Before I start the review part of this review, I want to put a disclaimer here that you should probably watch the movie before reading it anyway. I’m pretty sure most of you don’t read reviews to actually get a movie recommendation. Particularly with this movie, you’re probably here to see if I validate your own opinion or not, and if I don’t you’re going to spit obscenities at me until I go away.
Instead, I’m going to tell you guys a little story. This story has nothing to do with Star Wars.
This is a story about a boy named Frederick J. Newhope. From early years, Frederick was a talented boy. For his high school science fair, he constructed a little orange solar-powered go-kart in his basement, all by himself. At the science fair, admissions folks from Harvard noticed his project, and got to talking with him. Within the year, Frederick was admitted to Harvard with a full-ride scholarship.
This success followed Frederick through college. After graduating with honors, he built a successful company that eventually grew into a corporate empire. Frederick’s company eventually caught the eye of DisTech, a huge tech conglomerate, and they bought him up.
Now it was around this time that Frederick J. Newhope went and got married. Pretty soon, he had a son, Johnny C. Forceawakens. Johnny was an even more talented kid than Frederick was; a veritable prodigy. But what Johnny wanted more than anything else was to impress his dad. His dad, who was always working, and never had time to play catch with him or take him fishing like all the other kids’ dads.
So for young Johnny C. Forceawakens’s science fair, he decides he’s going to do something incredible. He builds a damn rocket in his basement. His plan is to shoot this thing up into the atmosphere and then drop a little toy soldier with a camera on it back down, and it’s gonna be awesome.
One night Frederick J. Newhope comes downstairs to grab a beer out of the downstairs fridge (because white people always have two fridges, for some reason) and he sees his son working on this science project. And as young Johnny asks “what do you think, Dad?” Frederick suddenly flashes back to his high school science fair. He remembers the little orange solar car fondly and, with absolutely no consideration for his poor boy, says “Could use more orange.”
Now this comment strikes young Johnny C. Forceawakens as pretty strange. He painted the rocket red and the replica shuttle white, and he thinks that the strong visual contrast between the two makes the whole thing pop really well and orange would really ruin the aesthetic draw. But more than anything else in the world, Johnny C. Forceawakens wants his father to be happy. So he spends that night painting the space shuttle orange. And the next day, at the science fair, the Harvard admissions folks watch the demonstration and are pretty impressed, but they go home and say to each other “What’s with the wacky paint job on the space shuttle?”
Guys, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This story actually has everything to do with Star Wars.
This film is everything that A New Hope wanted to be. It does everything A New Hope did, and, at the risk of being shat on by nerds everywhere, it does it all better. But if I wanted to watch A New Hope I would have watched A New Hope.
Whatever you take away from this review, don’t let it be that The Force Awakens is bad, because it’s not. In fact, it’s really good. It’s the best movie I’ve watched since The Gift. But more than that, it’s a brilliant movie painted over with a coat of nostalgia paint. And it looks pretty good and all, but you can’t really appreciate the fine details because nostalgia is a day-glo color.
This movie is worth watching for its original ideas, but as you go in to watch it a second time, I want you to put aside all the nostalgia and look at it for what it is. It’s great! Really! That’s why this review is subtitled “A Christmas Miracle.” For the first time ever, there’s a movie that NCB likes!
But this movie is not good because it tells the exact same fucking story as A New Hope and laughs at its own original trilogy references and jokes. It’s good for its original ideas, which are executed brilliantly. Heck, I watch this and I get the distinct feeling that all the nostalgia paint was thrown on there by DisTech, and what J.J. really wanted to make was the red-and-white space shuttle. I’m really excited for the next one, in fact, because after the science fair, when Johnny C. Forceawakens had to settle for Yale, he flipped off his old man, egged his house, and jumped on a plane to England to go to art school instead. Star Wars gets a recommendation.
P.S.: This movie isn’t racist towards white people. It’s sexist towards men. Duh.
P.P.S.: I get that most you will understand this but I want to preemptively clarify that that P.S. was sarcastic.