E3 – Star Wars Battlefront 2

This game just looks absolutely amazing but as you know, I’m biased when it comes to Star Wars things so first here’s the main gameplay trailer to let you guys see for yourself.

Alright, so we already got to see a lot of great things really fast such as the showing the different era’s throughout the series and the different heroes we’ll get to see. I was actually really surprised to see that we’ll have heroes mixing in different eras. Having focused so solely on one era through the first game, it was a welcome surprise to see them really open up the possibilities of fights between Darth Maul and Rey or Boba Fett and Yoda. I also love how seamlessly they’re switching their style over to an actual team based shooter in the ways of Battle Points(Which will help you buy Heroes, Vehicles, Speciality Classes and so on.) And in the different classes of Assault(Basic shooter), Heavy(Tank), Specialist(Sniper) and Officer(Support) you really get the feel that working together is the best way to play the new game. They’ve only shown the “Assault on Theed” game mode but I’m sure they’ll announce more as we get closer to the release date of the game itself.

I love that we’ve already seen more planets than we did in the first one which will help it to feel new and fresh. The graphics and sound are still nothing short of perfect and that’s to be expected. I truly think that this will be the Star Wars game we need.

The only thing I’m concerned about is that they said “Free Seasonal DLC” starting with the Last Jedi featuring Finn and Phasma as the new heroes. That sounds great and I love the idea of it…but I’ve been hurt before. I’m still getting the game but I’m waiting to see if EA sticks to that.

Here’s my favorite of thr actual gameplay videos, pay close attention and you can see some of the different abilities that each class and hero can use. There’s two videos from Massive G, one of the clones and one of the droids. Enjoy!

 

A Return To The Stars

Long before I began on my journey as a writer, certainly before I picked up my first comic and even before I travelled all across Middle-Earth there was one fandom that started it all : Star Wars.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars coming out and that’s why I wanted to talk about what this series meant to me. With the exception of Star Trek or Flash Gordon, we had never seen anything like it until this film, we were given glimpses into the lives of these fantastical characters and new worlds that we never wanted to leave and there’s always more on the horizon even far after the main characters stories are told.

The first film was what introduced us to characters like Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca and many other classics that would stick with us for years. But why? Why were these wild stories so close to us? I think it’s because we’ve all felt like Luke before, I think we’ve all worried about our place in the universe and I think that resonates with us. We’ve all wanted to be Strong like Leia, cool like Han, wise like Obi-Wan or Yoda and loyal like Chewbacca, R2-D2 or C-3PO. That’s why Star Wars hits home with us is because of how powerful the storyline is. There will never be a scene that affected me more as a kid then Vader saving Luke from the emperor and him wanting to see Luke with his own eyes one time. We finally saw Anakin for what he was and it’s just an incredibly powerful and emotional scene.

Another reason the film was groundbreaking was THX and ILM. These studios basically built the special effects department and it’s why most of their effects still hold up to this day. Practical Effects will always hold up because they still look real even if the film is older and that’s why movies like The Force Awakens and Rogue One stuck with them so much. Their stop motion work with the AT-AT’s on Hoth was nothing short of phenomenal and it’s clear to see why that scene is considered so iconic. Think of Star wars in your head and you might get a certain visual of something you loved like a character or a ship or a lightsaber but the lightsaber doesn’t work as well without sound and the sound of the Tie-Fighters is what makes the Death Star battle so intense. Think of most of your major blockbusters over the last 30 years and they were probably helped by something that ILM or THX created. Prime Example : You like Pixar? John Lasseter got his start with ILM along with half of the staff from the first Toy Story. In other words, would we have had Pixar if it wasn’t for Star Wars? Possibly, but it still would be very different.

And of course, we can’t talk about Star Wars without mentioning John Williams. His work on multiple different films have made him one of the most iconic composers of the last 50 years but it’s Star Wars that’s his crowning achievement. Whether it was something classical like “The Imperial March” or something new like “Duel Of The Fates” John Williams’ music is something that we all associate with Star Wars.

