Movie Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT

12.16.2015 | 12:16 pm

A Note from Fatty: This review contains lots and lots of spoilers about the new Star Wars movie, which I have seen, and which I hated.

I was ten years old when I saw the original Star Wars. Now I’m pushing fifty. I’ve grown up a lot in the intervening years. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the latest film in the Star Wars saga.

Boring Plot

The title of the new Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens,” can only have been penned ironically. A more appropriate title might have been “Forced to Stay Awake.” As in, the only way you’ll possibly stay awake through this snooze-fest is if you are forced to, through liberal ingestion of amphetamines, frequent dunking of your head in water, and occasional electric shocks.

Don’t believe me? Fine. Here’s what happens, from the beginning of the film to the end.

The movie starts with a closeup of a stormtrooper named Finn, who isn’t even Finnish (I have lived in Finland, speak Finnish, and am pretty darned good at recognizing Finnish accents, so I’m not just speculating here). Inaccuracies like this make me so mad.

But anyways, back to the story. “Finn” (who isn’t Finnish) has crash-landed on a desert planet. He looks scared. Fine so far. Who’s in pursuit? What danger is he running from? How do you even put that outfit on, and how much work is it to get off when you need to use the restroom?

Unfortunately, two of those questions are answered in short order. He’s not running from anyone. He’s just lost,  and is prone to anxiety when he gets lost. And the uniform is fastened in the back, with laces (which is pretty disappointing, not to mention difficult to properly adjust).

For the next thirty-two minutes he just wanders around in an ever-widening circle, yelling “Hello?” in an increasingly panicked voice.

Not Realistic 

And then he finds and enters a bike shop. Now, I can apply suspension of disbelief as well as the next guy, so don’t have any problem accepting that bikes might exist in science fiction movies. Frankly, in fact, I have always wondered why bikes (or wheels of any kind for that matter) hadn’t shown up in the previous Star Wars movies. 

I can even believe that Finn might want to buy a fat bike, to make it easier to get around on that sand dune. 

But when it turns out that the bike shop had the brand, build and size this Finn character wanted, and that the bike was built and ready to ride…well, that strains my credulity past the breaking point. 

Anyway, by now we’re about forty-five minutes into the movie, and I’m getting restless, but Finn pays (using ApplePay, in only the first of an astonishing number of blatant product placements) for his bike (a Sidious Fat Bantha or something like that) and rides out the door.

Bad Message

And he’s not even wearing a helmet, which is a terrible message to today’s children.

After a while, he runs into a decrepit Chewbacca. As it turns out, the near-complete lack of ergonomic accomodations for Wookies in the Millenial Falcon have done terrible things to Chewbacca’s back, and he is forced to ride a recumbent, which is even more embarrassing to Wookies than it is to humans.

And that’s the only time we see Chewie for the whole movie. One stupid cameo, on a recumbent. Sheesh.


After this, Finn enters a bike race, where he meets Rey, which would be fine if not for these three facts:

  1. Star Wars keeps giving its characters confusing names. Like, Darth Vader’s nickname is “Annie.” (And in the first movie he’s a little orphan. Yes, George Lucas made Darth Vader into a sly “Little Orphan Annie” joke.) Now we have a woman named “Ray,” and she’s doesn’t even remotely look like one of the hosts of Car Talk.
  2. The movie never accounts for the intense discomfort Finn would feel while trying to ride a bike while still wearing that Stormtrooper outfit.
  3. They don’t even try to explain why there’s a bike race happening on this planet (which is called “Ratatooine” or something equally ridiculous), unless they did that during the opening all-caps yellow crawl, which I missed because the popcorn line was long.

Anyway, during this race, predictably, Supreme Leadeer Snoke (played by Gollum) catches and passes Finn and Rey (who are working together for no sufficiently-explained reason), riding a bike made of lugged light sabers. Which totally would not be UCI-compliant, I can assure you.

