clear but then she and Han were saying all the same things! That was frustrating.
I spent much of the beginning waiting to see the characters I had gone there to see. Except once I did finally start seeing them it was like all of my worst fears were slowly being confirmed. "Well maybe Han is still with Leia and he's just.... oh, wait, he's saying Leia doesn't want to see him so that can't be good. Well maybe it hasn't been that long... oh, wait, nope it kinda seems like it's been a while. Well maybe they will kiss and make up or say I love you or... oh, nope he's saying goodbye and hugging her now and I bet this is the last time they ever see each other and then. Oh no oh no oh no Han don't go out on that bridge don't do it don't... wait, maybe he is softening, maybe this isn't really happening, maybe... nope, he definitely just stabbed his father through the heart. Grief stricken Leia.... yep, this is all of the worst things they possibly could've done." It was just more bad news heaped onto other bad news, topped off with finding out that the movie was going to end without finding out who Rey's parents are.
The first hour of the movie though, before they started tearing my heart out piece by piece and slowly removing every ounce of hope I had left, I did really enjoy. It was a cool start, although I felt like Finn's deflection was pretty quick and not well explained. It was more like, here's this guy, he's going to leave the First Order. I did like how he chose to take Poe though, not so much because he was being noble, just because he needed someone to fly him out of there. I liked Rey from the beginning, I thought they did a good job with her. But again who is her freaking family?! I knew immediately when Rey said "That ship is garbage" that the reveal was going to be it was the Falcon. I feel duped that the footage we saw of the Falcon flying in that first teaser, Han wasn't even the pilot. Also how is Rey a pilot if she has just been stranded for so long. And by the way, WHO ARE HER PARENTS?
I had a feeling too when the Falcon got pulled in that Han was going to be on that ship. Oh, Han. It was so, so, so good to see him again. I guess it was good that they really utilized him a lot here since we never get to see him again. I did enjoy the optimism from some of the comments in the other thread where apparently some of you think maybe he'll come back somehow and I'd love to hope for that but I think I'm all out of hope at this point. He seems pretty gone. Like, very, very dead. But that comes later, so still here we had Han, and poor Harrison you could kind of tell that running wasn't super easy at parts here. But he felt like Han, I loved him and Chewie together again but you had to laugh when they totally used having Chewie get injured and having to lie down as a solution to the fact that Peter Mayhew can't really even walk very well at this point in his life.
So then we get to Maz's castle. Her character was cool, I guess. What the heck happened to the clip in the trailer from April where Maz hands Leia the lightsaber? Someone explain where that went. As well as the "Hope is not lost today, it is found" line that is also nowhere to be found. This is the part of the movie where MY hope started to become lost. Specifically the part where Han mentions how Leia doesn't want to see him, and clearly it's been a while. Step 1 of worst fears coming true. Maybe it's not so bad? I had a feeling when Rey went down to that basement and we could hear child's cries that she was hearing echoes of herself from her past but I still don't know what happened there. Can we also talk about whether her parents are Luke or Leia or someone else, what kind of parent leaves their like 5-year old alone on a planet with nobody to look after her? And why is this all the same? Orphan left on desert planet, dresses the same, unaware of Force abilities (and presumed Skywalker heritage of some sort) fighting against Empire stuff and Death Star like weapon with port you can shoot and blow the whole thing up. Oh and while we're at it let's kill another one of Leia's loved ones, we haven't done that in a while. She almost maybe could've been happy for five seconds.
But we're not there yet, are we? I did like Finn and Rey together, I thought they had good chemistry. I'm not ready for it to turn romantic, but as friends and partners so far it was good. I did have a feeling when that ship showed up and we saw Han looking all hopeful that Leia was going to be on it. But wait, then it was time for more of my dreams to be crushed as it became apparent that it had been a while and things were not good. Seriously, how many years? It might as well be a lifetime because remember, all of my hope is gone now. I was waiting for that same spark. Some hint of something more being there. There was... something, but not what I was hoping for. I spent the last few years looking forward to seeing my favorite screen couple together again for the first time since 1983 after thinking there was no chance to see it at all, and that was what we got. Can we put the Force back to sleep? I mean, I was watching it all unfold while not even being able to take it all in, hoping for something different but finding it becoming clearer that it was all just horribly, tragically bad for them. I guess I liked that she still didn't take any crap from him and got kind of mad at him, but still.
Han is being Han again, and talking about blowing up definitely-not-Death-Stars that can be blown up just like actual Death Stars. Oh and I forgot, since BB-8 has to steal the show (but how cute is hat droid, though?) even R2-D2 has apparently not been working since Luke disappeared.