Memory is an interesting thing because I can’t tell you when I first saw these films and I can’t tell you the exact moment that the love of this galaxy overtook me but I can tell you exactly how it felt to hold a micro-machines X-Wing in my hand and imagine that there were worlds out there with stories for ages. I can tell you how I longed to become a Jedi Knight like Luke following Obi-Wan. But most of all I can tell you how it felt when me, my family and my friends got together to watch these films and enjoy the galaxy of lore together. When I really look back at it, to paraphrase Obi-Wan, these were my first steps towards wanting to become an entertainer. I’ve always wanted to create stories and characters like these because I want people years from now to have the same feelings as I did when I first saw the Tantive IV being chased by the Star Destroyer, watched the Millennium Falcon narrowly dodge Tie-Fghters or was drawn to the edge of my seat as Luke made the Trench Run on the Death Star.

That’s what Star Wars truly means to me. It’s the nostalgia of that childhood magic, the excitement of the battles and the wonder that there’s something else just beyond that horizon. It’s that feeling that carries me through my career…and that’s all because of Star Wars.

“Built On Hope” Rogue One Review(Spoiler Free)

This film is going to be very difficult to do spoiler free but I believe I can do it fairly well.

A lot of times spin-offs will be depicted as a cheap cash grab for a studio and a lot of times they’d be right but this one, this one was something different. It’s a prequel that only inhances the following films and does so in a beautifully elegant way.

First and Foremost, the film is done like no other Star Wars film prior to it. It has no opening scrawl, it shows the main title like you would see any other blockbuster movie and it takes place over 15 years which is the first time that Star Wars has ever done that in a single film. That right there changes everything because this is a film that you need to be paying close attention to, most of the film has very quick but important exposition that if you don’t catch it you could be lost. From the very first shot, when we see a young Jyn and her family, we find out that her father and Krennic worked together years ago. This is only given to us in a few throw away lines but they work almost seamlessly into the storyline. The stage is set as what is truly a war-torn galaxy and make no mistake this is not a happy Star Wars film, it has a very dark tone with some small bits of comedy but it’s honestly a war film with blasters and starships.

Now if anyone else did this then it wouldn’t have worked but fortunately the guiding hands of Gareth Edwards and Disney have led this film in a perfect direction. For the fans who wanted something that felt different, but were frustrated when Force Awakens was basically an homage to everything that came before, this one delivers on every front. (For the record, I still love Force Awakens and I still believe that they did that so VIII can be something brand new.)

The battles are some of the best in the series and it’s done so well because of how they’re filmed. Cinematography is great but it’s the sound design that gets the nod from me. There’s a point early on in the film where it’s a skirmish in the streets and the music is building and building until the first grenade goes off and then all you hear is blasters, explosions and screams. They did a great job of really giving that full effect of a warzone in this film. They do this a few different times throughout the film and it helps to make the film as great as it is.

You can tell that this film is from someone who truly loves Star Wars because it doesn’t come off as trying to be too dark and it doesn’t come off as cheesy while doing it, instead we just get something that feels very real. Most of the characters don’t have a lot of screen time but they have just enough for us to get to know them. We want these characters to succeed before the end and that’s what truly counts to me as a fan. You can have the best plot in the world but if you don’t have great characters then what’s the point?

One of the main reasons that these characters work so well is because of the war setting. We’ve got defectors, war-weary veterans, someone who doesn’t want to get involved and idiotic generals, It’s perfect!

Beginning with the villains, Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic is stunningly good. He’s ambitious and powerful and most of all, evil. Everything he does is about controlling the galaxy through fear and in that way he makes the perfect imperial.

Vader has limited screen time but when he’s there he is utterly terrifying. This is a purely dark version of the character that has no family ties and no distractions. He is powerful beyond measure and menacing in even the simplest movements.

