Saturday, December 19, 2015


With no press screenings in Atlanta (which my family had forbidden me from attending without them anyway), I had no choice but to join the online battle for tickets to The Force Awakens. After an hour or so of furiously hitting refresh on the Fandango site, I finally managed to snag seats for opening evening. To bide my time until then, I reworked an old blog post on The Star Wars Holiday Special, and then reworked it again with a couple of thousand less words for Aleteia. Finally, though, the night arrived and you can read my spoiler-free review which is also up at Aleteia.

By design, my articles for Aleteia are brief, and I'm chomping at the bit to say more once everyone has a had a chance to see it. Until then, though, there is no shortage of other reviews out there to tide you over.

First up is the inevitable Steven D. Greydanus review at the National Catholic Register wherein he, naturally, didn't like it quite as much as everyone else. Like many, including T. Martin, he criticizes the similarity in structure between The Force Awakens and A New Hope. I understand this criticism, but honestly, I'm starting to dismiss it the more and more I hear it. Much like the Bible, I find one of the reasons Star Wars works is exactly because it tells the same fundamental story over and over again with each new generation facing the choice to choose the light side or the dark.

Catholic Skywalker is a bit more enthusiastic, although he feels the new film is a little less operatic than its predecessors, while Fr. Dennis gives The Force Awakens his dependable 3 stars, being particularly impressed with John Williams' score, though more for its callbacks to the older films than for its new elements. I think both of these criticisms are valid, though I wonder if these things may be purposeful as The Force Awakens is so obviously a transitional movie and the new characters are just beginning to earn their operatic moments.

Speaking of the new characters, Jimmy Akin has devised a chart (of course he did) detailing how the new faces parallel and evoke the old ones.

I'm sure there will be more Catholic reviews in the days to come as more folks get out to see the film, but this should be plenty to read for now. A final word of warning, however, avoid the Catholic News Service review at all costs unless you want major plot points spoiled. Boo on them.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shoutout!

I have no problem with the way the characters develop in being given a choice between the Dark and the Light. The one thing I really have a problem with about the similarities is the major plot point that's already been rehashed before - except it's now bigger and with a different name. If the story hadn't gone down that route, I would have liked it more.

On the other hand, it gave me a chance to compare Star Wars to my favorite video game series :)

EegahInc said...

I can't fault anyone for criticizing that part of the film, it just really didn't bother me personally. I also wonder if it was a necessary first step to reassure all of those who felt alienated by the prequels that the series was returning to its roots. Maybe I'll have more thoughts on that after I see it a few more times :)

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely looking forward to a second viewing; I'm hoping it'll further win me over rather than further fall apart like Abrams's Star Trek movies.