Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / The Force Awakens

Go To

All spoilers will be unmarked.

    open/close all folders 

    A-F 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Does Kylo Ren still have good inside him, which vanished at the worst possible moment, allowing his darker side to take over? It's been demonstrated throughout the movie that he isn't exactly sane, driven by his ambition to surpass Darth Vader and possibly being corrupted by Snoke. And that small reconciling moment before the biggest tragedy at Starkiller Base: was Kylo desperately trying to beg his father to help him escape from this torment, or was it a clever ploy to trick his father into letting his guard down to kill him, Kylo having fallen completely to the dark side? Or perhaps even both, feeling that no matter which way he went, it would end his torment of choosing between rejoining his family or following in the steps of Vader.
    • Related to the above, how evil is Kylo really, and is it by his own doing? It's mentioned that he was "seduced" to the Dark Side by Snoke, and in the novelization it is expanded that Snoke was stalking him from birth specifically to groom him for a fall to the Dark Side. So did he choose to become evil, or was it a result of corruption via constant exposure to Snoke? Additionally, given that the First Order seems to have an almost cult-like mentality, and how Kylo's own view of Snoke is borderline reverent, he may have been brainwashed. If he is brainwashed, then how much, and would that absolve him of his crimes?
    • How responsible Kylo Ren, if the above is true, would depend on how complicit he has been in the First Order's crimes, and how strong Snoke's influence is.
    • Han approaching Kylo Ren could be seen as either a Too Dumb to Live moment on Han's part (given that he should have known it wouldn't be that easy to turn Kylo back, or Kylo could easily trick him), or Han deliberately sacrificing himself in a vain attempt to make Kylo realize what he'd just done, and turn back to the light side.
    • Can Kylo Ren be redeemed? It could be possible, considering this is Star Wars and Kylo's a modern counterpart to Darth Vader. Kylo also appeared to be guilt-ridden after killing Han Solo. The novelization made it clear that, after killing Solo the pull to the Light was stronger than ever.
    • There are a lot of interpretations of Kylo Ren's rape-threat-sounding line to Rey: "You know I can take whatever I want". Did he not notice how it sounds and was just saying he can read her mind anyway, and pragmatically trying to get it over quickly? Is he trying to get her to hand over the information painlessly because he feels attraction/sympathy towards her? Was he aware of how his words sounded like a sexual assault threat and didn't care? Was he intentionally sounding rapey in hopes it would intimidate her into giving away the information? And if so, would he have actually done it or was it just a scare tactic?
    • Some reviewers such as this and this have asked why Chewbacca's bowcaster bolt doesn't kill Kylo, and why Chewie didn't aim for more fatal target such as Kylo's head or chest. Was Chewie unable to aim properly because he's in the middle of grief and rage due to Kylo Ren's horrid crimes? Or was it because Kylo Ren was Ben Solo, his best friend's son, so Chewie couldn't bring himself to kill him even although he had just killed his father?
    • Luke's disappearance has been a subject of several debates on what he's really up to, both Meta and in-universe. Did he go into exile because he feels responsible for his nephew falling to the Dark Side and becoming the catalyst of the Second Jedi Purge, effectively rending all his previous efforts naught? Han Solo also mentioned that he went off to find the First Jedi Temple. What was he hoping to achieve by going there? Some even going so far as to theorize that Luke had gone to the Dark Side after all, and is the mastermind behind everything that had happened so far. It has also been questioned whether he was morally wrong to go into exile in the first place, given that he left just as the galaxy was plunged into yet another civil war. As the last Jedi, many feel he should have shown more responsibility.
    • What was Rey going to do before she and Kylo Ren were separated after his defeat? Given the look of pure rage on her face during the fight, it's very likely she was being tempted by the Dark Side, but her motives for sparing him are just ambiguous enough to create speculation. On the one hand, she makes no move towards Kylo once he's finally down, but on the other, she doesn't immediately deactivate her lightsaber. She just spends a good five or so seconds contemplating him. The novelization makes it clear that she was indeed being tempted by the Dark, hearing a voice in her head (maybe Snoke's?) encouraging her to kill Kylo.
