The Blu-Ray Awakens

The other day I picked up the new blu-ray of The Force Awakens (2015). I watched through the movie a Tuesday and have been going through the extra features the last couple days as well.

The first time I saw this movie I found I was riveted by the mystery of what was going to happen. I made a conscious effort for the first time in a long time to avoid trailers, commercials, or rumors about the movie because I knew I did not have to be convinced to see it and I had gotten fed up with trailers that had been showing final scenes of the movies they advertised. After the movie it was all I could think about, all I would talk about with friends, and I would try to piece together exactly what happened. The nostalgia for the film was immediate.

Re-watching it now was a great time and I was able to pick up on nuances of actors performances or writing I didn't notice before. One nuance was the way that Kylo Ren talks to Han in their final scene together. When I saw it the first time I was tricked. I was sure, and a little disappointed, that Kylo was going to turn good because Han pulled a memory of being good out of him. I found myself hoping to see more of the Kylo character as a bad guy and getting annoyed that that could be the end of him as a villain. Re-watching it, Kylo is a darker and more nuanced villain, much closer to a mass killer looking for a release of a kill, asking for some kind of blessing from his father to kill off his former life of Ben Solo.

Another nuance that was easier to notice the second time was the expression of Rey when she is handing the lightsaber to Luke at the end of the movie. It's a scene with zero dialogue but the two characters are having a little bit of a conversation between them. Rey reaches out and her face is tired, and asking, even begging, that Luke reach out to her. Luke looks at her with reluctance and a tiredness, but he doesn't look like he can quite turn away to say no. Then, Rey's expression changes. She looks determined, she stares down Luke, she demands he take the lightsaber from her and train her to be a Jedi Knight. She is stronger with the force than he was, and she is more mature than he was too. There will be no whining over bad soup.

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