The Force Awakens – Our Reactions

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterAfter more than three years, the wait is finally over. We have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Many of us more than once. What did we think? Were our hopes met? Even better, were they surpassed? Who cried? Who laughed? Who fainted?

Our raw, emotional reactions to the movie we never thought would happen are under the cut.

(Spoilers, of course.)

Brian: I don’t even know where to start other than saying I absolutely adored and loved this film. As of writing this I’m at viewing number three, and it’s settling on either my second or third favorite Star Wars film ever. I’ve seen a lot of complaints that TFA was to predictable, but it’s worth pointing out that the execution is what makes so-called predictable things work. I mean, would you ever say that Apollo 13 should be knocked because it’s predictable the astronauts get back home? The execution of this film is what makes it shine. It feels like the Star Wars I grew up with. It feels like a lived-in universe. It feels right. It feels like Star Wars, but Star Wars that has been brought into the year 2015 with all the modern sensibilities and diversity to go along with it. John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley. The multitude of minor characters who were women or minorities.

Well done, JJ. Well done.

Nanci: As of right now (Saturday afternoon) I’ve seen it three times and am going for the fourth time tonight (and fifth tomorrow morning). I wanted to see it once every day the first weekend, and then on Christmas, and then randomly after that. But I’m already thinking of Monday and how weird it will be not to watch this movie, and trying to figure out when I can fit in another showing before Christmas.

That’s how much I love this movie. It’s so great, you guys. I love every part of it. Not once did I think “this isn’t Star Wars.” Not once did I think the dialogue or acting was bad. The characters were all wonderful, even Kylo Ben, who tore me apart way more than I ever expected. I knew Han was going to die, but that scene was so artistically done. I get choked up every time. ME, the Luke fan. (I actually loved Han in this movie. Grumpy old man Han is my favorite Han.) Of course, I would have liked more Luke, but I understand that this is set up and I love how important everyone thinks he is. Leia still puts all her trust and faith in him and that says a lot after what happened with Kylo.

I can’t talk about this movie and not talk about Rey. I love her so much. She’s such a great character and Daisy Ridley is astonishing. She is going to be a superstar. I’m fully on Team Rey Skywalker (look for a post on that soon enough). The moment when she calls the lightsaber to her hand, and the Force theme plays (the exact same cue when Luke returns to the moisture farm and sees Owen and Beru dead – aka his call to action) – made me almost jump out of my skin.

There’s just so much I love about this movie. I can’t stop thinking or talking about it. This is my era, done right, and I can’t wait to learn more. Bring me all your books, even all your comics! I need them.

Also, Poe Dameron is everything I ever wanted him to be.

Bria: BEN SOLO IS A PIECE OF SHIT AND I HATE HIM WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING.  Rey, on the other hand, is the beautiful angel of awesome that this fandom deserves.  This movie completely broke me but in a good way although that may have something to do with the fact that I watched it after a marathon of all 6 films that started at 1am.  Even though it left me feeling like I’d been run over by the Feels Mobile, I enjoyed the hell out of it and can’t wait to go to another showing so I can see it again and hopefully process everything a little better.  I’m writing this less than 12 hours after seeing it for the first time so forgive me for being incapable of saying much else.

Matthew: Now that‘s what I call podra–er, a Star Wars film!

Seriously, though, I enjoyed the hell out of this film. It had the joy and the energy of the original trilogy with a modern sheen. The characters all felt like realistic human beings for the first time in a Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back, and my love for the new characters, particularly Rey and Finn, really can’t be overstated. The CGI characters are still distractingly bad, the ending suffers a bit from the sort of anti-climax most of Abrams’s movies do, and we’ll have to wait for Episodes 8 and 9 before we know for sure if Episode 7 was sloppily written or brilliantly laying groundwork for the future. But holy heck this was a good time at the movies.

Saf: I adored this movie with my entire soul, and it’s already my favourite Star Wars. What I wanted from this film, I got: Rey being beautifully three-dimensional and so endearing, cheap powerpoint effects, Finn being adorable and hilarious, and more.

I even like Kylo Ren—though I half think it’s because I’m such a sucker for the name Ben. Why does this always happen, Ben?? And how has it occurred for the first time that I actually like Hux and Kylo, the bad guys?

Above all, my favourite thing about The Force Awakens is Rey and Finn’s relationship. Be it platonic, romantic, whatever, I just love how much chemistry the two have and how much they already care for each other. Finn running after Rey as Kylo takes her away ruins me every damn time. Okay I want them to kiss and be happy together.

I gasped, I teared up (I can’t cry! My eyes aren’t working right!), I slapped my bestie in the face out of surprise. The fact the trailers actually gave nothing away is just amazing, and I hope all future Star Wars films follow that example because there’s nothing better than thinking you’d seen too much, when really you’d seen nothing at all.

Maz was a treat, the score has been on repeat in my house since it came out, and every second not spent watching this film fills me with longing. I love that this film has taken so many steps towards creating the diverse universe we’ve been needing for so long. Not to say I didn’t have issues with the film, because I did, but boy howdy I am in love with this new generation of Star Wars.