    • Hux gives a chilling performance during his speech, but straight after we see the Starkiller Base fire its superweapon, there's a shot of his face that can be interpreted as either conflict or awe. If it was meant to show conflict, was the speech more for show while he's actually struggling with his actions inside?
    • A similar case with Kylo Ren, who doesn't even attend the ceremony where Starkiller Base is first used. It's left unclear how he feels about the destruction of the Hosnian System. As the weapon fires, we're treated to a long, lingering close-up of his masked face similar to when Snoke first mentions that Han Solo is his father suggesting he might be experiencing some inner conflict. In the novelization he opposes using Starkiller Base, though for pragmatic reasons.
    • Is Phasma a Dirty Coward and hypocrite for lowering the shields of Starkiller Base the moment Finn puts a gun to her head? Or was she simply so confident in her troops and the base's defenses that she saw no reason to senselessly throw her life away? Or was she trying to sabotage the First Order? Or was she under the Jedi mind trick? Star Wars: Phasma clarifies that she is indeed a Dirty Coward solely concerned with her own survival.
    • Is Finn Force-sensitive? The Force-noise plays when he watches Slip die. He also seems to hear the screams of the people in the Hosnian System while on Takodana. Snoke and Kylo Ren feel an "awakening" long before Rey does anything Force-related. Maz takes a very keen interest in examining him as well as equipping him with the old Skywalker lightsaber rather than a blaster or rifle.
    • On a more comical note, some saw the adorable scene where BB-8 gives Finn a "thumb's up" with his lighter as Flipping the Bird.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: While not unanimously disliked, the film caused a strong Broken Base in Spain as opposed to the general acclaim it received everywhere else, in no small part due to the Prequel Trilogy (whose downplaying was a point meant by the producers, marketing and everything related to The Force Awakens) being famously well regarded there. The film's perceived shortcomings, particularly its derivative nature and Kylo Ren' and Rey's characterizations, rampaged through Spanish forums for months after its release, and it became an issue that only decreased after Rogue One turned out a much more unanimous success in the country.
  • Angst Aversion: Some longtime fans were just a bit too soured by the film's abrupt Happy Ending Override of Return of the Jedi. And Han's eventual death certainly didn't help.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Finn spends a good chunk of the movie fighting and killing Child Soldiers that he's trained alongside his entire life, but he never expresses any particular feelings about this. Then again he's busy going through a Trauma Conga Line, and the novelization shows Finn having some regrets over killing his former comrades. Unfortunately, the film itself does not at all cover this, leaving it tonely inconsistent.
    • Everyone in the Resistance seems remarkably unfazed by the Hosnian system's destruction - General Leia above all - despite massive casualties and the total loss of government infrastructure.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Captain Phasma is anticlimactically hit with a surprise tackle from Chewbacca and is then thrown into the garbage chute. Thankfully, the novels surrounding the movie rectify this by giving her a larger role.
  • Applicability:
    • Fans have read a number of different meanings into the film, from the relationship between Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials, to meta-commentary on the franchise itself and its fans.
    • The First Order have been interpreted as Neo-Fascists, religious terrorists, Right Wing Militia Fanatics, and more.
  • Ass Pull: See the franchise page.
  • Author's Saving Throw: See the franchise page.
  • Award Snub: TFA proved one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2015, not to mention its record-bruising box office performance. But as per usual for speculative fiction films, along with all Star Wars films barring the first, it only received Oscar nominations for technical categories and failed to win any of its nominations, pairing it with the prequel trilogy as the only Star Wars films to not have won any Academy Awards.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Rey has viewers divided on how interesting she actually is as a character and whether she was "too perfect" in the knowledge, skills, and abilities she demonstrates or was realistic and justified by the environment and opportunities she had; this is best discussed on other sites, not on this or any other work page.
