Male and Female
Click here to read my review of the original 1977 Star Wars.
Click here to read my review of the spinoff Rogue One.
Oh, boy. I just don’t know what more to say about this achievement that hasn’t already been said by literally everyone else. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has already been hailed for restoring the franchise to its former glory, even though some still nitpick it for being too similar to A New Hope.
But you know what I say about that? I don’t care if it’s similar to the very first movie. In fact, it just makes it feel all the more like an old story told a new way for a modern millennial audience. The best part is that you don’t even need to be all into the franchise in order to love it: you can be male or female, young or old, Greek or Jew, yin or yang, and you’ll laugh and cry your way to the end.
The opening crawl is now as epic as ever before, not rambling on with political mumbo jumbo like the prequels did. Then it turns as intense as you’d expect when an army of technologically updated Stormtroopers from the First Order assault a base on the helpless desert planet Jakku, where a pilot from the Resistance is said to contain a map that leads to Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi Knights.
The adorable little ball droid, BB-8, is left to keep the map safe from harm as it’s transported to the Resistance base. While he’s more of a comic-relief plot device than an actual character with fears and opinions, BB-8 adds the perfect dose of personality to make The Force Awakens the funniest of all the Star Wars features, and that’s based on cockiness, not a Gungan’s slapstick fart jokes.
Now on to the rest of Jakku, we are introduced to this new planet through the female scavenger Rey, who hunts through the skeleton of a fallen Star Destroyer in search for items worth trading. Her entire four minute introduction is done without any dialogue, relying on the delicate John Williams score and views of fallen empire battle stations to establish her place in the world.
Then at the heart of this barren junkyard of a planet lies a marketplace that feels like an interdimensional Morocco. While we may be too familiar already with the whole “desert planet” idea, it’s easy to see why the filmmakers are so drawn to it: the desolate landscapes add all sorts of narrative opportunities on the big screen that makes you feel like you’re there in the unkind environment.
One of Rey’s relationships is with the escaped Stormtrooper seeking redemption from life with the First Order. He is named FN2187, until named “Finn” by his new friend from the Resistance. Together they are playful and deep and casual, just like best friends of the opposite sex who mutually agreed on the friend-zone. That’s not to say though that there’s a possibility of a romance between the two in future movies…
Then there’s Han Solo. Yes, you heard right: Han Solo is a part of Rey’s journey against the First Order. But let me tell you, the father-like-daughter bond that they share is the heart and drive of this dark story. Who knows? Maybe future movies will reveal Han to be Rey’s father! They sure seem to be setting that up.
Even though it’s been a year since this film hit theaters, I still can’t get over how awesome it all looks! It’s not afraid to get on-the-nose political with its Nazi imagery, and keeps to expressing old cultural practices as the republic of this galaxy meets its demise (Midi-Chlorians not included).
Then there’s the First Order’s ultimate weapon, Starkiller Base, which is literally a much bigger third Death Star, but this time is more like a winter-forest planet than a space station. The different locations perfectly set the tone between the sand and snow and the green planet of Takodana, where the Resistance keeps their base, along with a nearby gypsy-like pirate whose castle is bustling with patrons much like in the Mos Eisley cantina. If you can just ignore a couple of weak performances and bad foreign accents, the grimy nature of the originals is as alive as ever in every part of the galaxy you’ll see here.
So George, thank you for selling your work into the hands of your fans.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will now live on in history as evidence that the fans of a franchise know how to respect their material and reinterpret it for everyone’s benefit. And best of all, this movie does not mean the end—for we now have Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, and a Han Solo spinoff to look forward to. May the force be with us all!
The hype for this movie’s release is still fresh in our minds: People were making detailed analyses of each individual trailer, there was both praise and criticism before it was even released, showings were already sold out only a couple of months before opening night, and countless news stories were covering the premiere, especially at the Chinese Theater. While the hype for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is not nearly as intense, fans of the franchise will always be praising the movies like a god (aside from the prequels that is). It’s just how a person with autism could get excited about a favorite movie or TV show.
We know how anybody would count down to the days toward the Super Bowl or the Presidential Election or the last day of school, well imagine one with autism doing that, except counting down by the hour the release of a new episode to his favorite TV show. In other words, it’s not just annual things he’s prepared for, but anything related to his personal obsession.
Or even if it is an annual thing, such as a holiday or movie premiere, he’ll be doing things to prepare for it months, or even a whole year before it takes place. I know, I’ve done the same thing.
On January 1st of this year, I set up a word document titled, “Oscar Predictions 2017,” with a table for each of the 24 competitive categories. Then for every film that came out, I would put it in for whatever categories I think it would have a chance at getting nominated for. Even if it’s rare for a film released early in the year to get Oscar nominations, it’s still happened before. I wanted to make sure I was always up to date on the films coming out, and what of its technical aspects are above extraordinary. This pattern continued every week as new films were coming out, and I was updating my list for each category as to what I think would get nominated. It’s now continued on to this day, and it’s made its way onto my blog, where I constantly update my list of predictions. I plan on continuing this for 2018.
The anticipation is high for the key interests of one with autism, and it can hinder their ability to focus on other things outside of that interest.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #17: Only Focus on One Single Subject.
Although I was too young to remember, my parents told me of how hopelessly obsessed I was with the show Blue’s Clues, to the point where you could never have a conversation with me without the subject of Blue’s Clues coming up.
But this sort of obsession could also work to the advantage of the parents, especially when it’s a mode of interest that they have as well.
Six-Word Lessons for Dads with Autistic Kids, Lesson #72: What TV Shows Does He Watch?
Six-Word Lessons for Dads with Autistic Kids, Lesson #73: What Movies Are Interesting To Him?
The Oscars is also something my mom loves to watch and talk about with me, so that has been a good method of bonding between us. As for my dad, we both love eating out, so that has helped in that department. My sister also has the same “Disney renaissance” generation as me, so that has been a great common ground for us to meet. While they may never get obsessed about it by planning a year in advance for events like I do, having that mutual understanding and familiarity is excellent grounds for discussion and relating the talks to other more important things, such as world issues and how to plan for a family’s social gathering.
- Don’t feel the need to force an interest upon yourself so that you understand the one thing your child will not stop talking about. Let him have his own interest, while you worry about finding other things that the two of you naturally have in common. It could be anything from food to a favorite place to go hike.
- Don’t force your own interests upon your autistic child. It only creates distress for the both of you, and you would then be making your child miserable in pursuing something he/she is neither good at nor passionate about.
- Express a genuine interest in hearing about your autistic child’s obsession. I guarantee he or she will want to talk all about it with you, and would love for nothing more than your interest. That is the very core of relationship building: listening.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see reviewed, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Intuition Writer. "POWER" SHOULD LIVE LIVE WITH BLURAY. Digital image. Haberin Basi. 20 Feb 2016. Web. <http://www.haberinbasi.com/guc-bluray-ile-daha-bir-canli-uyanacak/>.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Web. <http://www.starwars.com/the-force-awakens/>.