Monday, December 28, 2015

The Force Awakens - Part 2 (Spoiler Alert)

Subtitle: Han is Dead.
Some people seem a bit upset that a very noticeable “formula” is being used by JJ Abram in this installment of the Star Wars, going so far as to complain it’s a complete copy of A New Hope with new characters.  I am as Star Wars nerd as they come and have the closet full of unopened, collectible toys to prove it.  BUT my guess is these people are the same ones that would complain if JJ didn’t properly honor the original series by diverting away from it too much.  So I guess you can’t please everybody!

And yes, Han dying is part of the formula.  Someone important dies in the first installment of the other two trilogies as well.  Qui-Gon is bested by Darth Maul and Obi-Wan by Darth Vader.  Makes sense to continue the formula by introducing our head villain and causing you to REALLY dislike them.  Until Kylo Ren took out Han, most of us were probably rooting for him to turn to the light and didn’t really have a beef with him.  Now we want a great deal of blood before he gets turned back…and I predict he will in part three (see above references to “the formula”).

That said, gut reaction to this was, “I hated it!” How, after 40 years of life can I say goodbye to one of my favorite characters?  I actually tried to do mental gymnastics to figure out a way he might have survived.  But even if he could survive being impaled by a light saber, calling it “but a flesh wound”, he then fell into a very deep crevasse that surely had a bottom to it.  It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s that sudden stop and who knows how many MPH he was travelling at that point.  Even THEN you want to believe he could be alive but…oh yeah…the planet EXPLODES.  Pretty sure Han is dead.

Once that sank in I factored in who plays Han and came up with a viable theory, although I will be the first to admit, possibly wrong.  Harrison Ford is a grumpy dude.  Its part of what endears us to him and why playing Han seems to come so naturally to him.  He doesn’t put up with much and I bet he really didn’t want to do Star Wars to begin with.  He is probably so jaded and tired of being asked questions about the character and not being able to move on, that JJ enticed him by saying something like, “listen…come back one more time for this pile of cash, give your old fans the jolly’s they are deeply desiring, and I promise to kill Han off in the first episode.”

It doesn’t truly help much in my grieving over one of the greatest cinematic characters to ever grace the screens but I have at least arrived at an understanding of the decision.

Put your thoughts and theories about Han in the comments!


Michael Paine said...

Han = good, fun, likeable character, but ultimately not a good dude...

Kinda did whatever was convenient, out smuggling again instead of leading the Resistance with the wife. Possibly abandoned daughter (see last post comment).

Ultimately at least he dies on screen as part of the main narrative instead of in a "convenient" accident off story... so the fans did get one last hurrah!

Monica said...

I'm bummed he died, but I had the same thought - he probably didn't want to do a whole slew of Star Wars movies again. I was a little disappointed at the "blow up the big gun" story line, but I absolutely loved all the characters they introduced. I thought they were fantastic.

I do see also how killing Han was necessary for the villain's storyline. Anakin needed to kill Obi Wan (his father figure) and couldn't. Luke faced his father and chose not to kill him, so for Kylo Ren to become more powerful than Vader he needed to kill his father.

Also - there's definitely a theme going on with whiney young men who need to find their place in the world and aren't satisfied with the hand they've been dealt. :)

Monica said...

I read this theory this morning…interesting…

Jim said...

Michael, I like your thoughts. I might not go as far as calling Han "not a good dude" but I will admit he is self serving and often the reluctant hero. That again, just endears me to him instead of the opposite. I think answers to questions like...

Why did he split from Leia? Why does his son hate him? Did he try to keep the family together?

...would either help me to convict or forgive Han of any actual misdeeds. Since I don't have that information (yet)I still lean on my former opinion of the character, which are quite high.

Monica, I also saw that story a day or two ago. I think the theory is a stretch, especially the part about Kylo trying to go undercover as a Sith. The force makes fooling others that have it VERY difficult. I think the only reason Kylo struggles with a Light VS Dark issue is because he is such a new Sith and he was originally good before he was turned.