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor does a great job of portraying the fact that he’s fought this war for a long time. I like that they totally separated him from Poe or Han and made him into a solid soldier who’s willing to do some dark things if he has to for the rebellion. That aspect was only overdone on one occasion which proves how good he and the movie is because honestly that’s one of only two major flaws in this film but we’ll get more on that later.

Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe was a scene stealer because he’s basically a blind force ninja. He doesn’t have many force abilities beyond an acute perception to the world around him which is how he’s able to fight and even shoot a specialized blaster but it’s is trust in the force that makes him such an excellent part of the film. To see someone else with that much hope and belief in a film that is almost devoid of it makes him great.

Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus acts primarily as the muscle of the film and Chirrut’s protector. He does a really solid job in this film of having very few lines but portraying everything you need to know about him.

Alan Tudyk as K-2SO is one of the greatest characters they’ve done. He’s a reprogrammed Imperial Security Droid security with a healthy amount of sarcasm tossed in. He maintains the comedic relief throughout most of the film and does so in a very believable way. He’s loyal to Cassian no matter what and is, in many ways, one of the most human characters in the film.

Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook was really surprising to me. Going in, I just thought he was going to be a bonus character but he’s such a great character in his own right. He’s constantly looking for a way to make things right and you can really feel that he wants to change things for the better.

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso is a fantastic lead but many people are trying to compare her to the brilliant performance by Daisy Ridley last year and honestly you just can’t do that. Jyn comes into her own as a character throughout the course of the film but she is genuinely one of the focal points of this film and the series as a whole, her involvement in pushing the rebellion forward is one of the best parts of the films and it leads me to my final point.

But before that final point, I have to give some major props to the CGI team because the special effects of the battle are incredibly well done but there’s a few other surprises that they managed to keep hidden until the film comes out that are absolutely brilliant but I won’t spoil that here.

Now my final point is what I didn’t like about the movie but I will defend the filmmakers choices in a bit cause I’ve had time to think about it. Forrest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera just isn’t good, he’s over the top and pretty much does nothing to progress the storyline that couldn’t be done by any other character. The other rebel leaders are all idiots and cowards except for Jimmy Smits and Genevieve O’Reilly reprising their prequel roles as Bail Organa and Mon Mothma. Most of their choices make no sense and there is no reason for their commands to Cassian on Eadu.(See? Told you we’d come back to this) But is there a point to that? This entire film is setting up Episode IV and if there’s a better way of doing it besides showing us how much we need Luke, Leia and Han then I haven’t seen it.

Overall this film was great and I highly recommend it to any Star Wars fan.

I said before that it’s largely devoid of hope but that’s because we know that it’s coming. We know what happens next and we know that it happens because it was Built on Hope.

Why the Disney Buyouts were Brilliant.

Disney has been a huge part of my life and they’ve always been a company that has supported the idea of films for everyone to enjoy. Prime Example : Show Mary Poppins to a six year old and they’ll laugh at the dancing penguins, show it to a sixty year old and they’ll cry during “Feed The Birds.” That’s the power of Disney and that’s why this article exists. Naturally throughout almost 80 years of films there will be a few duds. To get to the brilliance of Frozen and Zootopia you had to get through things like Herbie : Fully Loaded and Flubber. Now, I might be stepping on some toes due to what I just said but that’s the interesting part; even films that aren’t great have a following because of a nostalgia factor, which is something else that Disney thrives on. But aren’t most of these films targeted towards a family setting? Why should you enjoy the Marvel and Star Wars buyouts? Well that’s what this article is for.

Let’s go about this chronologically : Around 2006 or 2007 Marvel realized that the characters they owned made up the main members of the Avengers. So, they decided to try and make their own film studio to gain complete creative control over what they were making but they knew they would need a solid backing company and they would need to show what they could do. So, Kevin Feige made some major moves to make this a reality such as : getting Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Focusing an entire film on the World War II origin of Captain America and getting Joss Whedon to do the biggest film of the entire project. As we know, it paid off and everything worked out really well. But where does Disney fit in? Well, After the massive success of the Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America : The First Avenger, Disney decided to buy the company in a merger and allow them to create Marvel Studios. Avengers was the first film to officially be created under Marvel Studios and it’s been going strong ever since.

