Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3/3
Shukla Score: 3/3
Russo Score: 0/3 (?)
There was no LGBTQ representation in this movie, although I put the question mark after because there is a whole lot we don’t know about the new characters so there is at least potential for representation in a future installment (this film is still a zero). There are at least two named people of color and they have at least one scene where they discuss not-race. There are at least two named women and they have at least one scene where they discuss not-men. It would take five or more amorous kittens to pull me away from this movie on future viewings. Tonight, to get my attention, it would have taken enough kittens to pile themselves up to where I couldn’t see. And then I only would mind them for a moment while I climbed over them. I’m saying I was into the movie, okay?
Highlights: Well this is spoiler free so I can’t say much. Kylo Ren is the perfect 2015ish Star Wars villain, I’ll say that. Vague highlights: plenty of action, the movie continues both the personal and political saga of Star Wars, and holy shit the prequel trauma is healed: Star Wars movies don’t suck again. Is it good? I think so. Is it great? Eh, I don’t know. I do know that The Force Awakens is solidly, unquestionably on the entertaining and enjoyable side of things and at some level that is all we needed. Also seriously compare those diversity scores to episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 – what a huge, welcome improvement. (Even the Lego sets are above averagely diverse!) Really, really great closing shot. Maybe the best yet.
Low points: I think Supreme Leader Snoke is fucking lame. Maybe he will get better later? Also I appreciate the making people noticeably evil, but the First Order Nazi-ness is almost like an homage and got a bit creepy (most all of that you can see in the trailers, so don’t freak). There are two other issues with the film that I can’t get into while staying spoiler-free, so I’ll save those for another time.
Dad edit: If you kid is under ten and/or scares easily, I would recommend seeing the movie first yourself and then making a gameplan before bringing said kid. The first big scene, and another scene a bit later on, are the only real hazards I think – but they definitely a bit hazardous. With those in mind, I recommend taking your kids to see this movie. I think these are some of the best portrayals of humans in a good vs. evil situation that I have seen in a long time. There is peril, and danger, and evil – but also hope, and virtue, and love. It isn’t some dystopian nightmare landscape, hooray! Trade in your Hunger Games tickets and take the kids to see The Force Awakens instead.