Take a look at some of the worst things The Force Awakens bungled.
The Force Awakens kicked off the new age of Star Wars movies. It’s far from a perfect movie, but it ended up being the least divisive of the sequel trilogy. Indeed I’d argue that the first 3rd of the movie is great. However the movie does make some really bad choices, that in retrospect turned out to be horrible mistakes (not even counting going into the whole thing without a plan). Today lets dig into to some of the biggest mistakes the movie makes.
How They Didn’t Kill Poe
Poe Dameron is one of the best characters to come out of the new movies, and a real joy to behold. Originally however he was never supposed to make it off Jakku, instead the plan was to kill him off when his and Finn stolen TIE is shot down. Poe however turned out to be such an amazing character that the decision was made to keep him alive and use him in later movies. Now, I like Poe and saving him isn’t the issue. The mistake is how they did it, rather than changing anything they just have him vanish in the crash, and then show up just fine later on. How did he survive? Why couldn’t Poe see him, but found his jacket? How did he get off Jakku with the First Order hunting him and no ship? Clearly, none of that is important.
Failing To Set Up The First Order/Resistance Conflict
The First Order as a concept was pretty easy to understand. Even from the limited information in the movie, its clear they are either ex-Imperials or those who miss how the Empire operated and want to return to that. They are clearly evil. The problem is that the movie then makes a huge mistake is failing to set anything else up. How powerful is the First Order? They seem to be outsiders, with the New Republic still in charge, and we only ever see one ship and Starkiller base. Why is the Resistance the Resistance, what are they resisting? Are they part of the New Republic, and just how big are they? While some of these questions where answered, the failure to set any of this makes the movie feel strangely detached, its hard to tell what the stakes are, are they fighting over the Galaxy or just a handful of Outer Rim worlds?
Making The New Republic A Joke
When last we saw the New Republic it was in charge of the galaxy after winning the Galactic Civil War and beating the Empire. It was what all our heroes had been working towards, and served as a second chance for democracy. Flash forward to the Force Awakens and the New Republic is a joke. Despite the fact that the First Order is running around causing issues, they aren’t doing anything. Indeed the only thing we ever see of the New Republic is a brief bit where it’s capital and fleet get destroyed without warning. We don’t even see a random police officer. Later books would have to bend over backwards to explain this and show just how dumb the New Republic was. This was a mistake and disservice. The move would have just been better if it was a conflict between the New Republic and the First Order, with Leia and her group working as part of New Republic intelligence.
Making The Movie About Starkiller Base
The first 1/3rd to half of the Force Awakens, mostly up until they leave Jakku, is a great movie. It promises to be a fun filled adventure, that introduces new heroes to Star Wars. It’s also all based around the hunt of Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Master that has gone missing. This is the driving action of the early part of the movie. Then, quite randomly, about halfway through the movie, Starkiller base, a massive super weapon shows up and ruins everything in what has to be the movies biggest mistake.
Not only does Starkiller base just make TFA a rehash of A New Hope, but it does it poorly. TFA is almost two movies; the Hunt for Luke in one, and the threat of Starkiller base in the other. Neither is done well. A New Hope is focused from start to finish on the Death Star. Worse, the two TFA plots aren’t really connect, the hunt for Luke is just dropped, only to randomly be resolved at the end. A much better idea would have been to focus TFA on finding him, ending with the heroes finding Luke, and seeming winning, only to discover Starkiller base, thus setting up a second movie about that threat. But that’s not the movie we got…
Let us know what you think the worst mistakes in The Force Awakens are, down in the comments!