Marvel wanted to create their own studio because they wanted to show that they could make films that were by comic fans and for comic fans that could still appeal to the wider audience. Obviously it worked because we just recently were given Civil War and it was easily one of the greatest examples of why the Marvel Cinematic Universe is close to perfect. Now if we could just get the X-Men in there…another problem for another time.

Now what about Star Wars? Well that story is a bit different but it has a very similar ending. Basically Disney bought Star Wars in 2012 and immediately began preparations for a new series of films. It had been 29 years since the original trilogy and 8 years since the prequels. In that time we had different areas of Star Wars such as The Clone Wars cartoon, multiple comic book series(Done by Dark Horse) and multiple books series which were all a part of the expanded universe. Now, here’s where the divide happened : When Disney bought the company with the intention of making a new series of films and books they said that most of the expanded universe were no longer part of the canon(Considered to be part of the main story) and that really upset a lot of people and to an extent I can see where they’re coming from. Imagine that you’ve spent 20 years reading these books and following these characters and really enjoying the stories only to be told that they never mattered. I can see where they’re coming from but they’re still getting more Star Wars movies and I’ve never heard an official word on if the books set before the films were or were not canon. Many of the books which were now useless were good but there were quite a few that weren’t and I don’t blame Disney for wanting to make their own stories because of it. There was one factor that left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths though and that was George Lucas.

When Lucas signed the company over he initially seemed pretty cool about everything, he was getting older and wanted to allow a new generation to take over but then after the new film came out he went on and said that Disney was awful to him. This would’ve upset me due to Disney kicking him out until he said “They wanted to do something for the fans and i just wanted to tell a story”…Now, I have to make a statement about this because I understand artistic vision but I also understand being selfish. When you put something out there, it’s not 100% yours anymore. It becomes something else entirely and you have to understand that there has to be a balance between what fans want to see and what you want to create. This was one of the biggest problems with the prequels which didn’t focus on fan wants at all and instead forgot everything about the basic structure of a story. These are my issues with George Lucas.

Since Disney has taken over we’ve received one fantastic entry in the main saga, 2 really good seasons of Rebels, a plethora of books which were critically acclaimed and a few different comic series which have been some of the best that Marvel has been publishing. This leads me to believe one thing, that Disney knows what they’re doing. Many people made jokes saying that Disney was going to make it too kid friendly but as we’ve seen : 1. Darkness doesn’t always equal greatness. (See: Revenge Of The Sith, Punisher : War Zone, Spawn, Batman V. Superman : Dawn Of Justice.) 2. Disney can maintain a solid balance of light and dark. It’s one of their best traits and I knew that they would knock Star Wars out of the park.

In conclusion, there is a definite difference in Pre-Disney Marvel and Star Wars and I stand by the fact that it only got better after the fact.

Know why? Because we can get pictures like this:

If you don’t know why that’s awesome then you need awesome lessons.

Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

A quick recap of Star Wars Celebration 2016

Wow, so a lot of really  cool stuff happened over the last week. Unfortunately, I’ve been addicted to Pokemon GO and am just now getting  around to writing. Sorry about that but if you’re playing the game then I’m sure you understand. One of the biggest things to happen in the last few weeks was Star Wars Celebration so let’s get right down to what we learned.

Rogue One

We have now learned that the new planet in Rogue One being called “Scarif” and that planet being the 4th DLC pack for Star Wars: Battlefront. I love everything I’ve heard about Rogue One, the idea that it’s going to be a war film with a darker tone sounds very intriguing and it’s something that we haven’t really seen in Star Wars before.

Gareth Edwards is basically everyone of us if we were directing a Star Wars film, him talking about meeting Mark Hamill for the first time is the exact same way that I would be. He has the same love for these stories that J.J. Abrams did and that’s why I’m excited for this movie.

