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Alethea & Athena
That movie everyone's talking about 
7th-Jan-2016 04:30 pm
hercthinking
I don't know if I ever mentioned this before (I feel like I must have, and yet I don't remember it), but back when we were in high school, we would be doing our math homework and it would all be going just fine until our brains decided not to work on math anymore. Usually this kind of thing makes me go, "But aren't you your brain?" but I guess it's like the math processing part of the brain that just decided to close up shop for the day. The homework would not be done, and nor would it ever be, because our brains had reached their math-processing quotas for the day and that was that.

That kind of thing has been happening with work sometimes lately, and today is one of those days. Although, thinking about it, it's possible that our brains were like, "Wait, you still wanted to work today? Sorry, I thought we were done. ...And we're still done, because I say so." ...Actually, I think we could get more work done today if we really pushed it, but anyway, we threw everything off by taking a break in the middle of the day to do chores, and maybe that's what did it. But we needed to get some cleaning done because we're supposed to be having the missionaries over for dinner. On the other hand, that's supposed to happen in about an hour and so far neither pair of missionaries has contacted us to confirm. If they think this is supposed to be happening a week from today, they're going to be disappointed next week. Either way, we're having pizza for dinner.

In other news, we read a pretty neat interview with John Williams today, and it reminded me that I did want to talk about The Force Awakens in more detail. Let's see what I remember! I remember going to the movie thinking that it was going to be a lot like a copy of A New Hope. I'm not even sure why I thought that, because we hadn't been reading any articles about the movie, but I think there might have been a blurb about an article that talked about George Lucas being sad that it's pretty much the same thing all over, and maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered that Star Trek Into Darkness was basically The Wrath of Khan.

The other thing I assumed about the movie was that Kylo Ren was going to kill Han Solo. Athena already knew that Solo died because one of her CTRs spoiled it for her. She admits she may have brought it on herself, because the kid had brought a Star Wars comic to class, and, trying to be a good teacher and relate to the kids, she asked him about it. So he told her that he saw the new movie and Han Solo died. Thanks a lot, kid. (Athena: At which point the other boy said, "Yeah, Han Solo dies!" and I thought, "Both of you, shut up!" And then I was like, "Guess that's how they got Ford to do it.")

Athena was really good at not spoiling it for me, but when the movie came up in conversation, other people would talk about things people could say that would be spoilers, and say, "So-and-so dies!" Even that didn't really give anything away until someone posted some Star Wars joke about Kylo Ren trying to get a job, and it used Solo as part of the punchline. That's how I knew something was up with those two, and that's when we decided it was time to see the movie before anything else got spoiled. Little did I know that there wasn't much else to spoil.

So we went to the movie, and the opening crawl (is that what they call it?) went up, and I read it and thought, "Oh my gosh, it is a copy of A New Hope." And then they had a shot of a Star Destroyer, which had Athena wondering if they just took the storyboard for A New Hope and replaced all the original characters with new characters. Of course the movie isn't exactly a copy of A New Hope, but that first scene sure felt a heck of a lot like the opening scene from A New Hope, only soooooo muuuuch loooooonger. I don't know what it was about The Force Awakens, but everything felt like it was taking a really long time, which is fine when I'm interested in what's happening, but not so fine when I'm not interested in what's happening.

Anyway, since they were pretty much just retelling the first Star Wars movie, we determined that Rey was Luke, Finn was Han...hmm, I don't know who Poe would be. Chewie? Maybe Uncle Owen, since he died at the beginning. But the point is, Han showed up, and I was like, "And he'll be the Obi-Wan Kenobi." And right as I said that to Athena, the background music started playing the Force theme. Music can be so accommodating sometimes. The other important thing I wanted to mention about the music is that it kept playing the Luke and Leia theme (or a bit of it) when Rey was saying stuff, so whatever theories are going around about her parents, we agree with the one that says she's either Luke or Leia's daughter. We can just see the end of Episode VIII, with Kylo Ren dramatically stating, "I am your brother," and Rey screaming, "Nooooooo!" He'll have cut off her foot or something. (Also, it did not escape our attention that Maz Kanata asked Han who the girl was and then they cut away, never to return to that conversation again. Han seemed very protective of her, to the point where he has to know something. Daughter, niece. It works either way.)

Then there was The Spoiler Scene. It took like a million years. I don't know, maybe it's just because I failed to connect emotionally to the characters, but I really just wanted them to get it over with or something. It was visually stunning, I guess. But Rey was right there, with her super awesome amazing hyper ultra to the max Force powers; couldn't she have done something? Since it did take about a zillion years of Han and Ren gazing into each other's eyes before he did the deed. But that would have messed up the narrative, and I think ultimately that was our problem with the movie: everything was sacrificed to the Narrative.

I mean, I like a good narrative as much as the next guy, but the problem is Rey and Finn had little to no personality. We just read an article about how Finn is super awesome and it made me think that, "Oh hey, now that you mention it, I guess he does have a little bit of a personality," but I feel like I hardly know anything about the characters, because they had to keep reacting to whatever the Narrative was throwing at them, and they didn't really do it in very individual ways. Every time they were about to have a conversation that might reveal some kind of character development, the First Order would appear and start blowing things up. The only character who seemed to have any development at all (other than Han Solo, of course, but he got most of his from a trilogy earlier on) was Kylo Ren, and I'm kind of tired of villains' stories these days.

So basically I felt like we spent two hours watching two very bland people react to the Narrative, which, as previously mentioned, was kind of a tweaked copy of the narrative to A New Hope. I guess there was a cute little droid in there...somewhere. I feel like he had about as much screentime as Poe (who was also a promising character as far as being interesting, but once again, not in it very much).


Today I'm thankful for getting enough work done today that it's okay to save the rest for tomorrow, amazing John Williams music, getting our new jeans in the mail, getting our chores done, and those new jeans fitting.
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