    • Kylo Ren. As a heavily flawed Psychopathic Manchild, he's a different Star Wars villain from the norm, to say the least, especially since he was hyped up as the Mascot Villain and Vader's successor. The split is broadly three ways between those who find him a cool, unique villain, those who see him as an amusing Memetic Loser, and those who consider him a disappointment compared to the legendary Sith Lord that he tries so desperately to live up to. Supporters find him to be Creepy Awesome and find that his instability and unpredictability make him scarier, a dark character done right, with his various failures making him a good (or at least entertaining) villain. Detractors find him annoying, underwhelming, overly childish and a very lackluster fighter for his rank, and a whiny Vader fanboy with poorly-written internal conflict and inadequately-explained backstory and motivation, making him a very disappointing follow-up to one of cinema’s most iconic villains.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: For some people, The Reveal that Kylo Ren is Han and Leia’s son. In his first scene, Lor San Tekka states he didn’t originate from the Dark Side and cannot deny "the truth that is your family". He’s obviously a powerful Force-user and strength in the Force has been shown to be hereditary in some cases (most prominently with the Skywalker family), Han and Leia had become an Official Couple at the end of Return of the Jedi and any kids they had would likely be grown up by the events of The Force Awakens, it wouldn’t be the first time Han and Leia’s son turned evil note  and, let’s face it, Star Wars just loves a good family drama. The Reveal is actually unveiled less than halfway through the film.
  • Complete Monster: Captain Phasma makes her cinematic debut here. Look at her entry here.
  • Contested Sequel: It's Star Wars, what did you expect? Like the rest of the Sequel Trilogy this movie has proven to be extremely controversial. Some see it as a major improvement over the prequels, or the best installment after the original trilogy or even The Empire Strikes Back, while some see it as an uninspired rehash of A New Hope and point out that the prequels at least did something different or even straight up think the prequels were better. While other fans feel that it's better than the prequels, the fanbase is more divided as to how it stacks up compared to the original trilogy; some people consider the originals to be dated and appreciate that TFA gives a more modernized take on Star Wars without having as many pitfalls as the prequels, while others attest that the original trilogy is too legendary and genre-defining to be topped, often bringing up that TFA had to rehash a lot of elements from A New Hope to please the crowd.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Kylo Ren is obviously mentally unstable and very disturbing to watch; quite a few people find that this makes him a more interesting and effective villain.
    • Supreme Leader Snoke, with his creepy voice and intimidating presence. The ethereal, sixty-foot tall hologram he appears as helps too.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Kylo Ren has a significant fandom. Given that he's a tall, pale skinned, dark haired Pretty Boy Jerkass Woobie with obvious daddy issues, it was pretty much inevitable. It doesn't help that we see him privately admit that he still feels pulled towards the Light Side, never mind that he fought against the pull so viciously that he was willing to kill his own father to lessen the temptation. It also doesn't help that the novel is explicit in portraying him as a much more tragic and sympathetic figure, muddying things further. Many fans even ship him with Rey, a woman that he abducted and tortured.
    • Hux has amassed a large female fanbase, largely due to his youthful appearance, despite being A Nazi by Any Other Name and causing the destruction of several planets leading to billions of deaths. However, most of them dropped him like a bad habit after he was revealed to actually be the First Order's Butt-Monkey in The Last Jedi.
    • Even Lt. Dopheld Mitaka... the officer who reports to Kylo Ren that Finn and Rey evaded capture has fans squeeing over his timidity, small size, baby-faced cuteness, nerdy awkwardness and general woobieness, despite him being a First Order officer and the guy who shot at Poe and Finn's TIE-fighter during their escape.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • An unnamed, aesthetically unremarkable First Order Stormtrooper whose first instinct upon seeing a lightsaber-armed Finn was to throw down his blaster, whip out a shock baton, and beat the hell out of Finn with it struck an instant chord with fans. Many of them immediately began theorizing ways this ballsy trooper can return in the sequels, even though Han blew a giant hole in him note . The fandom has even given him the Stormtrooper call sign of TR-8R or TR8-T0R ("Traitor", after his sole word of dialogue in the film). His official designation is FN-2199, and it turns out they grew up together and Finn was his squad leader before he defected.