(Quick disclaimer, I’m not going to share the leaked second trailer because I don’t want to anger Lucasfilm and get my page shut down over a 60 second choppy camera phone trailer. That being said, it does show some cool stuff.)

Star Wars Rebels

Having just recently gotten caught up on Season 2(The Finale was amazingly insane and I still want a definitive answer on what happened to Ashoka) I am incredibly excited for the new season. Kanan becoming a blind master, learning more about the Sith holocron and finding out what Ezra is going to do with it is going to be fantastic in this new season.

All of that aside, the biggest news is the fact that Grand Admiral Thrawn has been added to the cast and is going to be one of the main villains for season 3. I’ve never been a huge fan of his because I’ve never read the Thrawn trilogy books but everyone loves him so I’m happy that more people can enjoy this show now.

Episode VIII

We don’t know a whole lot yet and I’m totally ok with that. I know that there is no time jump between Force Awakens and VIII which I think is the smarter move to make and I know that Rian Johnson and Gareth Edwards were apparently working on Rogue One and VIII in the same office building two rooms down from each other and they’re going to have cameos in each other’s movie.

These films were apparently very influential on the script: Twelve O’Clock High, Letter Never Sent, Bridge on the River Kwai, Three Outlaw Samurai,Gunga Din, Sahara.

Episode VIII is also going to be more about character development for the newer characters and they’re using as many practical effects as they can. More things that I’m super happy with.

Han Solo

Not a part of the celebration but I figured I’d say something. I don’t know Alden Ehrenreich from anything big but this is the same studio that gave us Daisy Ridley as Rey. I’m inclined to trust them here.

Why Kylo Ren is a Great Character: My Force Awakens Analysis

Wait, Kylo Ren? The whiny kid from the new movie? Well read on and find out.

 

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The franchise had been in something of a flux since ’83. The original three films are universally loved but it’s the expanded universe which split the fandom itself in a few ways. Some people love the books, some people hate them. Some people love the prequels, a lot of people hate them. Some people prefer “Clone Wars”, a much smaller audience prefer “Rebels”.(I love both) No matter what your preference is, Star Wars most likely means something to you.

The newest film “The Force Awakens” came out on December 18th so it’s been out a little over 2 months. This article will be full of the movie’s biggest spoilers and that’s why I’ve waited this long to write it.

If you’re still here…then let’s return to a galaxy far, far away.

Opening Line

 

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This will begin to make things right

7 words start off one of the best movies of 2015 and it’s one of the best opening lines of any film. Max Von Sydow plays Lor San Tekka who is the elder who says this line. He’s a classical actor and by all definition should have more screen time then just the first ten minutes, but I think the fact that he doesn’t is telling us something. How did he get this map? How do he and Kylo Ren know each other? Better yet, how does he know who he really is? His untimely death might not be the last we’ve seen of Lor San Tekka. I think he’s going to be a big character in flashbacks in Episode VIII.

This line works on so many different levels. It’s great for the characters to know that Luke is coming back and it’s a great line for those of us who knew that Star Wars could be good again. I like that Luke is basically a myth in this film, it’s such a cool dynamic to add to it. Farm-boy to Legendary Jedi Master.
Let’s go over the new characters.

Finn

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First up is Finn. Finn adds an incredible new part of the mythos to the film from his very first scene. We come to find out that Stormtroopers were taken from their families when they were young and raised to be killing machines. The only problem : They couldn’t remove that pesky soul and moral conscience which is really what moves the film forward. When Finn is involved in his first battle, his best friend dies in his arms and he loses it. He questions everything and doesn’t even fire his weapon at all throughout the battle. Afterwards he helps Poe escape and he turns his back on the First Order forever while joining up with Rey and BB-8 and finding the Resistance.

It’s a great story of redemption for Finn, he’s always viewed as the traitor or the deserter but that doesn’t matter because he’s meant for more and he does what’s right. Also he’s the first person to wield Luke’s old lightsaber and he’s not terrible with it…just not yet great either.

