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As many of you know, I didn’t go to the screenings or the premiere for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I wanted to see it with my better half and with the thousands of screaming fans who have been waiting as long as I have for this day. I’m going to keep this as spoiler free as possible for you and I’m not putting any information in the first few lines of this piece so it doesn’t show up on social media and accidentally tell you something you don’t want to see. If you’re ready to continue on, know that I’ll have to say a few things about the plot, but there will be no major reveals. Still with me? Let’s go and may the Force be with you.

Okay, here we go. I just left the theater and I am overwhelmed. I cannot begin to explain all the feelings I had. This week’s Legion of Leia podcast will let me do just that with spoilers, but honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been so completely satisfied with a film. Considering the insane amount of build up and the wild expectations I had, it’s almost miraculous that a film could live up.

Let me say this; Kathleen Kennedy kept her promise. There are women everywhere. Almost like real life! Imagine that! General Leia – I couldn’t contain tears, especially after one particular line of hers. You’ll know it when you hear it. Daisy Ridley is absolutely riveting. It’s hard to believe that she hasn’t done much before. John Boyega may have charmed the pants off you in interviews, but it’s nothing compared to not only his performance, but Finn’s relationships with every single character in this film. Kylo Ren is not only terrifying, but is the absolutely perfect successor to Darth Vader.

One other thing I was afraid of was that we weren’t going to get a self-contained story and that we were going to be left hanging. Oh, there is a gate left wide open for Episode VIII, but this is a complete tale.

I wish I could say more, but I truly don’t want to spoil this for you. When you’ve seen it, listen to our podcast and please do let me know what you thought. I only had one issue and honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it’s small. You did it, J.J. Abrams.

Legion, you’re going to need to bring tissues to this film. Trust me on that. May the Force be with you.

P.S. BB-8 is not Jar Jar. I still love him with all my heart.

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Jenna Busch

Jenna Busch is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like Nerdist, ComingSoon.net, Metro, Birth. Movies. Death., IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, in the documentary She Makes Comics, on NPR and Al Jazeera America, and has covered film/TV/gaming/comics for years. She's currently a co-host on Most Craved. She's been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, Game of Thrones Psychology and Star Trek Psychology and more, and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony trailer voice overs that give one nightmares.

8 CommentsLeave a comment

    • Hello smatt. No, this is what is known as a spoiler free review. There aren’t rules about length and Star Wars is a special case. Our full discussion will be up on Tuesday in the form of our podcast. There are plenty of full length reviews out there. Instead of being outraged, feel free to read others.

  • Saw it last night and I was speechless after wards, I couldnt put a finger on my emotions, thrilled, heartbroken, excited, like a kid again, you name it. I cant wait for your podcast.

  • I will respect your opinion Jenna, but only if you answer these questions.
    Why does this movie deserve a 10/10 score when it can’t stand up on its own? The prequels disappointed people so much, that they were desperate for a “redeemer”. They simply worship this movie on autopilot, and fail to see the obvious: This is not Episode VII, it’s Episode IV with some fresh paint. ANOTHER droid wandering in the desert with crucial information, ANOTHER death star attacking the rebel base, and so on. So many years waiting, for what? A rehash. Is there new stuff? Yea, some. All of a sudden, someone who never used the Force before is able to fend off a trained Sith. Doesn’t any of that bother you?

    • Rodrigo, thank you for your comment. Obviously I wouldn’t have given it a 10/10 if I didn’t think it could stand up on its own. However, this film IS part of a larger universe and it’s impossible to divorce it from that fact. I don’t have a problem with it using tropes from earlier films. Certainly not as the film that relaunches the franchise for a new generation while having an older generation like me who were burned by the prequels. I’ll have more to say on this subject in our podcast which goes up on Tuesday morning.

    • Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He is part of the new group The Knights of Ren, and he’s not fully trained yet. His master, Snoke, says his training is not yet complete in the final scenes of the film. And when Rey finally fights Ren, he has already been injured-twice. We saw just how powerful Chewie’s Bowcaster is in earlier scenes, and we saw Kylo Ren get shot in the gut with that same weapon. We saw a growing pool of Kylo’s blood in the snow from this wound. Then Finn lands a significant blow on Ren with the lightsaber. All of this happens before he fights Rey. We also know that Rey has developed some significant fighting skills and agility from her time on Jakku. Add her existing skills to her unusually strong affinity for The Force, and Rey becomes a truly formidable opponent. Oh, and the fact that people love this film does not mean they “simply worship this movie on autopilot”. You say you respect other people’s opinions, then you immediately insult those same people. That is NOT being respectful of others.

  • I suspect Kylo Ren is actually a Sith in practice, but that he doesn’t know that name. His master probably does, though! The First Order seems grounded in Sith ideas. That said, he certainly isn’t fully trained. Also, he wasn’t exactly emotionally stable at the time of the fight and it affected his judgement and his execution in combat. And, he was wounded already. And finally, Rey is an experienced melee fighter; see the staff she carries around for the whole movie and clearly has some experience in using. This means she understands some of the fundamental principles that would need to be applied in a lightsaber duel already.

    The fight seemed perfectly plausible to me.

  • I believe when you reflect on this film, you will not rank it so highly. Leia has always been my favorite character. Consider her journey:

    Episode IV: Kicks off the entire saga by hiding plans for the Death Star in the memory of a droid. Manages to record a hologram to Obi-Wan while being fired upon by stormtroopers. After two idiots she’s never met botch her rescue, she takes charge of it and kills more dudes more aggressively than they did, and following said rescue, immediately goes on to planning the trench run destruction of the Death Star. This, on top of being the only person capable of resisting the baddest motherfucker in the galaxy during interrogation.

    Episode V: Leading the Rebel Alliance during their time on Hoth, and successfully evacuating everyone upon the raid. Helps provide critical repairs to the Falcon while it is parked inside a giant space slug. Leads a daring rescue with the Millenium Falcon for her brother, using her Force sensitivity to pinpoint his location.

    Episode VI: Plots a (botched) rescue attempt for her loved one, playing grenade chicken with the biggest crime boss in the galaxy, and later choking that fucker to death with the literal chains of patriarchy (using Force powers, according to the novelization). Matches Luke in speeder capabilities despite not growing up a hillbilly who flew space pick ups in canyons for fun OR having force sensitive reflexes OR having a lightsaber. Eats a blaster shot to the shoulder like a champ when stormtroopers die from looking at them too hard. This on top of the fact that she convinced a tribe of savages not to eat her without being a golden god.

    Episode VII: Sits around with a pained expression while her ex-husband goes out and gets stabbed in the chest by their seething son.

    This film did not do her justice.