Even though Rey was the lead in The Force Awakens, inside reports suggest that the prevailing opinion was that kids (specifically boys) wouldn’t be interested. Also, apparently girls don’t play with action figures or some stupid shit like that.
They decided that what they really needed was a whole lot of Kylo Ren stuff.
Now don’t get me wrong – Kylo Ren is a great character. I love his conflicted nature and his violent mood swings. He is one of the most dangerous villains I think the Star Wars universe has ever created.
Yes, including Darth Vader.
But the heart of the film is Rey. If you don’t have confidence that kids are going to identify with her and want toys that represent her, why the fuck are you making merchandise for the film?
I mean, if your expectation of the hero is that low, your expectation of the rest of the film has to be lower, doesn’t it?
What’s embarrassing is this conversation has been going on for years. The public has been saying “we want toys featuring the women in these movies” and every time a new film comes out, the response seems to be “well, we didn’t know!”
When in realty, they just didn’t care.
I don’t usually experience nerd excitement over films any more. I remember going to The Phantom Menace thinking I was getting new Star Wars for the first time in forever and realizing that Star Wars doesn’t have to be awesome. It can be bland and nonsensical.
I remember watching The Matrix a few dozen times and thinking whatever the Wachoskis had planned for that universe, there was no way they could mess it up. I remember being dead certain that Peter Jackson could make a trilogy about The Hobbit that was going to be just as awesome as The Lord of the Rings.
So entering the theater to see The Force Awakens, I was not vibrating with excitement. I was guardedly optimistic.
And while The Force Awakens may not have ensured I will be excited about every nerd title that comes to theaters from now on, I can honestly say it made me excited about Star Wars again. For the first time since The Empire Strikes Back, the next film can’t come soon enough.
I realize the internet does not require my take on the film. I’m writing it anyway.
And I’m going to focus on one thing: what I loved about the film. The film has faults. They aren’t huge and they don’t border on the gaffes that filled the prequels or even Return of the Jedi. But they are there. And if you want to focus on them, you go right ahead. You have as much right to dislike the film as I do to like it.
I don’t like it, though. I love it. And here’s why.