John Boyega plays him incredibly well and I look forward to seeing him in more things.

Poe Dameron

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Poe is probably my favorite new character from the film. He’s just a cool character because he’s one of the best pilots in the galaxy, he’s loyal to Leia and the Resistance and he believes in the force and Luke. He never backs down from the enemy, even when he’s been beaten. He’s just all around a great character. He’s also the new X-Wing pilot so I might be just a little bit biased. Oscar Isaac does a great job with this character and I’d love to get some more backstory for him in the next few films.

Rey

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Ah Rey, the new champion of the force. Rey is absolutely one of the best and most interesting characters in recent years. She’s our hero and it is well deserved. When we first meet Rey, she’s living on her own on Jakku and is providing for herself and is just being pretty awesome overall. She meets BB-8 and saves him from Teedo, the scavenger. She learns that BB-8 has very important information for the resistance and is focused on getting him to them and also going to the stars herself. They run into Finn and he says he’s with the Resistance which leads the two of them to run from the stormtroopers that are chasing Finn and leave Jakku. They run into Han and Chewbacca and go to ground someplace where they can hide for a while. This leads to a great scene that I will talk about a bit later in the article.

Rey gets captured and later on she has accepted her force powers and uses them to break free after learning who Kylo Ren is. She meets up with Finn and they have to stand there and watch as Kylo Ren/Ben Solo kills his father. It’s after this that Finn and Rey take Kylo on in a lightsaber duel. Finn gets knocked out but it’s when Rey uses the force to bring the lightsaber to her that is one of my favorite scenes of the film. Rey is very strong in the force and a lot of people have said “Well either Kylo sucks because he can be beaten by someone who just learned about the force or the screenwriters suck because we don’t understand enough about Rey” well let me explain : I’ve always looked at the force as something very spiritual and/or mental, physical prowess alone doesn’t do much for you. Rey has spent her entire life believing that she was left behind and forgotten, that she had to fend for herself and that she was basically a nobody, three things that can make you very strong in a mental state because she doesn’t use it as a crutch. Instead, now she has people that she cares about and she has something to fight for. Kylo Ren has been given everything his entire life. The son of Leia and Han would never want for anything and that led him to become arrogant and occasionally weak. He doesn’t have anyone to fight for but himself. This is where Rey can best him, she’s been raised to be strong and he’s been raised to be anything besides what he is at that point. It’s a great scene and a great finale to the film.

Rey is overall a very strong character which is what we need to see more of. I’m tired of boring weak characters that can’t make a good decision. We need more like Rey.

 

Phasma

 

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Captain Phasma is honestly the only part about this movie I was disappointed with. She’s hardly in it and you never get to see her in action. Hopefully we’ll get more in the sequel.

General Hux

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General Hux was great. He’s not in it a lot but he’s a great militaristic villain. He has a speech that basically makes him sound like a Nazi and if it wasn’t so intense it could’ve come off as a satire. Domhnall Gleeson does a great job with the role and I look forward to seeing more of him.

Snoke

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I thought Supreme Leader Snoke was handled well. He’s shrouded in mystery throughout the film but you get the sense from both Kylo Ren amd Hux that this is someone worth fearing. I’m looking forward to seeing more about him in the next two films.

Classic Characters

I thought that all of the classics were handled very well. No one was really hurting for Screen Time except for R2-D2 and Luke but both of those kind of made sense for the film.

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Obviously Han Solo gets the most screen time but seeing as it was his last outing, he deserved a good send off. I thought his death scene was handled very well particularly due to the lighting and the tension that Adam Driver and Harrison Ford bring to the screen. It was a good but heartbreaking finale for him.

Chewbacca will always be one of my favorite characters. He’s just a great character and yes, I teared up a bit when he screamed for Han. His rampage after that was rather terrifying to watch.

