6 Ways The Force Awakens is a Worse Star Wars Movie Than Phantom Menace
FAIR WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUND!
3. The Only New Things in VII are Dumb
Aside from being a new version of Episode IV- a crappier version that totally sucks- the only new thing this film does is introduce a handful of worthless new characters who never actually do anything. Like Poe Dameron. Poe does nothing in this film. They give him tons of screen-time and have the dialogue tell us over and over that he’s a “great pilot” but so what? So were the rest of the team that brought down the fake new Death Star. The only thing different about Poe is that he got a shitload of verbal praise and screen-time for it. On the other hand, snot-nose Anakin, in Episode I, knew the Force pretty damn well for a random slave, built 3PO, won the pod-race and blew up the droid base single-handedly, in a ship he’s never flown before, when he was, like, 9. Now back to VII. After all the screen-time they give Poe, what does he amount to? He’s one of the many pilots that blow up the fake new Death Star. It’s not a one-shot Death Star like the original film, it takes a team effort to bring this one down. Poe does just as much anyone else, but keeps ending up shoved in our faces, for no earned reason, like Kim Kardashian. To compare it to the original, I guess it’s like they took Wedge Antilles, removed all his character development and made half the movie about him for no reason.
And then there’s Maz, an important-sounding sage who Han says can help them get BB-8 to the Resistance. Instead, she says a couple lines about the Force, gets interrupted by an Imperial ambush, and then pulls Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber out of her basement and gives it to the good guys, simply because the plot required her to and the best way the lazy fucks who wrote this could come up with before they stopped caring was, “Just… put it in someone’s basement. Like, ‘Oh, look! Here it is!’” After that bullshit, the movie completely forgets about her and never shows her again. No, wait! She stupidly gives the lightsaber to stupid, fucking Finn, cheapening the shit out of lightsabers and this whole franchise, and then disappears from the movie. Are lightsabers still the sacred mystical weapon of ancient, Jedi space-wizardry? Nope, let’s just give one to that stupid fuck. And Rey. We might as well give them to the stormtroopers. But no Jedi. Let’s not have any Jedi in the movie at all. Good thinking, Abrams, you fucking ass. Anyway, the Resistance hilariously shows up anyway, all on their own, completely defeating the purpose of going to see Maz in the first place. And when I think about it more, they could have just taken BB-8 to the Resistance in the Falcon and there never was a purpose to go see Maz, except to badly disguise really lazy writing.
And next is Finn, this movie’s Jar Jar, who is actually worse than useless. Finn is a defected stormtrooper with inside knowledge of the fake, new Empire’s fake, new Death Star. He then “helps” the Resistance by barely not running away and being a selfish coward. Anyway, fake, new Death Star, where Rey, the girl Finn has a crush on, is being held prisoner, is now aimed at the fake, new Rebellion’s base. The fake, new Death Star needs time to get ready, though, because that’s what it did the first time they made this movie, 40 years ago. Finn tells the fake, new Rebellion he can shut the shields down if they get him to the fake, new Death Star. In truth, Finn is a fucking liar. They get there and Han Solo is like, “Ok, how do we shut down the shields?” And Finn is like, “I don’t really know, I’m only here for Rey,” which means he doesn’t give the slightest of fucks if the Resistance is destroyed, and has no actual plan to shut down the shields like he promised them, betraying all of them to death, including his other friend, Poe.
As an afterthought, Finn’s like, “I guess we can capture this stormtrooper captain I know who can shut down the shields,” a “plan” which should never, ever work. He’s proposing, off the top of his head, that he and this really old man find a specific stormtrooper captain on a space station the size of a fucking planet and fully staffed with bad guys, that is, behind enemy lines, and capture her without being caught or killed, and then fucking ask nicely that she turn off the shields, even though she knows they’ll just directly kill her or leave her for dead if she does, which is exactly what happens. The movie solves this by doing the locating off-screen and not making any goddamn sense. This still does not change the fact that Finn, the only hope for every life in the Resistance, was not planning AT ALL on saving them like he promised. He probably just got scared and realized that if he didn’t, Chewie would rip his limbs off. This character is such an idiot, it’s actually dangerous. Not to mention that, as insane as this on-the-spot “plan” is, so is any idea that he can rescue Rey, which, I’m sure, was the exact same “plan” we just covered. But the movie doesn’t even get that far. Instead, the film has Rey escape all by herself, much like this amazing 1999 parody of Star Wars, Thumb Wars, which applies even more to The Force Awakens, because Force Awakens is an unoriginal rip-off pile of garbage.