Predictable and Confusing

And then Snoke takes off his mask and it turns out he’s Kylo Ren. And then he takes off that mask and it turns out he’s Luke Skywalker. No big surprise. But then he takes off that mask and it turns out he’s Lance Armstrong. 

Okay I admit that caught me off-guard, because I’m pretty sure Armstrong would at least have been wearing a helmet. 

Then Armstrong pulls off that mask and reveals he’s actually Hayden Christensen. This was the best moment of the movie, to be honest, and explains a lot.

They then have a light saber battle, but the batteries drain before it really goes anywhere.

More happens, but someone had posted a funny video on Facebook and I got caught up in watching it on my phone, then I read the comments. By the timeI finished and went back to the movie, there was a space battle going on, intercut with a musical number for some reason. 

I’m pretty sure I saw Han Solo in there somewhere, but it was just for comedy purposes. He just yelled at Princess Leia to “get those kids offa my spaceship” and then went back to watching Larry King, which is apparently available throughout the universe. Strangely, Larry King looks just as old in this movie as he does right now in our galaxy, even though this is supposed to have happened a “long time ago.” 


I’m glad Star Wars (finally) brought bikes into their storyline, but am vastly disappointed by the movie.

Four stars.


  1. Comment by Janneke | 12.16.2015 | 12:27 pm

    Thanks for this blow by blow eyewitness report. Saves me queuing at the movies.

  2. Comment by MattC | 12.16.2015 | 1:30 pm

    You had me worried there for a moment Fatty (that you actually reviewed the movie)…but of course I should have known better, and it’s safe to say that I got more than a few ‘guffaws’ and even some outright ‘chuckles’. That’s a good one Fatty! Is it April 1st by chance??

  3. Comment by leroy | 12.16.2015 | 2:43 pm

    I don’t mean to brag, but my dog got me a ticket to a private screening of the new Star Wars movie tomorrow evening.

    It’s in a remote location at some distance out of town.

    I was worried about leaving him home, but he says he has friends coming over to keep him company.

    They’re going to help him build a Tiki bar in the living room.

  4. Comment by Christina | 12.16.2015 | 3:06 pm

    Can the next fundraiser include prize that’s just hanging with Leroy’s dog?

    I think my favorite part was the reveal that Phil Liggett is Obi-Wan.

  5. Comment by Jimbo/Rumpled | 12.16.2015 | 4:28 pm

    So, if Chewbacca is on a recumbent; is he wearing the obligatory helmet or glasses mirror and Birkenstocks?
    (We already know he has a beard)

  6. Comment by MikeL | 12.16.2015 | 4:43 pm

    You know, I think deep down you really liked it.

  7. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 12.16.2015 | 5:05 pm

    Dang it. I’ve got 5 tickets for sale now that Fatty RUINED for me!

  8. Comment by Bill H-D | 12.16.2015 | 8:34 pm

    I await the full review of the Sidious Fat Bantha in an upcoming post.

  9. Comment by Tom in Albany | 12.17.2015 | 6:09 am

    I’m curious about what tires were spec’d for that Sidious Fat Bantha. It would seem that you’ve got to be alert for the usual hazards as well as have the ability to escape sarlacc pits.

  10. Comment by Brian in VA | 12.17.2015 | 7:53 am

    Spit my coffee all over the screen on the Chewbacca riding a recomumbent scene.

    Thanks Fatty!

  11. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 12.17.2015 | 7:58 am

    @Doug, that’s clearly an out-and-out fib. We all know that December-release movies don’t make it to upstate NY until the wagon trains can get through the snow pack in early April.

  12. Comment by GeistOnABike | 12.17.2015 | 8:26 am

    When I get my Sidious Fat Bantha, I’m going to have them airbrush the top tube with “Tauntaun – the other other white meat” on one side and “GET IN MY BELLAH” on the other.

  13. Comment by Doug (Way Upstate NY) | 12.17.2015 | 8:35 am

    @JeffD. We have the dogs sleds hitched up and will be heading to “civilization” for Christmas, whence we will see the movie. Our real serious problem though is that there is NO SNOW and the dog sleds are not working well on the GREEN GRASS.

