There has been a shift in the Force, caused by the arrival of the latest Star Wars installment by JJ Abrams. The Force has truly awoken as the famous franchise continues for a new generation. I've always been a fan of JJ Abrams since Cloverfield and, through watching Lost, Fringe, Super 8, and the Star Trek remakes, it's clear that a philosophical thread has been strung between his work.
Upon re-watching The Force Awakens, I conjured many questions, observations and insight that I could not grasp in the initial viewing- for it brought with it much excitement and wonder. Ahead lies SPOILERS:
In the very beginning scene, who give Pough the piece of the map to Luke? Who is this "old ally?" Who made BB-8, who seems like a round and orange version of R2D2 and who also seems to know C3PO when they meet? Pough mentions BB-8 is one of a kind. A second viewing also allows the viewer to understand those characters who don't speak English, on an emotional level. To me, BB-8 was the less talkative verison of Donkey (from Dreamwork's Shrek); as he rolls off with Rey its as if one can hear hi say "...and in the morning, I'm making waffles." Not only can he keep up with the action, BB-8 has excellent vision, detecting danger from miles away and recognizing details in a crowded place.
Hidden among a hectic scene lies a major use of foreshadowing. Pough's shot killed FN-2187's best friend which is the very shot that turns his whole world on its head. After this moment of realization that life is short (and expendable) as a stormtrooper of the First Order, FN-2187 is humbled, blessed with insight and humility. He begins to understand what it means to fight someone else's battles. There's a duality to every shot fired, every helmet relinquished, every lightsaber wielded. The rebel who killed his best friend, sparking
this identity shift, aptly names him Finn- a real human name instead of a serial number for a robot. This tears out the expendable piece; Finn becomes necessary for everything, for the rescue of Pough, to take BB-8 where he belongs and to destroy Starkiller Base. Just as the expendable piece of him is removed, Finn goes into the desert, methodically removing his old armor, facing his identity shift full-force. When faced with the question of who he is now, he's adopted his new place as a member of the rebellion and explains to Rey, proudly, that "...This is what we look like."
As long as Rey waited for her family, I will patiently wait for a parody of Star Wars that shows the main characters reaction to events in the Saga in a talking heads manner (similar to the Office and Parks and Rec) When Luke finds out he's been kissed by his sister or when Kylo Ren hears what type of ship Finn, Rey, and BB-8 escaped on, it would cut to their reactions and completely show their inner thoughts that aren't apparent on film. Of course Kylo Ren knows the model of his dad's legendary ship. I need GIFs of Kylo Ren's tantrums, especially with the Storm Troopers' reaction to the destruction. Other GIFs to compile would be the lightspeed effects, they look so similar to Dr. Who's time travel effects. Harrison Ford really got to flaunt his suave during points of contention throughout the film. Han looked a lot like Keith Richards or a rockstar of some sort when he strikes a pose and declares he'll "Talk [his] way out of it."
The last scene begs the question - when was the last time Rey was hugged by a member of her family? As Leia embraces her- a sense of belonging seems to come over Rey. Just like Finn, she's found her place in the universe even if the future is uncertain. I have my theories of who she might be related to, what her dream sequence means but theories themselves become spoilers in a way.
What I love about JJ Abrams' films is that he's as involved in the mystery of this new world as we are, not just a creator or master of it but also a participant. Abrams brings us face to face with identity change and urges us to look inward. "Close your eyes, the Force is everywhere, all the light between us. Can you feel it?" My hope is that with the sheer number of people who see this film will be awoken and inspired to fight for the end of tyranny- work together and collaborate for the greater good.