Saturday, January 23, 2016

3 ACTUAL Problems With Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Just to make something very clear first, SPOILER WARNINGS. So, there, I said it. Stop reading if you haven't seen The Force Awakens.

I've gone on record through social media of being very disappointed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I strongly feel that the film is a sorry rip-off of Episode IV: A New Hope and does a powerful disservice to its original characters by putting them through near identical circumstances that Luke, Leia, Han, Obi-Wan and the Rebel Alliance went through previously. People have said "history repeats," "Star Wars is like poetry and it rhymes," but to me those are all just statements that are trying to excuse lazy, recycled writing.

Regardless of my quibbles, there are other critics and commenters that have been nitpicking the movie to death, just so they can seemingly tear it apart for the sake of being "hip" or just wanting to go against the grain. People have criticized Rey's quick mastery of the force, how Maz Kanata had Luke's lightsaber, and a great number of other things. A lot of these are matters that are either answered within the movie itself, or with the above examples, are things that may be potentially answered in future films. Personally, I think stories should be more self-contained and avoid leaving things hanging, but that's personal preference and we'll just have to see how things develop as the next two films come out.

Putting the issues with the recycled plot elements aside, there are some legitimate story and character issues I have The Force Awakens that I'm surprised more people haven't brought up. Now, if you can answer some of these questions or provide some legitimate theories as to why the events happened they way they have, I'd greatly appreciate the input. So here are three pf my seemingly legitimate issues with the film that affect its plot and characters.

1) Where Did Starkiller Base Get The Power For Its Second Shot?

The New Order's grand weapon is a planet with a super laser built into it that not only can fire across light years, but can do so with enough force to destroy an entire system worth of planets in one, fell swoop. Where does it get the power to launch something so powerful? Well, it drains the power of the sun that it orbits. That's all well and good, but after it drains a star, what happens then? First of all, that would effectively kill two systems, the one they were firing at, and the one they're in. So is the Starkiller base able to move? If so, how do you move an entire planet through space with engines, let alone hyperspace?  Where do you get the power for that? How does everything actually stay intact on the planet without getting ripped apart by the increase in velocity? What about the gravitational forces the bass exudes on the solar system it's in; you can't just insert a planet sized celestial object into a system without it heavily affecting the gravitational balance. The Death Star may have been large, but it was still small enough to not mess with the gravitational pull of other planets and moons. Not to mention unlike the Starkiller Base, the Death Star was built as a giant ship; it was designed and built to move via engines. Planets are not. If you're a writer, you can't just create large weapons without justifying their powers and defining their limitations. This was not done at all with the Starkiller Base, Normally I'd be willing to let a lot of these things slide, but when they're tied to a major plot device, details are a necessary thing.

2) What Made Finn Return To The Resistance?

So Finn is a stormtrooper in the New Order that has a crisis of conscience and flees. Even when the Resistance and Rey want him to join, he still decides to go his own way and leaves. After the Starkiller Base fires its super weapon and annihilates the Republic, Finn panics again and decides to return to the Resistance. Once back with them he reveals that he knows the weaknesses of Starkiller Base because he used to work on it as a custodian. So, he fully knows what the base is capable of, he knows how vicious The First Order is firsthand, so why did them firing off the weapon make him suddenly become willing to fight against them? Literally nothing had happened with them that he wasn't already aware they were capable of. By the definition of his character at that time, he should've just kept running.

3) Why Did Captain Phasma Lower The Shields

Once Han and Finn are about to enter Starkiller Base to lower the shields, Finn reveals he actually has no idea HOW to lower the shields. Ultimately they end up finding and holding hostage, one of the stormtrooper leaders, Captain Phasma. Phasma was introduced to us much earlier in the film as a tough as nails, military captain. This is one of the reasons Finn specifically wanted to find her was to pay her back for her previous actions. Somehow they convince her to lower the shields to the base. Let's think of this from Phasma's position though. She's a trained soldier who has shown utmost devotion to her cause; why would she lower the shields to the base and put everything she's worked for at risk? She's smart enough to know that they can't lower the shields by themselves, so if they kill her, they lose their shot at doing so. Not to mention, if they kill her, she's still dying for her cause just as she's put her life on the line time and time again in battle. If she lowers the shields, it puts everything at risk; if she doesn't it puts her life at risk in exchange for the greater cause. Which of these actions is more in her character? Based on everything we've seen, there's no reason to think she would care more about her life than the New Order.

With that, I leave the floor open for respectful debate and discussion. If you have a different perspective on these situations then I would greatly appreciate hearing them. Perhaps you have some insight that that would enlighten me or maybe I completely missed something that you caught. Let me know in the comments and thanks in advance for taking the time to read and respond.

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