This whole section of the movie just goes by in a flash for me. I think largely because in the back of my mind I was thinking, ok, so we're pretty far in now and a lot still needs to happen and I bet Han is going to die which means he needs to leave which means we are totally running out of time for any good Han and Leia scenes and ANY potential for anything good left to happen. Unless Han lives, which seems doubtful. Ok, so then Han and Leia had a nice little emotional scene where it becomes apparent it's been a while and that Han left because every time Leia looked at him she could only see their son and they both went back to the only things they were good at. It is poignant and there is some glassiness of tears that don't fall. But for the love of God why is it necessary to the plot to tear these two apart like this? So apparently they got together, looks like they had exactly one kid and he turned out to be worse than Vader. Is anyone else starting to wish Han HAD been killed in ROTJ? So, really, I guess now we maybe are going to get books or something where they get married and have a baby maybe but is anyone going to enjoy reading that knowing how it all ends?
Oh right Rey was abducted. I was totally expecting some sort of reveal from Kylo to her that she was his sister or something, but that didn't happen. That was the only hunch I had that didn't turn out to be true. Probably because there was some hopefulness implied. I did like her little Jedi mind trick but wow she picks that up fast, doesn't she? HOW DID SHE GET THE FORCE AND WHO ARE HER PARENTS? Ok so back to Han and Leia's final moments, and again I was thinking yeah this is probably the last time they'll ever see each other and I hope they kiss and.... nope, no kiss. I could actually feel my heart thudding as we approached this scene, knowing time was running out. I mean I guess I liked the stuff about how there were good times and such, and he really forcefully pulled her in for that hug and she totally melted into it like she had been dying for it so to me at least that was like, yes, we still love each other but there is just nothing else we can do about this right now.
And then that was it. I was pretty sure that was the last time we'd see them together. My last hope was some sort of marketing hoax, they made us believe he was going to die but then were going to pull the old switcheroo at the last minute. And then they got to the base and of course Han was killing it like usual and getting things done. And then he remembered what Leia had said, there was still light in him, he could bring him back because he was his father. His father... I mean how did that go down? I have so many questions and I'm afraid of the answers. Is it all going to get even worse? Is Han going to suck as a dad? Are they even going to go there? Basically now I'm just going to be thinking the worst possible thing I can think of will probably be what will happen.
So then here it comes. As soon as Han and Chewie split up to plant the explosives I knew this was it. I had been afraid of his possibility from the moment this movie was announced, even before we knew Han was going to be in it at all. And my heart started pounding like crazy. I know I said I would be ok if Han died. Seriously go back to old blog comments in 2012, I said it more than once. But that would've been if it had been done right. Like if he had to fly the Falcon in front of a laser blast to save someone, or stay behind to detonate something. Some sort of sacrifice. This was just walking up to his son and being brutally murdered for no reason other than trying to bring him back, which is clearly impossible. I'm seriously tearing up as I write this. I did not cry at the theater because I think I was still just so shocked, but they really did it. They killed Han. I thought for a bit that maybe it wasn't going to happen, and maybe Han was going to take the lightsaber and take him home but again, why would I think that? What reason have I been given to be hopeful at this point? It was just heartbreaking to see Han staring at his son, knowing he had just killed him, touching his face and possibly wondering what had gone wrong to bring him to this. Then we go to Leia, who felt it happen. Poor, grief-stricken Leia, losing the love of her life (presumably, because while we're busy losing all hope I suppose it is possible that in the time she and Han have been apart she met Isolder's this-universe equivalent and found out what love really is, and it isn't Han) and suffering terrible heartache AGAIN. Seriously, someone please tell me that this poor woman has ever experienced a moment of happiness in her life. You know what else made me really sad? That she had nobody to turn to at that point for comfort. I guess maybe Chewie when he got back, and she and Rey had a nice moment there, but really, she has nobody. How is that woman still functioning?
Ok, so now Han is dead and it is time for some lightsaber fighting. This, at least, I thought was done pretty well. I don't really get how Finn can just kind of spar with a lightsaber without ever using one before, but whatever. Same could be said of Rey except the whole Force thing where apparently she is just crazy Jedi intuitive. Again during this battle I was waiting for some sort of relationship reveal that never came. I did like her turn when suddenly she overpowered him. But oh yeah, PS guys there is a huge battle going on where they are trying to take out the Dea... uh, I mean Starkiller, the WAY BIGGER THAN THE DEATH STAR base. This battle was supposed to be the climactic moment and it came on like an afterthought whenever they reminded us of it. Oh, right, Poe and his crew and stopping them from blowing up Yavin... wait I mean whatever system they said they were on. Then the Falcon shows up to save the day, now without Han forever. And we see mourning Chewie which was really where I started to get sad. Honestly I was still in shock here.