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Leia’s still awesome as she always has been. One of the few complaints I have about the movie is not knowing a lot about The First Order and The Resistance besides that one is the remnants of the Empire and the other is what was built by the New Republic to stop them. Presumably when they were building their new military they could only think of one person who could lead it. Leia’s strong and not willing to back down. Losing her son and her husband will definitely affect her in the next film, I’m just interested to see how.

My Favorite Scene/Flashbacks

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One of the shining parts of the entire film is basically everything that happens on Takodona(The Forest Planet) from Maz’s castle basically being the new cantina to the epic war featuring my personal favorite part : The X-Wings! In the middle of all of that though, we see Rey’s calling to the force for the first time. She goes down to this room in the castle and finds this chest, inside is the lightsaber that was wielded by Luke and Anakin Skywalker. When she touches it, she is flooded with visuals. We see young Rey being left on Jakku. We see the Cloud City corridor and hear Vader’s breathing. We see a robotic hand -that we assume is Luke’s- touching R2-D2. We hear voiceovers from Yoda and both of the actors who played Obi-Wan Kenobi. We see the Knights of Ren slaughter a group of people and then we see a vision of Rey and Kylo’s final fight in the snow. This is something new. Something that hasn’t really been seen in Star Wars as a full on dream sequence. That’s what makes it so cool.

Maz finds Rey after she drops the Lightsaber and Rey is obviously terrified. Maz tells her that the force and the saber is calling to her. She also tells her that whoever she is waiting for on Jakku isn’t coming back. Rey runs off but she later accepts the call and she definitely doesn’t run when she gets the lightsaber and goes up against Kylo Ren. It’s just an overall great sequence that builds on a lot and lays a lot of groundwork for the rest of the trilogy.

Kylo Ren

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Now, The final part of this analysis. What do we know about Kylo Ren? Honestly not as much as we’d like but more than you might think. Let’s look at it like this:

  • Son of Han and Leia.
  • Trained with a lightsaber.
  • Strong in the force.
  • Built his own powerful lightsaber.
  • Wants to follow in Darth Vader’s footsteps.

Now, when we first see Kylo Ren he is a menacing force to be reckoned with. He kills Lor San Tekka and then uses a force power that we’ve never actually seen by stopping a blaster bolt in mid-air. Later we see him use the force to interrogate Poe and it looks like he’s using a power that is very similar to Telepathy. So within 20 minutes of the film he’s already used two abilities that we haven’t seen before so clearly he’s very powerful.

He’s devoted to the idea of hunting down Luke and ending the Jedi and The Resistance. The only thing is that we see at multiple different points that he is tempted by the Light side of the force.

He takes orders from Supreme Leader Snoke, who we know next to nothing about but he has clearly heavily influenced Kylo.

Now, here is what I don’t understand : This is a world that loves complex characters.(Check out my first article if you don’t believe that) But for some reason Kylo Ren gets a lot of hate. They think he’s just whiny and that he isn’t that powerful but let’s really take a look here.

Everything about him is ruled by someone else. Everything. As ScreenRant has already pointed out(#5 on Marc N. Kleinhenz’ List of 10 best Force Awakens Scenes) he doesn’t get to reveal his own origin. Instead it is taken from him by Lor San Tekka, Snoke, Rey, Leia and Han.

  • Tekka hints at his lineage,
  • Snoke reveals his father,
  • Leia reveals a small part of his origin,
  • Rey gets him to take off his mask and Han reveals his name.

What’s the first comparison that everyone has for Kylo? Darth Vader. Who tells you anything consequential about Darth Vader in the original trilogy? No one. Obi-Wan talks a little bit about him and Yoda just admits that he was telling the truth in Cloud City. Vader is the one who reveals his connection to Luke and Vader is the one who tells Luke to take his mask off. You might be thinking that I consider this a problem with Episode VII’s script, quite the contrary though, I think it’s brilliant. Through these reveals we get more of Kylo Ren but there’s also a subtext that he is never in control of his own fate…except for one scene. Yes, The infamous bridge scene. No one tells Kylo to go looking for Han, in fact no one even knows that Han and the Others are there yet he just knows that they are and he goes to find them. It’s all been leading to this one moment of Father and Son. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is split right down the middle in this story, so much so that if his story had been told in any other series than Star Wars then the bridge scene could’ve had a 50/50 chance on the way it played out. Everyone in the film roots against him and the one time we see him take an action of his own merit then we root against him.

