Just got back from my second viewing, and I have to say I’ve moved from the haters’ camp into the cheerleaders’ camp, though I understand where both sides are coming from. The first time I saw the film I wanted to unsee it. Now I can’t wait to see it again!
Things I appreciated more (or even more):
–Has anyone else noticed we meet all three main characters masked? A nifty touch.
–Kylo Ren…genuinely scary
–Rey’s “Classified? Me, too! Big secret” line about her origins
–Poe’s flirty “Suits you”
–Yoda’s voiceover in Rey’s force vision…So serene in ESB and now so creepy
–Han and Leia’s reunion
–Leia’s private moment of grief into “Tell me!” (or maybe “Show me!”?)
Dealbreakers the first time that I learned to look past:
I was really turned off on opening night by Han getting skewered and dumped down a shaft (and then apparently blown to bits?). Felt cruel and brutal, like something out of Game of Thrones. But it did seem more heroic and meaningful this time. They almost escape after rescuing Rey, and Han decides to go back in and set the charges to save the mission. Plus Ford has plenty of closeup moments that indicate he knows confronting Ren could be dangerous, but that it’s something he can no longer run away from.
I also had a hard time swallowing the backstory the first time around–Luke’s failure as a mentor and subsequent disappearance, Han and Leia’s failure as parents and as a couple. These are huge claims to be making about our favorite heroes, and we’re fed so little information about how it all went down. Now that I knew this movie wouldn’t be supplying much by way of answers, only tantalizing hints, I wasn’t as frustrated and just went with it. If this is how the story goes post-ROTJ, it’s handled quite well. Hopefully we’ll get some satisfying answers in Ep. VIII.
Still bothered by:
Every time Han or Leia says the word “Snoke,” it sounds ridiculous and takes me out of the movie.