Deliver me a Resistance X-wing for Christmas please. Maybe with a cute pilot inside too. (Call me, Poe)

Emily: Honestly, this was almost more fun than some of the other Star Wars movies. The dialogue was so witty.  I loved Rey.  The role model I wanted for Little Jedi?  She’s right there, and it’s not just that she kicks butt and takes names.  She shows vulnerability and kindness that doesn’t diminish her character in any way.

I also have a whole list of questions, plot-wise, that I want answered.  I’m assuming that much of the new EU tie-in material will answer that, which means I know what my Christmas Amazon gift cards are getting used for.

Poe Dameron is amazing and hysterical and wonderful, and Finn is fantastic and I really want to see Poe interact with Rey now so we can get the new Big Three snarking back and forth at each other the whole time.  BB-8 is completely adorable.  (She’s Rey Skywalker, right?  We’ve totally decided that as a fandom?)

And Ben Solo.  Holy hell.  WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED THERE?  I need this story! Shane told me months ago that they were going to kill Han, and I didn’t believe him, and I’m ready to just die.

Am I totally emotionally overwrought by Han’s death?  Hell yes.  Do I also have a list of about a dozen plot holes?  Absolutely.

Do I still love this movie to death?  You better believe it.

Shoshana: Why biggest question about this movie is “WHAT AM I NOT WATCHING IT AGAIN RIGHT NOW??” I love this movie and its characters with every fiber of my tiny nerdy being. Rey, Finn, and BB-8 are already some of my favorite Star Wars characters ever. EVER. It’s too soon for me to rank this film along the other movies in the franchise, but I am confident it will be near, if not at, the top of the list. It’s just so fun. And so emotional. And, sure, Phasma got to be nowhere near as badass as I wanted her to be in this film, but I laughed so hard at her final scene that I can give that a pass and hope that she brings on the awesome in Episode VIII.

This movie overwhelmed me with Star Wars and filled me with such joy that I didn’t know what to do with myself for days and I am so, so glad that so many people have gotten to experience this beautiful thing. Even if certain world-building things weren’t conveyed very well in the movie itself (cough the New Republic’s relationship to the Resistance cough).

This was everything I wanted and more and I am so happy that children get to grow up with this movie in their lives.


11 thoughts on “The Force Awakens – Our Reactions

  1. *takes one look at the poster, bursts into tears*

    Okay, okay. The acting is what did it for me. Every scene was perfectly done, every facial expression felt so natural, i just ... I can't put it into words. I can't say I'm a big JJ Abrams fan - don't get me wrong, he's good, just not one I love - but he got every ounce of emotion out of them. Well done to him, but especially Boyega and Ridley. Even though the characters had just met, I was instantly sold on their friendship, their chemistry was so good. Also i love how, when Finn told Rey about his past, she instantly accepted it. The compassion she displayed was a powerful moment for me.

    Also, Kylo Ben is brilliant. The name, the character, everything. Not a big fan of Driver in Girls, but he played the Skywalker brattiness perfectly.

    Also it definitely needed more Poe, but reading about the behind the scenes stuff, I don't mind too much now, but that perhaps means we'll get much more of him in VIII: The Force Has Its Coffee.

  2. Why is Kylo being praised for his brattiness yet Anakin Skywalker is condemned for his? Another of my problems with the double standard.

    • It is weird, but then again Luke (mostly) gets a pass for it, too. If you're asking me, personally, I don't mind so much Anakin's brattiness, it's more a case of simply not being very well done. Luke's whine of 'but I was going to the Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!' was done in a voice that I've done myself, and heard others do, so it felt quite right, and it very quickly took a back seat. For Kylo, he practically embodied the entitled nerd voice (Amanda Marcotte explains it very eloquently here: - also SPOILERS, but since you're on this article, you may not need that warning. Also, sorry, I don't know how to do the hyperlink thing in comments). And again it helps that Driver really sold it.

      As for others - well, I can't really speak for them.

  3. Long time lurker here 🙂 I loved this movie, it far exceeded my expectations. I was a tiny bit sad halfway through my first viewing that preconceived ideas I had about the plot weren't going to happen (I stopped checking spoilers awhile ago), but on my second viewing I enjoyed it so much more because OMG NEW STAR WARS. And it was fun, and witty, and hit all the right nostalgia notes. Both DH and I remarked how much we actually cared about the new characters after just 1 movie, that's a testament to the writing and the acting. Rey was the heroine the 10-year-old me always wanted. All the feels!!!!!!

  4. I will always probably prefer the OT to anything Star Wars. Nostalgia is just going to win out. But do I dare say that this was the best put together Star Wars film? Vader is awesome but we barely knew anything about him in A New Hope. With Kylo Ren we know so much. The acting is far superior than the OT. (Though Alec Guinness and James Earl Jones gave excellent performances in A New Hope.) The storm troopers were actually competent in TFA. The Tarkin character isn't wasted in the first film. And the diversity! Even with the background and extras. Place actually feels like a galaxy.

    The assualt on the Death Star/ Starkiller base was done better in ANH. But that wasn't the center piece of TFA. It was a certain character's fate as well as Rey's battle with Kylo Ren. People complained that the end was the same as ANH. But you know what, same thing happened at the end of ROTJ and TPM. In Star Wars, giant things blow up.

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