Since The Force Awakens in the first installment in the Sequel Trilogy, I thought it would be fun to look at a few of the ways it improves upon the first installment of the Original Trilogy – namely, Star Wars: A New Hope. There are three big things that jump out about it:
1. The physicality of its main villain is better. Sure, Darth Vader is stern and scary, and one of the most iconic screen villains of all time. But he was also middle aged in A New Hope, and he wasn’t physically dynamic. (Limited somewhat by the costuming too, to be sure.)
Meanwhile, Kylo Ren in his mid-to-late twenties is so much more physical, unstable, and vicious. As heretical as it may be to say it, I think he was an upgrade by comparison with the Vader of A New Hope.
2. The younger actors get to do more in The Force Awakens. Luke chases down a droid, hatches a rescue mission plan, and blows up the Death Star. Not insignificant, but not a lot by volume, either. Meanwhile, Rey rescues BB-8; pounds down two beings trying to kidnap it; rescues Finn; flies the Falcon through the Graveyard of Giants and off-world; fixes the Falcon a couple of times; accidentally releases Rathtars that end up helping her, Han, Chewie, Finn, and BB-8 escape Kanjiklub and the Guavian Death Gang; saves Finn from a Rathtar; battles Kylo Ren twice, beating him soundly once; repels a mind-reading by Kylo Ren and turns it back around on him; and becomes the new pilot of the Falcon after Han dies. And that’s not even everything she does!
3. The pacing is faster/better. Larry Kasdan likes to say that The Force Awakens story “moves like a son-of-a-b****,” and he’s not wrong. A lot of action gets packed into the movie – way more than in A New Hope by comparison. Not that A New Hope is boring by any stretch. But there are many more quiet stretches in A New Hope than in The Force Awakens.
How about you? What are some of your big-picture reasons why TFA improves upon ANH? Have your say in the comments!
Trivia Time!Test your knowledge of the Star Wars universe!
Yesterday’s answer: Seven
Today’s question: What’s the name of the outpost where Rey exchanges scavenged parts for rations?