    • Poe's wingmates, Temmin "Snap" Wexley and Jess Pava, have attracted attention from the Tumblr Star Wars fandom; the latter is especially popular for adding more representation (an Asian woman) to the franchise.
    • Poe himself. Many fans agree that Poe did not get nearly enough screentime in the movie (thanks to a last-minute save from death on Jakku, he does little for the rest of the film). Possibly because of this, Poe got his own comic series set before the film and received an extended role in The Last Jedi.
    • Sidon Ithano, aka the Crimson Corsair, the red-armored alien Finn speaks to about a ride to the Outer Rim with a metallic voice, has won several fans thanks to his cool, slick design and even cooler voice.
    • Harter Kalonia, the Cool Old Lady medic who treats Chewbacca and Finn, appears only very briefly but makes a strong impression with her combination of kindness and sarcasm.
    • "Matt" the Radar Technician, Kylo Ren's Paper-Thin Disguise on a Saturday Night Live parody skit featuring Adam Driver. Despite being a one-off joke, fans are begging for "Matt" and the skit to be acknowledged as canon at some point within the sequel trilogy. "Matt" has even inspired fanmade merchandise and cosplays.
    • Lor San Tekka, thanks to Max von Sydow's imposing appearance, epic voice, and film resume more impressive than the rest of the cast (Original Trilogy cast included) combined.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • With J. J. Abrams's "mystery box" philosophy, and the fact that this is the first entry in a trilogy, this was prone to happen. See the WMG page for many of them.
    • Rey's true identity, or if she even has one, is a particularly heated topic. By far the most popular theory is that she's Luke's daughter, which has naturally created a counter-argument that this is way too obvious to remain unrevealed in the first film, and that it is simply a Red Herring. Believe it or not, this has extended to her being of Solo descent, or even Kenobi descent.
    • Some fans go above and beyond with the last and wonder if she is Obi-Wan's daughter! Though someone else is always quick to mention that she was born roughly 11 years after Endor, at which point Obi-Wan had obviously been dead for quite a while. The usual answer to this is to have her as Kenobi's granddaughter via a theoretical child that somehow managed to avoid appearing at any point in the franchise.
    • One theory that's picking up steam is that she's somehow a reincarnated form of Anakin Skywalker, pointing out that his lightsaber triggered memories in her of things he experienced in life; it would provide a very plausible answer for how Rey already knows several skills unique to a trained Jedi despite never being under the direct tutelage of one, and, considering the unnatural circumstances of Anakin's own birth, it wouldn't be totally out of left field in the established Star Wars canon, either. It would also explain why Anakin's ghost never appeared to Kylo Ren to tell him "hey, the Dark Side sucks, don't touch it!" Some even argue that both she and Anakin are but two reincarnations of the Chosen One, and a fake leaked plot summary for The Last Jedi had a scene where the ghosts of Anakin and other incarnations of the Chosen One throughout history would appear before Rey to reveal her nature to her.
    • Finn's parentage hasn't generated quite as much speculation as Rey's but one popular theory is that he is royalty of some kind. This is mostly based on the fact that there is a Legends-continuity character named Finn Galfridian who is actually a prince. Another is that he's the son of Lando Calrissian.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Aside from the obvious consequences of Rey as a breakout female lead for the series, Kylo Ren attracts a ton of fangirls - often of the Misaimed Marketing variety - for being a Tall, Dark, and Handsome Pretty Boy and a highly insecure and creepier take on Anakin/Vader.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • While not as unique or interesting as in the sequel, Kylo Ren has a cool design, puts up quite a fight and pulls some flashy stunts with the Force. He intentionally seeks the style of Vader and ends up being a unique villain, not without attractive flaws.
