Feb 1, 2016
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the epic space opera’s seventh installment, is now the biggest-grossing film in the U.S. … ever.
The film parallels the original Star Wars movie in many ways, including a droid with a secret message to deliver, a desert planet, a young hero without parents. There is another Jedi master that trains a Jedi knight who then turns to the Darkside of the “Force.” There is a rebellion against the First Order (the Empire re-born), a Starkiller base to destroy (a bigger, more powerful Death Star). Oh, yeah, then there is the ever-present who is whose daddy question. And this is just the short list.
However, there are some notable differences. No damsel in distress, no princess to rescue. At its core, The Force Awakens is a movie about a young woman who gains new friends, a big new cause, and discovers that she has special powers and a potentially greater destiny. Daisy Ridley’s Rey is at the center of the action and the central character in the new Star Wars trilogy. Her world goes from being a scavenger, living on her own trying to survive, to being part of the resistance and on her way to becoming a Jedi knight. She is no hero’s latest love interest, she is the hero. Star Wars upended its own franchise taking a page from movies like the Hunger Games, making the central hero a female.
It’s not called Star Wars for nothing – the Star Wars universe is in perpetual war. In wars some soldiers defect. They don’t always agree with what they are being asked to do. Some frag their commanding officers. The First Order, like the Empire before, is a totalitarian regime. That a soldier does not want to participate in mowing down the population of a village is not so surprising.
These old ideas may be challenged by the new characters, Rey and Finn, but in the end, we all just wanna know who Rey’s father is.