  14. Comment by fattodd | 12.17.2015 | 9:18 pm

    “And he’s not even wearing a helmet” needs to be in ALL CAPS! THINK OF THE CHILDREN, Fatty!!!!!

  15. Comment by Nick | 12.18.2015 | 12:59 am

    Thinking a storm trooper is from Finland is rediculous.

  16. Comment by Nick | 12.18.2015 | 1:01 am

    I guess my original comment was deleted because I said relating the galaxy far far away to Finland is SUPER INSIGHTFUL OF YOU.

    For some reason, one of your words (it began with ‘F’) got jumbled up and didn’t show properly. I f fixed it for you, based on the context of the rest of your message. You’re welcome! – FC

  17. Comment by Nick | 12.18.2015 | 1:08 am

    I lived in Finland, I’m offended by a ST named Finn that doesn’t have a Finnish accent?!? This isn’t earth you FINE FELLOW. Get your head out of your CLOUD. I’m trying to find a good true fan based review of the film, when you start the review whining like a little BOY about Finnish accents I refused to read the rest of it. I’ll watch the DARN movie and make up my own mind. Go TREAT yourself!

    A few of your words seemed to have been jumbled up; I fixed them based on context (inserted in all-caps above for your convenience). Thanks for your kind words! – FC

  18. Comment by Anonymous | 12.18.2015 | 10:08 am

    That’s not even what happend did u even watch the movie?

    Yep, I saw it on YouTube. And I thought it was awesome. – FC

  19. Comment by Bob | 12.18.2015 | 11:09 am

    I agree 100% with Nick and about 85% with Anonymous. It seems like your review, which appeared two days before the movie premiered, is nitpicky.

  20. Comment by Lisa in Athens | 12.18.2015 | 12:58 pm

    Thanks for a review of a movie I wasn’t planning to see anyway. I appreciate your clever use of words.

  21. Comment by BigJohn | 12.18.2015 | 3:14 pm

    I sure hope Nick, Anonymous, and Bob start following your blog on a regular basis. They seem to have a mastery of interpreting the written word, the likes of which have been rarely seen here. I look forward to their insightful comments.

  22. Comment by Bob | 12.18.2015 | 3:39 pm

    Mr. BigJohn, I saw the movie, and it was a visual splendor. I was delighted to see both Iron Man and Loki playing pivotal roles in a Star Wars movie, but it would have been great to see Rocket as an ST. The underlying moral message of the movie was also very good. Be a good guy and do good guy things and kill bad people.

  23. Comment by Sandy | 12.19.2015 | 4:05 pm

    Some weren’t so happy about the movie.

  24. Comment by James M. Shih | 12.20.2015 | 12:52 pm

    I was 11 when I first watched Star Wars in 1977. Yes, this one sure as hell disappointed me. Just came back from the theater and I’m still wondering what the movie is about and how I kept myself awake.

  25. Comment by Jenni | 12.20.2015 | 4:39 pm

    But when it turns out that the bike shop had the brand, build and size this Finn character wanted, and that the bike was built and ready to ride…well, that strains my credulity past the breaking point.

    You are holdin’ church up in here.

  26. Comment by Pash | 12.25.2015 | 1:39 pm

    Everybody is disappointed, yet the ratings in imdb and rotten tomatoes are 8+ and 90+….which is a joke…..this movie deserves a rating of 6.5.
    We cannot trust imdb or rotten tomatoes at least for one month of the movie release

  27. Comment by Allison | 12.28.2015 | 11:18 pm


  28. Comment by the Putti | 01.4.2016 | 8:59 am

    Well, Fatty got me, I read the headline back when he originally post this and quickly ignored it, since I wanted NO SPOILERS in my star wars viewing experience (which didn’t happen anyway because people are terrible, but that’s a different story). I then saw his end of the year post and felt very sheepish.


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