Star Wars & TV AfroBlog
As I type this, it is December 26th, meaning that it has been 8 days since Star Wars The Force Awakens has been released. That means I can go IN on it without saying "beware spoilers". Before I do, let me give you my prior rankings of the franchise so far:
1. Empire Strikes Back
2. Star Wars
3. Clone Wars
4. Revenge of the Sith
5. Return of the Jedi
6. Phantom Menace
Now the positives and negatives of The Force Awakens:
POSITIVE: I felt both Rey and Finn are strong point of focus characters for this new trilogy to be based on. Rey, is for better or worse, is the new version of Luke. A Jedi with a strong bloodline/flow connection to the force. All she needs is the proper training and given the amount of physical scenes Daisy Ridley did here, those should be fiesty on film...
Meanwhile Finn is the new Han Solo, a person with a dubious introduction who through this initial movie begins his hero's journey. Unlike Han who was (still is) a dubious smuggler, Finn can be argued is an out and out coward that like the Cowardly Lion, shows his courage in pressure situations. It will be interesting how the writers build upon his character. Quite possibly, they'll have John Boyega join up The Rogue Squadron movie for a scene or two showing he's learning to be a Rebel/Republic Fighter under Poe.
NEGATIVE: I wish I could say the same of Kylo Ren but temper tantrums? Whining? To say nothing of the amount of times the character removed the mask during the film. What made Darth Vader so enthralling was his self-control and the fact that we DIDN'T glimpse under the mask until the very end of the 1st trilogy. Episode VIII will have to do a lot of character rehab on Ren. For gosh sake showrunners! Stop making Big Bad Guys Whiny and Crying!!!!!
POSITIVE: For those of us scared/mad about how Lupita Nyong'o was going to be used during this, JJ Abrams proved us wrong in making her (possibly) the spiritual replacement to Yoda in bar owner/savant Maz Kanata. Come on, that scene with her and Rey was totally Luke and Yoda 2.0. And Chewie is her boyfriend? Say what??? Also kudos to the Daniel Craig and Simon Pegg placements... and Greg Grunberg as one of the X-Wing pilots? Classic..but I should have known he would have found a way in...
NEGATIVE: I already told some on Twitter that this will seem a little petty but there was early hype that some of The Raid Redemption actors had roles in the movie. I was totally stoked given how much I am a fan but I felt they were wasted in the freighter scene. My only hope is that one of them was the Stormtrooper in the later Finn fight scene at Maz' bar. Also speaking of wasted, I remember the big deal about Gwendoline Christie as Stormtrooper Captain Phasma only to have her deliver 4 lines and not do anything of consequence. Another character I hope makes it to a later movie as a foil for Finn.
POSITIVE: i loved the action movie feel of this. The previous trilogy got bogged down too much in politics that it forgot about Star Wars being a Western in Space. TFA balanced action and quiet moments just enough that I never had a chance to get bored either way. The fight scenes, individual and mecha enhanced, looked crisp and flowed.
NEGATIVE: It the Trekkie in me, but when stuff blows up, there really should be more collateral damage. Another nitpick but it did really seem the only character that felt the damage/impact of those was Finn. Others walk-run away from explosions, Finn gets thrown or knocked out. Take meaning in that how you will...
POSITIVE: Running time was perfect at 2:18. Just long enough to satisfy, fit in a host of nostalgia, AND be a proper foundation for the movies to come.
NEGATIVE: Some folks just came into this not realizing what type of movie this was to diehards and geeks. I'm shocked that there haven't been more reports of fights/confrontations at movie theaters. I'll take that as a positive though.
8.5 out of 10 is my estimate, giving a little leeway to see how exactly Abrams and Disney build upon this. I hope Warner Bros take notes because this is what I want Batman/Superman to be. A good starting point that has actualized characters and a good plot. Along with a history/plan that can be naturally extended into future movies.
That being said, and after 3 viewings, my rankings are now...
1. Empire Strikes Back
2. Star Wars
3. The Force Awakens
4. Clone Wars
5. Revenge of the Sith
6. Return of the Jedi
7. Phantom Menace
I hope everyone enjoyed the movie or at least the experience. Now let me hit TV stuff real fast:
-Ok. That was the Supergirl Mid-Season Finale. Yep this is the New Krypton Storyline from the Mid-2000's Superman books. Again, I have to say that I want them to finish the season strongly but I would have done the J'Onn reveal later. This is the Reverse Flash syndrome all over again.
-The Expanse on SyFy plays like Stargate Universe meets Gundam 00. Cramped, dungy sets. Insanely complicated politics with factions on all sides of the three major players: Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Miners. A possible war is looming and what side are you going to be on? A trope that has been run into the dirt BUT the first 3 episodes I have seen have been decent to good.
-I wish I could have been as positive about Childhood's End but after a very good first 2 hours, the remaining 2:45 (commercial time removed of course) played out like the failed mashup of the 2014 V remake with the last Children of the Corn movie. I wanted something akin to The 4400 but got FreakyLinks instead.
-Speaking of FOX, I hope Minority Report comes back as a midseason replacement in the Summer. The last 3 episodes the show felt like it finally caught its stride and I thought that would be enough....
...however I thought the same thing about Agent X on TNT and according to reliable sources that got canned ALONG with Public Morals and Legends which I thought were safe and had big viewerships. You just can't tell with TV these days.
-The more I see of The Magicians in SyFy commercials, the more I think I am seeing a North American version of Misfits. PLEASE SyFy, don't mess this up!
-The Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Husbands of River Song is DEFINITELY my favorite episode of the year and resolves quite a few of the story plotholes involving her. The Alex Kingston - Peter Capaldi was great and it sucks that this might be her DW finale BUT if it was, what a way to go out as she showed off all of River's personality here.
*WHEW!* I think I'm good. Thanks for reading Folks! Until Next Time, Keep Fantasizing!