Ok – after having some time to digest the new SW film, I have to say that overall it was a decent flick, but it could have been a great film, with some small modifications. This review (although more critical than my own take) pretty well details all the flaws I saw in the film.
So here’s the principal flaws I saw, and my proposed solutions:
Problem: Finn’s transition to the light is meaningless because he was never a baddie. Seriously, what did he ever do that was evil? Clean a toilet poorly?
Solution: Baby murderin’. Have him slaughter like a dozen little kids. Then he would have something on his conscience that might create a meaningful transition.
Problem: Rey’s perfection. She literally does nothing wrong or poorly. There is no way she should be able to Jedi Mind Trick someone, or be able to go up against Emo Ren in a lightsaber battle.
Solution: Give her some flaws. How bout a space heroin addiction? Maybe she had to occasionally make ends meet by um.. making ends meet. She needs something to overcome on her path to becoming a Jedi. Luke had his whininess and anger management issues. She just looks like a prodigy who will do no wrong. How about instead of using a Jedi Mind trick, have Emo Ren be obsessed with her, and she uses her feminine wiles to escape? Why not give her a serious injury in the lightsaber battle with Ren?
Problem: Emo Ren. This dude just isn’t a baddie.
Solution: Make him badass. If he really wanted to emulate Vader, I would think he would overdo everything as opposed to being timid. He would want to constantly prove he was as bad ass as Vader was, and force choke people for looking at him sideways. He can still be conflicted so long as it is made clear his behavior is more about emulating his hero than stemming from his own anger.
Problem: Incoherent, Abramized plot.
Solution: Stick to the main plot, which was to find Luke. There’s no reason to throw in another Death Star destruction battle. And having R2 have the map all the time and just happening to wake up at the right moment? Lazy writing. You could have had a relentless pursuit by the First Order of Rey & co as they race to find Luke. Then have him actually reveal something about why he left. EG maybe he’s discovered some horrible dark secret behind the force or some shit.
Overall, I’m hopeful for the next film. I pretty much got what I expected out of this film, which was a paint by numbers, play it safe, let’s make our money back flick. Now, I believe they will let someone run in a more creative direction, and that could end up being another Empire.