    • Hux gained quite a few fans for his New Era Speech to his men prior to using Starkiller Base to destroy the New Republic's capital.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • There's a decent-sized intra-fandom rivalry between Force Awakens fans and Prequel Trilogy fans. Force Awakens fans say the film has much better writing, characters, and special effects; Prequel fans fire back that the prequels have more original plots, better music, and setpieces.
    • Much like the rivalry with Prequel Trilogy fans, there's also one between Force Awakens fans and Rogue One fans. Arguments range from which film has better directing, characters, writing, originality, and etc.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • We don't get so much as a single line about what Lando Calrissian has been up to since the original trilogy, unlike every other surviving major character.
    • The time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens is fodder for fic writers as the timeline of the events described remains vague.
  • Fanon:
    • There are fans who believe that Poe Dameron was Kylo Ren's childhood friend. Not hard to see why considering that Poe's parents fought alongside Ren's during the Battle of Endor and were good friends afterwards. Puts the torture scene in a much different light, and also gives a possible explanation for why Poe had the audacity to joke around Kylo while he was being captured.
    • There are many who say that the sand where Kylo puts his helmet is actually Anakin's ashes.
    • Many fans see Poe as gay since Oscar Isaac has said he played the character as having a crush on Finn. The Star Wars: The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary adds to this: Poe wants to give his late mother's wedding band to his future lover, but the description uses the unisex term "partner."
    • Hux owns a ginger cat named Millicent due to some tweets from Pablo Hidalgo.
    • The timeline of Kylo Ren's betrayal and turn to the Dark Side is vague. However, it is widely assumed that Kylo Ren was a teenager when he slaughtered Luke's other apprentices due to a questionably canonical moment in the script which states that Han's meeting with Kylo on Starkiller Base was the first time he'd seen his son as a man. Star Wars: Bloodline addresses this theory by jossing it, confirming that Kylo did not betray Luke until he was in his twenties.
    • The above is made even further complicated when this was brought to Pablo Hidalgo's attention by a fan. Since the author of Star Wars: Bloodline has openly said that she didn't have time to read the script or watch the film before she wrote the book, Hidalgo has said that the main films are the main canon, casting doubt on how much of Bloodline is canon.
    • The pull towards the Light Kylo Ren feels is Anakin's spirit trying to get through to him. Popular because it's both ironic and it's implied in the film that Obi-Wan's spirit is still around.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: It begins the Canon Discontinuity of many popular stories, and it even invokes Happy Ending Override on Return of the Jedi. Naturally, some fans chose to ignore it.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • For fans who are open to slash shipping Finn/Poe and Kylo/Hux are the favorite options, with the latter having the most works on Archive of Our Own out of all of this film's pairings. For Finn/Poe it helps that John Boyega and Oscar Isaac have made no attempt to downplay their onscreen chemistry and even encourage shippers.
    • For those that prefer straight couples Kylo/Rey tends to be most popular, given how Rey is the only person he shows a kinder side to and he has some rather suspect moments towards her. That being said this pairing is also more of a base-breaker than Finn/Rey is, which does still have a lot of fans.
    • The One True Threesome option of Rey/Finn/Poe is popular enough to be designated Jedi/Storm/Pilot, since Finn/Rey and Finn/Poe are both very popular dynamics on their own and Rey/Poe was also given some Ship Tease in the novelization.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Some interpret Kylo Ren and Rey's interactions this way, or at least interpret his behavior toward her as a Villainous Crush. When he's with her he's generally both creepy (he tends to invade her personal space, speaks to her in an unnervingly soft-spoken and intimate way, and at one point makes a comment that sounds an awful lot like a rape threat) and nicer than he is to anyone else. The novelization takes it a step further by having him remove her restraints when she wakes up and apologize to her, and Snoke accuses him of feeling compassion for her.
  • Fountain of Memes: Pretty much every line from the SNL skit parodying The Force Awakens has become popular in its own right.
