by John Patrick Green
[Discussing the meanings and symbology of Star Wars The Force Awakens has become a national passtime, and i the interests of leaving nofacet of this cultural landmark unexamined, our resident Stawr Wars expoert John Patrick Green has put forth a radical new theory, which you can read below.]
So the movie basically begins with a planet that some bad guys are going to attack. The bad guys are after this planet, or something, or someone on the planet because it’s important to their larger scheme, which we really don’t ever figure out. It’s kind of unclear how these bad guys can get away with attacking planets like this when there’s a government that should stop this sort of thing.
Some of our heroes end up on a big enemy ship but sneak into smaller enemy ships to get down to the planet.
A girl is on the planet, and bad guys are going to get her, but they steal a spaceship to escape the planet, but not without almost getting shot down by the bad guys.
Oh and there’s a cute little droid in the film. There’s a bunch of character introductions on the ship, a little fan service-y, because everyone cheers when that fan-fave character shows up. Was it R2-D2 or Han Solo?
At some point the heroes almost get eaten by a number of giant monsters. Deep under water, or in some spaceship hallways, who can even tell. Either way, the scene contributed nothing to the narrative and could easily be cut from the film without affecting the plot.
Eventually there’s something wrong with the ship they’re currently on, so they have to go to another planet—a dessert planet? or a lush green planet? They were on one, then went to the other, whichever way it was—and see lots of strange creatures. Like Jabba the Hutt-type stuff. Heck, maybe Jabba was even there? They need to find a new ship or repair parts so they can get off this planet. Some old person has suspicions about one of our protagonists and tells them a bunch of mumbo jumbo about the Force. Clearly our unassuming Force-sensitive protagonist is going to play a much bigger part in the grand scheme of things, but we won’t really know to what extent until a later movie.
Then there’s a big action scene on the planet surface. Some spaceships dogfight, or race, or something. And the bad guy in black robes with a red lightsaber shows up and he’s after the girl! There’s a tease of a lightsaber fight, but not much. Everyone escapes, but I forget if the girl gets captured yet.
Oh, and earlier it’s established that protagonist from the desert planet is like super good at repairing things and flying things, despite basically growing up in indentured servitude. And we don’t know who at least one of their parents are.
Then there’s a bunch of political stuff and another fan favorite character enters the picture. Yoda? Princess Leia? The bad guys are going to take over a planet or blow something up, but the big politicians won’t doing anything about it, so the tiny amount of good guys have to do it on their own. Once or twice we see the bad guy in black robes talk to his evil boss, who’s true identity we don’t really know.
So they go to where the bad guys are, but they have to sneak onto the planet without getting caught. I forget if they zoom to the surface of the planet REALLY FAST so they don’t get noticed, or if they just fly there REALLY SLOW. I think both times it was like “fly under the radar.” I remember they arrive basically without a plan and figure out what they’re going to do once they got there. Before they left, though, the old guy was told by some authority figure to find out who the guy in black robes is, or like bring them back, whatever—doesn’t matter because they don’t accomplish either.
On the planet they have to sneak into where the bad guys are. They have to save the girl, or prevent her capture, something like that. She does at some point get captured, but she’s resourceful and was able to save herself without any help from the other main good guys. The bad guy in black robes shows up again. Bad guy kills the old guy who was like a father figure to one or more of the hero characters. But there is some cool lightsaber fighting between two or three people! Oh, and the really tall alien background character who’s been tagging along for a good portion of the film proves pretty useful, other than not saving the guy they have a life debt to.
There’s also a starship battle that’s trying to destroy a giant roundish spacecraft thing. Ultimately the day is saved when a lone pilot flies into it and blows it up from the inside.
Then there’s some rejoicing, a little mourning for the dead old guy, and some bits that one of the heroes should train to be a Jedi.
[Eagle-eyed viewers can spot John in the background of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s infamous Star Wars skit.” His GN Hippopotamister comes out in May from First Second.]
The Elite Beat Staff is a trained squad of ninja masters.