Now don’t get this twisted, I’m not saying I sympathize with Kylo Ren and if you’re just angry at him for killing Han then I totally understand. The only thing I want to clear up is that he is actually one of the best written, new characters in the last few years. He’s conflicted, he makes terrible choices that he can’t come back from and most importantly : J.J. Abrams wrote him to be an analogy for annoying fanboys, the people who pick apart a film and say what’s wrong instead of just enjoying it. My Brother worded it the best when he said “A great Villain is someone who reflects what is wrong with our society.”

So yeah, you might be complaining about Kylo Ren because he reminds you of someone…

But what about that final scene? That final fight where he gets owned by Rey. Well I have an answer there too.

Forgive me because I can’t remember who first wrote/posted about the Bowcaster damage but If they are reading this then I happily give you credit for this.

The entire film has shown us that the Bowcaster can do a lot of damage, it’s sent multiple people flying and when Kylo Ren gets hit with it he just takes a knee. Just like “Oh you know, another day, another third degree blaster burn” Seriously, did no one notice that he was limping the entire fight? That he’s hitting his chest to keep his blood flowing so that he won’t freeze to death with an open wound? He’s incredibly physically wounded when he takes on Finn and Rey but then we have the Mental and Emotional state as well.

He’s just killed his father and has made the final action that he can’t come back from. Have you ever made a major life changing decision? You’re not really yourself afterwards. Kylo Ren is no different. So Emotionally, he’s done.

Then we have the mental state. You ever worked at a place for a long time and you know it inside and out and then someone new comes in and they complain about something and you realize that you’ve moved past that? That’s the entire point of that fight at the end. Kylo Ren has been given everything, the son of Han and Leia has wanted for nothing and because of it he feels entitled. Rey has fought for everything and that makes her stronger. She understands the value of everything, instead of the other one who just destroys countless computers and interrogation chairs. Maintenance crews for the The First Order have to have their work cut out for them. So mentally, he’s done again.

So Kylo Ren has three major things working against him in that fight and people are still wondering how he could lose? I guess we just watched a different film. They go out of their way to make sure you know that he isn’t Darth Vader, cause that’s the whole point. Kylo’s a bit of a weaker character when we leave him but he’ll be fully trained before the end of the next film. Speaking of which…

Overall/The Future.

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Look, I’m incredibly biased in my love of Star Wars but I also know a good script and and a bad script. Force Awakens was phenomenal and they cared so much about doing a good job that their love for it pours out in every scene. Star Wars can be fun, emotional and intelligent and that’s what this film does.

On one hand, I’m upset that we’re losing Abrams and Kasdan but Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow are going to do a great job on VIII and IX. The next film is going to do something that we’ve never seen. Show us the trainings of the dark side. We’ve read in the books and comics but we’ve never seen it in the films or the shows. Kylo Ren is returning to snoke to finish his training and Rey has gone to Luke to receive her training. We’re gonna see two of these characters become full fledged warriors of the force in the next one and I can’t wait for it cause the rematch is going to be insane.

I know you’re probably wondering who I think Rey’s parents are. My personal hope is that they are literally no one. It’d make her much more interesting to be someone who is no one and doesn’t come from any certain bloodline. The only problem is that they point heavily towards two possibilities in this film. I subscribe to the Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter theory personally but that’s only because I think Luke might be too obvious. There’s always a possibility of either but as long as they handle the reveal well, then I’m perfectly fine with whoever it is.

Overall, I absolutely loved this film. It was my favorite film of 2015 and it definitely deserves a second viewing from you.

-Vance