  • Franchise Original Sin: When it came to the sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens at the time of release was seen as a great start with some fun characters and big action. The cooler, even divisive, reception of The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker could be traced down to a large number of decisions made in this film. Most notably was the ambiguity of so many plotlines and characters, Rey's dedication to her family is just dropped halfway and most of the climax and epilogue was a long series of Sequel Hooks, including finding Luke Skywalker at the absolute last moment. This forced TLJ to be an Immediate Sequel done by a different director and bound to have some major stylistic and thematic differences despite taking place the next day, having to come up with satisfying answers to half the questions TFA left in the air. This also meant the characters had no opportunity for offscreen Character Development, especially Poe given his limited screentime in TFA. By ROS the trilogy felt like it was still in the introductory phase despite being the Grand Finale.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Small, but with The Legend of Korra because of the similarities between respective protagonists Korra and Rey.
    • And Mad Max: Fury Road, thanks to both films featuring prominent Action Girl protagonists hailing from a desert setting who oppose masked villains, and both being strong contenders for the Best Film nomination at the 2015 Oscars. As well, both are franchises that made successful comebacks in 2015.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Chewie and Han have a funny argument over whether Han can talk his way out of danger every time. In the end, Chewie is right.
    • The parody by How It Should Have Ended has Luke appear out of nowhere and stab Kylo, saving Han from dying. While still funny in an awkward way, this scene is a tad cringeworthy after The Last Jedi revealed that Luke almost did this in canon because he feared the darkness within a young Ben, and this resulted in Kylo's rise to power.
    • Carrie Fisher joked about the studios making her lose weight to return as Leia, because they only wanted three-fourths of her and so the fourth couldn't be with her. It got harsher after Fisher's death from "an interplay of sleep apnea, drug use, and heart disease" (rapid weight gain/loss can increase complications of heart disease). Furthermore, Leia's death in The Rise of Skywalker was because she was weakened from using the Force.
Advertisement:

    G-M 
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The Force Awakens is the highest grossing film of all time in the United Kingdom, grossing £123.2 million (at least $165 million USD).
  • Girl-Show Ghetto:
    • Toy manufacturers for the film have been accused of thinking in this mindset (though Star Wars fans are traditionally male, the franchise is known for its substantial female demographic) due to Rey-based merchandise being short in stock — especially in comparison to Kylo Ren — despite Rey being one of the main heroes. One notable instance of this was Rey's absence from a Monopoly board based on the movie, which was quickly rectified in response to the backlash.
    • In general, TFA shattered this trope for the franchise just as quickly as it raised discussion of it. Since the movie's release, female protagonists have become more common in Star Wars material, such as Rogue One and Star Wars Battlefront II (2017), and (almost) nobody bats an eyelid at it. Rey is regarded as a very successful Breakout Character heroine in modern sci-fi/fantasy media, joining the ranks of Imperator Furiosa and Daenerys Targaryen.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • R2-D2 being absent most of the film, and being greeted with a "Oh my dear friend, how I've missed you" from C-3PO when Kenny Baker passed away about a year after the film's release in August 2016. Even worse is a line he said in an earlier scene about how R2 might "never be his old self again".
    • When Han dies, Leia is shown having to sit down from the shock, in a way that looks like she's having a heart attack. A little over a year after the movie was released, Carrie Fisher died from complications of a heart attack.
    • A lot of the Starkiller Base scenes, and especially its eventual destruction, are slightly harder to watch knowing that the base was formerly Ilum, the most sacred world to the Jedi.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Leia's final scene in the film, triumphant after the resistance's victory over the First Order, and her encouraging "May The Force be with you" to Rey is particularly comforting in the wake of Carrie Fisher's death. The Oscars used it in the In Memoriam montage following her passing.
  • He's Just Hiding!: More than a few people have this opinion about Han Solo's apparent death. Given that at least three different things happened that should each individually be fatal (getting impaled by a lightsaber, falling hundreds of meters off a bridge and having the planet blow up underneath him), that would be an impressive job of hiding.
