Welcome back to my series “Why I love Star Wars”. This is a series that was inspired by reading Ken Napzok’s Why We Love Star Wars: The Great Moments That Built A Galaxy Far, Far Away, a countdown of the top 100 moments from Star Wars that made him love it all, including canon stories from every medium. As I was reading this book, I found myself thinking of some of my own favourite moments and wanted to discuss them.
While there are certainly some films that I do not like as much as others, every movie has some wonderful moments that I would always say outweigh the bad, so for that reason I wouldn’t say that I hate any of the Star Wars films. With the way that too much Star Wars talk has gone down a dark hole in recent years, hopefully reminding ourselves of the great moments and focusing on the positives will help the fandom recover.
Why I Love Star Wars:
- A New Hope
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi
- The Phantom Menace
- Attack of the Clones
- Revenge of the Sith
- The Clone Wars
Unlike in the book, I will not put the moments in any specific order (I do things like that enough in my Top 10s!) as the order would probably change on every viewing. Today I will be looking at The Force Awakens
Beware: this will contain spoilers for the movie!
The Falcon’s reveal
Being chased by First Order TIEs, Rey, Finn and BB-8 race to find a starship to escape in. Finn suggests a ship off to the side that Rey rules out as it’s garbage, until the quadjumper they are aiming for gets blown up. Settling for “the garbage”, they make their way to the new ship, which a pan of the camera reveals to be none other than the Millennium Falcon. There are so many things to love about this reveal. As if the reveal itself wasn’t good enough, the quick tease of the Rebel Fanfare makes it clear that this isn’t just any old YT-1300, but the Falcon itself. What I really like as well is that this moment also leads to a quick moment in The Last Jedi, where Finn again has the ship he’s fleeing towards blown up during the fathier chase, resulting in an exasperated “Come on!” from Finn – he’s getting tired of having his getaway vehicle blown up!
Thumbs up for BB-8
While it may be a bit of a cheesy visual pun, I can’t help enjoy BB-8’s “thumbs up” to Finn on the Falcon. Agreeing to tell Rey the location of the Resistance base but keeping Finn’s secret that he is not part of the Resistance, Finn gives him a thumbs up by way of thanks, to which BB-8 uses his blowtorch to create an approximation of a thumbs up in return. Star Wars does a great job of making the hero droids characters in their own right, with personalities of their own, and I think that this is a great way to help humanize BB-8. Every time I try to decide if I prefer R2-D2 or BB-8, the memory of BB-8’s thumbs up gives him the advantage.
The great escape
Finn releases Poe as a way to escape the First Order as he needs a pilot. The pair take advantage of Finn’s stormtrooper armour to sneak onto a Special Forces TIE fighter, which they steal – causing considerable chaos and damage to the star destroyer’s hangar in the process – and use to escape, before turning back towards Jakku and getting hit by missiles from the star destroyer’s ventral canons. I love how much we manage to get across in these scenes while also creating a fun action sequence. From Finn having to tell himself to stay calm, then having to get used to being a gunner, you can get an idea of what he is like. Oscar Isaac and John Boyega have a great chemistry together and it really comes across in the scene as they celebrate taking out a number of the star destroyer’s defences together, while Poe giving Finn his name works much better here than the way Han gets the surname Solo. This scene just feels like Star Wars and is a great way to get us into the movie early on.
The Resistance arrives on Takodana
While I already enjoyed this scene, I watched it back recently and realised just how much I love it! Han, Chewie and Finn have been captured by First Order stormtroopers attacking Maz Kanata’s castle, but as they are being detained, a number of troopers run off to take defensive positions as they see something approaching across the lake, which Han identifies as the Resistance. As the “March of the Resistance” gets into its stride, we see a squadron of Resistance X-wings flying above the water, throwing up spray, before engaging both the TIEs and the stormtroopers on the ground, including one who blasts the troopers detaining our heroes, freeing them to fight back on the ground. As the battle on the ground begins again, we get a great moment where from the ground we follow Poe taking out more fighters and troopers than we have seen anyone else manage over a whole film in the space of just a few seconds, to which Finn exclaims “That’s one hell of a pilot!” I just can’t help but feel however, that as we didn’t know Poe had survived the crash on Jakku until this moment, it would have worked better to not reveal that he was the pilot until they arrive back at D’Qar and just hint at it with Finn’s line, which tied back to Kylo calling Poe the best pilot in the Resistance during his interrogation.
Rey gets the lightsaber
After Kylo takes down Finn, Luke’s old lightsaber is sticking out of a snowdrift. Kylo reaches out with the Force to pull it into his hand, but the hilt flies right past him and instead into the hand of a shocked Rey. I love this moment so much and the Force Theme plays perfectly in this moment as Rey and Kylo realise what she has just done and prepare to fight. I just wish that this had been the reveal that Rey was Force-sensitive and that the writers had found another way to free her from the First Order, as this moment would have been an incredible reveal within the movie.
What are your favourite moments from The Force Awakens?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…