Back to the Rebels... wait I mean Resistance. I did like that nice moment for Rey and Leia where they hugged. And AGAIN I was waiting for maybe some sort of reveal there, or maybe people's memories had been wiped or something, but again we got nothing. And now Rey is going to find Luke because Artoo woke up when Rey showed up (probably another hint that she is maybe Luke's but again FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SOMEONE TELL ME WHO HER PARENTS ARE!) and was able to fill in the rest of the map to where Luke was. That seemed convenient though, didn't it? Why is there a map? And why was that guy entrusted with it? So why doesn't Leia go with her to see her brother, the only family she has left? And why did I just now realize that we lost our chance to see Han and Luke on screen together again? As soon as she got to that island and started walking up those stairs I thought, she's going to see him, and the movie is going to end, and we're not going to get any of these questions answered. And I was right. And poor Mark had to lose like 50 pounds and wear a big beard for a long time just to be in the movie for 5 seconds and not eve speak.
So, there we have it. This is my emotional, sleep-deprived reaction. I do wonder if at some point in the near future I'll feel more positive about it. Though again, all of my worst case scenarios came true. Mere hours before I went I was saying to someone, they wouldn't really have them be estranged, AND have their only kid be evil, AND kill Han, would they? Oh, yes they would. And by the way that was their only kid. And while we're at it, Han didn't even get to fly the Falcon anymore until that last couple of days of his life. I'm just.... sad. Like, really sad. I wasn't so sad during it because I think I was just so shocked it was really happening that bad but now thinking back I'm really, really sad. A long time ago some of us joked that we would want the EU back. ALL of it. Bria, Isolder, the long separations, losing Anakin, Sith Jacen, losing Jacen but hey at least they had 1 good daughter and a granddaughter and at least they stuck with it TOGETHER. Speaking of sticking with it, what the heck was that quote from Carrie about in that one article? They stick with it? Seems like they actually ran away from each other.
I don't know, you guys. I really don't know. I am sure I'll have to sleep on it. I'm also really curious to see what the general fanbase thinks when they can really start talking about it. JJ said he wanted it to be delightful. I was not delighted. The only delightful stuff was maybe Han and Chewie being Han and Chewie, but that is a small bright spot. I did see a comment just go up in the spoiler thread that discussed the acting. I agree Harrison was wonderful. Which makes me really sad that this is the last we'll ever see of him in that role (though also sort of makes me wish that ROTJ remained the last we'd ever see of him in that role) and totally found Han Solo again. That is about the only reason I kind of want to watch it again. Daisy I thought did an excellent job and I guess in spite of the horrible sadness of everything else I can look forward to her carrying the movies further. They literally can't take anything away from me at this point. If Leia dies of cancer in the next movie I won't even be upset about it, I'll be relieved she is being put out of her misery. They just can't make anything worse. I also agree with the recent post that I have to say I can't really say Carrie nailed it. It wasn't bad by any means, it just wasn't quite the Leia I remembered. But maybe we can just blame it on the fact that the poor woman has been brutally beaten down by life and no sense of her real self remains.
I'm also curious how in the world they are going to do books and stuff to fill these gaps. If all of our heroes have been separate, what are they going to do with them? I don't want to read about Han doing smuggling stuff in his 50s or whatever, or worse yet, with some new fling. We can't read about Luke staring into space on an island for years. And Leia leading the resistance without her crew... I don't know. And sure, we have potential to see new books or comics of Han and Leia getting together and falling in love but... seriously, considering what that love produced, can we even be happy about that? I don't want to read about Leia having a baby when I know that baby grows up to kill Han. I mean, maybe there was real love there but still, it seems too tainted at this point to be able to enjoy any of it. This is just so, so, so tragic.
I don't know, guys. You saw my comments before, I tried being hopeful about this and then all of my worst fears were realized. I actually wasn't that sad right away. During early parts of it I was like, wow, I'm really seeing this for the first time. I'm still glad I didn't spoil it, but it would've been nice to have had a GOOD surprise. Like ANY good surprise. It was more like waiting for how much darker and more tragic they could make it. And speaking of hope, what happened to the "Hope is not lost today, it is found" line? Did they take it out because guess what, hope was totally lost today? Also missing from the trailers was someone handing Leia Luke's lightsaber. Where would that have gone in the movie because it looked like Maz handing to Leia but those two were never on screen together.
I'm not going to go quite as off the rails as some of you with the done with Star Wars forever comments or treat it like some sort of personal attack on Han and Leia fans or something. I'm just disappointed. And it is a very different kind of disappointment from the prequels (speaking of which, remember when we all thought nobody could make things worse than George did?) which were disappointing from a quality standpoint but that was basically it. This was like tearing out my soul. I think Kylo's lightsaber went through my heart the same time it cut into Han's. So really Han died a lonely old man who had lost his son and eventually Leia is going to die a lonely old lady. Fun, right? Star Wars!
To think I was so excited this morning. Speaking of which, since I've been up for 24 hours now, I need to go to sleep. Feel free to try and make me feel better. As I said, I don't think I was feeling so negative right after I saw it and I could still remember some of the good parts, but now I really just can't believe they did so many tragically bad things.