  • Ho Yay: Finn and Poe instantly develop a tight rapport and work amazingly well together despite neither of them ever being in a TIE fighter before, with Poe even giving Finn a name that he promptly adopts as his own. Later in the movie they reunite running across a landing zone into a huge mutual glomp and Poe telling Finn to keep his jacket because it looks good on him. Even Oscar Isaacs seemed to hint at it during an interview with Ellen.
  • Hype Backlash: Has begun to suffer quite a bit of this. When the film came out it was critically acclaimed and managed to Win Back the Crowd after the divisve prequels. However after both it's follow ups became Contested Sequels many have become far less tolerable to this film's faults. The constant rehashs of plot elements and character archetypes from A New Hope is seen as lazy and unimaginative, the Sequel Reset and Happy Ending Override renders the events of the entire Original Trilogy All for Nothing, and the mystery box setup of this film became widely criticized when later films made it clear the writers had no clear plan in mind leading to constant retcons and Armed with Canon by conflicting directors. Some reviewers such as Jeremy Jahns have admitted this film wasn't quite that good in retrospect and that a lot of the positivity was based around the hype and excitement of Star Wars returning that made them overlook the film's flaws.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The biggest and most common criticism of the movie, even by those that love it, is that the plot bears far too many similarities to A New Hope, and also takes elements from the other two originals. Namely: the desert planet opening, the search for a droid, a cantina scene, finding a pilot, defeating a giant sphere that can blow up planets, a rescue mission on said giant sphere that ends in the mentor dying, and a parental reveal. There is also a vision of a Sith while underground, complete with a small alien lecturing about the nature of the Force (Empire Strikes Back) and Han destroying a shield generator so the good guys can fly a ship into the aforementioned sphere and blow it up (Return of the Jedi), after multiple X-Wings are shot down in a turret infested trench (A New Hope). This could also be a case of Be Careful What You Wish For, as there were many complaints that the Prequel Trilogy was "too different".
  • It Was His Sled:
    • While promotional materials played up Finn as the primary protagonist, Rey is the actual Force-Sensitive protagonist of the film. (Whether or not Finn is Force-Sensitive is ambiguous.)
    • Likewise, Kylo Ren being Darth Vader's grandson was kept heavily under-wraps during production and before the release of the film, but has since been casually spoiled in other promotional material released since then.
    • And finally, the fact that Han is killed by Kylo Ren is an inescapable fact on the internet and is generally considered common knowledge at this point. Non-Star Wars articles casually mention Han's death without so much as a spoiler warning.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kylo Ren, despite being a dedicated warrior for the Dark Side, is shown to be a tormented, insecure individual, desperately trying to live up to Darth Vader's legacy. His confrontation with his father, Han, despite it ending with Kylo crossing the Moral Event Horizon, shows his inner conflict, and, depending on how you interpret the scene, may feature Kylo asking his father to kill him before giving in to darkness and murdering him. His desperate, dishevelled state during the finale makes him look like he's on the verge of a psychotic breakdown.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Plenty of people came to the movie to see the OT characters, and a lot of people have admitted, controversy surrounding her character notwithstanding, that they only care about Rey because it would lead them to Luke Skywalker.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
  • Like You Would Really Do It
    • Poe Dameron is presumed dead after the TIE fighter crashes on Jakku and Finn cannot find him; however, since a major actor like Oscar Isaac plays him combined with a dose of Never Found the Body, few believed he was truly dead. Sure enough, he shows up fine later in the film. Though ironically enough, Poe was meant to stay dead but the crew's appreciation of Oscar's acting talents and Oscar just plain asking to not have one of his characters get killed off again spared Poe.
    • Played with the death of Han Solo. They really did go through with killing him, and it's one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the saga, if not cinema itself. However, those who are familiar with the behind the scenes of the original trilogy know that Harrison Ford has wanted Han dead since Empire, and many hardcore fans fully expected him not to make it.