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Actually, when I think about it, Thumb Wars is really a more enjoyable version of The Force Awakens.
True, Finn’s only the comic relief- at least, I think he’s only supposed to be the comic relief- but the movie spends a lot of time pretending he’s a main character. Funny thing is, if you take him out of the movie, the plot still plays out pretty much the same: Poe doesn’t escape, which doesn’t matter because he’s worthless to the film, Rey flees the stormtroopers who are still searching Jakku for BB-8, BB-8 tells Rey where the resistance is. Rey delivers BB-8 to the Resistance, First Order still blows up planets, the Resistance still plans to disable the shields, which Finn didn’t really know how to do anyway, good guys still blow up Starkiller Base and win. All without Finn or Poe. Or Maz, or Han, for that matter.
In fact, now that I think about it, even Rey, who I think is supposed to be the main character of VII, is completely useless. What does she do in this movie? Let’s see, she doesn’t sell BB-8 for food when she has the chance, she runs from storm troopers, runs from thugs and monsters on Han’s ship, runs from her past, runs from her destiny, gets captured, runs out of her cell on Starkiller Base, fights Dork Vader for, like, 30 seconds, only so she can run away again, back into space, which she does, and then runs off to Luke’s secret coordinates. So if you take away all the running and getting captured, she does exactly 2 things, only one of which is plot-necessary (saving BB-8). So I guess the movie’s right; her one plot-necessary action is more than anyone else does in this stupid film, so she is the main character. Way to go, Force Awakens.
Episode I’s characters were all underdeveloped and annoying, but they still served that film’s shitty plot. Qui-Gon’s decisions were the driving force in that film, until he dies and Obi-Wan takes the wheel, defeating Darth Maul and taking in Anakin as Qui-Gon’s legacy. And, as stated earlier, everything in that film was new. Phantom Menace at least added it’s crappy, new characters into a brand new story with new vehicles, new worlds, and new aliens, instead of adding them to a rip-off of IV.
Worst of all, even if any of us wanted a remake, which we didn’t, and were told the truth about it instead of being conned out of our money by a sellout/asshole/hack, which we weren’t, this horrible film doesn’t even make sense as a remake. In addition to these pointless, new… additions, the “plot” of Episode “VII” is also chock-full of insanely illogical subtractions from IV’s plot. In other words, all they did to “write” this “new” “story” (yes, all the quotation marks are necessary) was make sure they crammed in every event from the plot of Episode IV while somehow removing all context that explained why any of it happened or how any of it was possible. As a result, I can’t explain why or even how they did it! If I had to guess, I’d say that maybe it was an attempt to disguise the remake as a new story because maybe, they really did think we were stupid enough not to notice the plot was a rip-off, which, judging by the 8.4 user rating on imdb, most of you are. But those of us who aren't so high off Star Wars hype and actual drugs that all conscious brain function has ceased, who still have a soul and care WAY too much about movies (me) have noticed. We (I) also noticed that, this time around, it doesn’t make any damn sense.
