Okay, first off, if you intend to see it, skip this. I'm not planning to give anything away, but I am processing this, and it could lead to influencing your experience, and I want you to have an experience and then join in a discussion. Because, well, I am processing this and I want some input before I read the 'professional' reviews. Oh, and I am leading with this: God Bless Fisher's family. She wasn't a part of my real life, but she was a part of my REAL life. If that makes sense.
So, I saw R1 yesterday. It was okay. I am going to have to see it again. I am perturbed. I am not unhappy with it and I am certainly very pleased with a couple aspects of it. I am going to start with the score. I hated it. From the first note, I hated it. And I am confused. Lucas clearly tagged it as his, starting with the Lucas Film Logo right before diving into it. It was presented in silence. Yeah, I get it, Disney now owns the opening Star Wars fanfare, but if Lucas reserved rights to do an occasional Star Wars story, shouldn't he also be able to use the Star Wars theme music to open with? It doesn't actually hurt Disney, and would likely just increase the prestige of the entire product, which Disney now owns, which could theoretically increase sells. So, what gives? And no scrolling mission statement set up? That is just as much Star Wars as anything else, right? I wonder if any spaceship has ever been cut in half by free floating paragraphs in space. But you know, there are Star Wars overtures, sporadically placed throughout the movie, so if they could use some of the themes, why not lead with that?! I found I couldn't listen to the opening music and watch the show, so I had to tune out, but if I caught myself listening to the theme, I was drawn out of the story.
Something that intrigued me, but also pulled me out of the story, were the characters from Star Wars IV "A New Hope," such as Tarkin. What is all of this? Was this CG rips from Star Wars overlaid on top of other actors? Was this really good look a-likes? Is this the real Clone War? No really, I watching their lips move and analyzing the voice, as if looking for a flaw, like maybe even the words are recycled digitally, and it's driving me crazy trying to figure it out, but they're not on the screen long enough for me to discover flaws and I am like, "pan back, pan back." So, not disappointed per say, just really distracted. I a curious if anyone else felt this way, or did you just have that Christmas feeling that, OMG, I am home. I didn't have that feeling with this, but I did have it when Han Solo and Chewie came on board the Falcon in the last movie and Han said, "Chewie, we're home," and I was like, "Yeah, we are."
There was scene towards the end with the hero on a platform adjusting a dish array. She wanted a different cable channel. Just kidding. Anyway, a Tie Fighter goes flying by shooting at her, destroyed the control panel and nearly dislodged the hero. I didn't like that scene. It was a plot contrivance and needless drama. And, tell me the truth: what is the likelihood of a Tie Fighter passing a building in pursuit of X-wings, or being pursued by X-wings, going to notice a lone figure on the end of a precarious catwalk at speeds in excess of two hundred miles an hour? And, at that speed, what is the likelihood of them determining its a saboteur as opposed to someone who was legitimately assigned to go align the dish? And then the bad guy shows up to shoot the hero and another hero who we were led to believe was dead, but we all knew he wasn't dead, yet, shows up at the nick of time... Ugh! Stop with the clichés already.
Okay, I happened to know that there are no 'wheeled' vehicles in the star wars universe. You know why I know this? I saw the interview where Lucas was speaking about one of the conditions he had made before selling it to Disney and emphasized the point with JJ Abrams. Did he forget this edict? Because he led with a wheeled vehicle in this movie! His name was on it, so he did know about it, right? Is this how he is going to justify selling out to hotwheels, because nothing say Star Wars than a Hotwheels car that looks like a storm trooper. Sort of. I don't see the resemblance. I am sure someone bought it though.
Over all, I feel like I am sitting on a fence undecided. Clearly, I am going to see it again. I still processing it. But I don't know. This wasn't the hope I was hoping for. What says you, fellow fans?