Star Wars: The Force Awakens ★★★½

first things first, BB-8 should be in every movie ever made. i understand that certain legal and logistical realities might make that difficult, but that's your problem. i'm sure disney's lawyers are perfectly reasonable people.

BB-8 is the best character in the whole fucking galaxy. omg what if he's a death star??? what if somewhere in space there's a GIANT BB-8 ADORABLE DEATH STAR??? save us, colin trevorrow, you're our only hope. honestly, i would have been much more on board with Ex Machina if it was a turing test with BB-8. i care about BB-8. i love BB-8. and that shit is *legal.* all those "if you can marry a man, what's to stop you from marrying a dog?" garbage people? welcome to your worst nightmare.

what were we talking about? right, the daisy ridley. the first 30 minutes of this movie are staggering. it's all scale, lived-in myth, latent history. every shot feels projected through the hollow of your own bones. and then the rest of the movie is an overly busy rehash with no sense of shape or urgency. JJ Abrams works better when he doesn't have to deal with "story," which helps explain why MI3 is still his best film. also, the action is DREADFUL, here. say what you will about the phantom menace, but Lucas juggles discrete and gracefully choreographed set pieces in the third act, and Abrams can't even muster *one.*

also, struggling with adam driver, and the struggle is real.

buuuut. BUT. if this movie is hopelessly nostalgic for its own franchise, that self-serving theme should nevertheless continue to be validated by this sequel trilogy's focus on the cyclical handoff from one generation to another, which was always destined to be the *true* narrative of the Star Wars saga (even *i* have a story about my parents taking me to see these things. me! ...the special editions, of course. i'm not 1,000).

BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8
BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8
BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8
BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8
BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8
BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8BB-8