Like how, in IV (and VI), the Empire had enough resources to build a Death Star twice because they were an immoral dictatorship that already owned the universe. All resources technically already belonged to them. If they wanted something, they could just take it. In The Force Awakens, however, how does First Order, the fledgling, underdog remnant of the Empire, have enough resources to build an even bigger Death Star, and an army with a whole starship fleet while miraculously staying hidden from the entire universe that hates and fears and seeks to ban them for taking over the universe the first time? In IV, it makes sense that the Empire is stationed everywhere because, again, they own the universe, and, therefore, the police on every planet. But not so for the much smaller First Order. Yet, at one point in VII, a First Order spy finds and reports the good guys because she's stationed in a random bar on some random planet. What was she doing there? That would be like ISIS stationing a spy at some random bar in Tennessee. How does that make sense? In IV, the good guys had to physically move R2D2 to the Rebellion, because all communication lines were being monitored by the Empire (That's the first scene in the movie, Darth Vader murdering the crew of a ship because they were "beamed transmissions" by the Rebellion.). There's no reason little First Order in The Force Awakens should have that level of communication monitoring; Han or Rey should have been able to WiFi BB-8's data to the Resistance with their holo-Skype technology.
Likewise, everything else that happens in The Force Awakens is forced in and unexplained, like it's just there because the writers said so, not because it makes sense in the context of the story. "Oh look! We found Luke's lightsaber over here because there's a scene later where we have his lightsaber." "We disabled the shields from behind enemy lines because the plot required it. That was incredibly easy!" "I randomly escaped, all by myself, because the writers couldn't come up an actual breakout scene." Really, really pathetic, lazy writing, whereas The Phantom Menace was boring and dumb, but at least an original story, guided by character decisions, and not a shameless rip-off where events just happen unexplainedly, because the plot says so.
OH! And further-goddamned-more, whenever the drooling, moron writers couldn’t come up with an explanation to make sense of the insane, nonsense plot they inexplicably ripped off from a movie that made perfect sense the first time, they just use the dialogue to cover it with brush-offs, like “That's a good story for another time,” or low-blow jokes that actually make fun of Star Wars in general, like the “Ours is Bigger” scene. Now, I know there were a few legitimately half-funny moments in The Force Awakens, like Poe making fun of Kylo's mask. The rest of the jokes legitimately turned the entire Star Wars universe into a joke for a cheap laugh. Like when Rey inexplicably knows how to use the Jedi Mind Trick, and uses it to escape captivity. How is this explained? It's not. They just have Rey joke, “Don't forget to leave your blaster! Ha ha ha…” In fact, they almost always use jokes to cover the plot-holes in this film. It's as if they're saying, “Isn't it funny how bad this movie is?” Phantom Menace was also a joke of a movie, but at least it thought it was taking itself seriously. Episode I was bad on accident, while VII is a terrible whore of a movie on purpose that clearly doesn't give a shit. Check out this shit-pile of an excuse VII uses as a plot-hole patch:
After fucking Finn reveals to Han that he’s a lying shithole who doesn’t actually know how to disable the shields like he promised, and Han reveals that Finn just fucking screwed EVERYONE, to death, this happens:
FINN: We'll figure it out. We'll use the Force!
HAN: That's not how the Force works!
IRONICALLY, that's exactly how the Force works in this stupid film: as a magical, solve-all plot-hole-filler. That asshole, Finn, does find a way to disable the shields, a fucking insane way that never makes sense and never gets explained. And how does Runaway Rey know how to fix the Millennium Falcon or use the Jedi Mind Trick or overpower Kylo Ren, who trained under Luke Skywalker for years, all without receiving training herself? The Force? Then why didn’t Leia do the same thing in IV? The Force is strong in her family, too, right? Oh wait, let me guess, the Force stronger in your movie, right, J.J. Abrams? And how did First Order know to station a spy in a random bar? And how did Han Solo happen to be “in the area” in OUTER FUCKING SPACE when Rey took the Millennium Falcon into orbit, casually bumping into each other like it's the fucking supermarket?? Did they “use the Force” too, Abrams? IS THAT WHAT THEY DID???
In much the same way, throughout all of The Force Awakens, they use dialogue as a shabby disguise to cover how nothing makes sense or is ever explained, a very sad, very common trend in recent filmmaking. In The Phantom Menace, the worst part of the dialogue was the Jedi bickering and delivering nonsense about the Force, like midi-chlorians and how emotions are bad. And anything Padme or Jar Jar said. So basically all of it. But where Phantom Menace used dialogue to answer questions no one was asking, Force Awakens used it to avoid answering anything, including Starkiller-Base-sized plot-holes.