December 24, 2015

[Movies] Star Wars - (7) The Force awakens 2015

The Force has awakened! No one back in 1983 knew it would. Likewise, the parents of the majority of the audience I saw the movie with, hadn’t decided to have them back then too. So, here’s a movie and an audience celebrating the joy of being born! If a movie franchise could capture the imagination of such an audience, more than three decades after its inception, then one should acknowledge the power of its force. And, if I told you that this crowd raised the roof even as ‘Lucasfilm’ appeared on screen, then you can imagine the rest!

SPOILER ALERT - Do come back after you have experienced the movie

In the way, Rey, a lonely girl on a desert planet, moves, thinks and relates, you are constantly reminded of someone you’ve seen before. As she scavenges for machines and machine parts to make a living; In the way her life changes with the arrival of a droid; In her sense of goodness in refusing to give up the droid no matter how desperate she is; In her sense of duty in wanting to go back to Jakku, her planet, although it’s a dreary and unliveable place. Yes, it’s young Luke Skywalker, in aptitudes, attitudes and even life circumstances, as the world first saw him, a long time ago, in a faraway galaxy, in 1977.

What ho to see Han Solo again! Not the handsome one we remember. A haggard-looking Solo, now in the shoes of a father pining for his prodigal son. One of the defining dynamics of Star Wars, its focus on father-son relationships, is at play in this one too. In the first trilogy, a son tries to save his father from the dark side and now, it’s the father's turn to do the same for his son. Why is it that it’s the father who dies, no matter what? 

One sees the ‘continues…’ in bold, underlined and italicized fonts even in the backgrounds and characters. Here’s an intergalactic pub, up-cycled for modern purposes, reminding us of the one we met Han Solo for the first time. An obese Jabba-like creature sits with an attractive female in its armpit, watching the proceedings. And most of all, there’s Maz, who looks like she’s related to the legendary Yoda. His uber-cool granddaughter, why not? 

The thing I love about this sequel is the power it gives to a girl. In the very first Star Wars, there was a ladylike Leia, a leader to her troops. In spite of her bravado, you could sense her lack of confidence as she pulled the trigger on her machine gun. Now, in this latest sequel, there is redemption. Here we find Rey, a girl living on her own and quite capable of taking care of herself. She does not want to be saved or held by the hand by any man, no, thank you! She’s capable of saving herself and what’s more, she can even resist the power of an errant Jedi, with no training whatsoever! In my eyes, a tribute to every modern woman, living life on her own terms.

The movie begins with an image of a girl sitting huddled up in an ocean of sand, looking expectantly at the sky. It ends with the girl walking up an island in the middle of an ocean from her dreams, and looking into the eyes of the person whom she has been searching for, her whole life. This poignant moment holds in its grasp, questions about their past which is the hope for the future of Star Wars. And we can say, the Force has captured the imagination of yet another generation!

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