    • At the end of the film Finn is put into a coma after tangling with Kylo Ren, but it seems highly unlikely it'll be permanent.
  • Lost in Medias Res: A couple of plot points are quickly glossed over, like the Republic fighting the First Order through the Resistance, without explaining why the Republic itself can’t fight the First Order in a direct war. Another example is how the First Order, which the opening crawl states was formed from the ashes of the Galactic Empire, got the resources to convert an entire planet into a massive battle station. Nothing important is learned about the man who gave Poe the map to Luke Skywalker. The lack of explanations for these story elements can make some audience members feel like a whole movie was skipped over.
  • Love to Hate: Kylo Ren - he has some cool aspects, is very dangerous and has complex and interesting characterization, but his glaring inability to live up to his more powerful predecessor Darth Vader makes him as hilarious as he is despicable, to the point that his inadequacies are frequently Played for Laughs in-universe. Murdering his own father, Han Solo, drives him even further into this trope.
  • Memetic Badass: The unidentified First Order Stormtrooper who challenges Finn to a melee duel with a riot control shock baton. He is specialized in riot control, yet he almost kills a guy wielding a lightsaber (though, admittedly, said guy had absolutely zero lightsaber training whatsoever). After the film's premiere, people started calling him the "Boba Fett of The Force Awakens". He's since been christened "TR-8R", Tray Tor, or "TR8-T0R" (strictly speaking, the variation which makes the most phonetic sense is TR8-0R), after his one spoken line of dialogue. He was later revealed in an article to be Finn's former squad-mate FN-2199, or Nines. Hounding the traitorous Finn or references to Nines' "sick spins" and loyalty are common usages of the meme.
  • Memetic Loser: Kylo Ren, for being a Wangsty Psychopathic Manchild who was defeated by two untrained lightsaber wielders during the movie's climax, ignoring the fact that he'd been badly wounded beforehand - especially compared to his awesomely stoic and badass progenitor, idol, and grandfather Darth Vader. Some fans find that this adds to the charm of his character, mostly because it's a reflection of what happens when an obsessed immature geek tries too hard to be like Vader despite not being as powerful, intelligent or unshakable as the legendary Dark Lord.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page
  • Misaimed Marketing: Kylo Ren. A deconstruction of previous Star Wars villains and their popularity, and deliberately written to be an uncharismatic Psychopathic Manchild, he was aggressively marketed to all ages in the exact same way as his predecessors. In fact, Disney thought that he would be the big breakout star of the movie before his subversive nature was revealed and Rey proved to be far more likable.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The obliteration of the Hosnian system counts as this for Hux, Snoke, and the First Order at large, due to the sheer destruction scale, though perhaps you would also like to consider the village massacre at the start of the movie and Finn's statement that he and countless other children were taken from their families and raised to be killers before dying ignominiously.
  • Narm: It just wouldn't be Star Wars without it. See here for examples.
  • Narm Charm:
    "JJ [Abrams] wanted it big. “We didn’t even talk about how far to push it,” he told us. “We just said ‘let's try it at a couple of different levels’, and [JJ] just said ‘that’s the one I want it to be’."
    • Kylo Ren's wangstiness has endeared him to a number of people. It seems the Skywalker Whining Gene theory has become such an accepted part of Star Wars fanlore that the sight of him throwing hissy fits elicited less annoyance and more a bemused "Yep, he's a Skywalker alright". The fact that Kylo's tantrums are treated in-universe as somewhat ridiculous mitigates the narminess as well.
      • Also those hissy fits themselves. They are REALLY awkward to watch (since any sense of composition and civility goes out the window and it's hard to picture someone his age acting like that) and it turns into near-Cringe Comedy the second time he does it but you can't deny they do a good job of painting what a mess his mind is.
    • Stormtroopers once again rarely hit anything that shoots back, despite these ones being trained their entire lives. However, it wouldn't be Star Wars if the Stormtroopers were actually good at their jobs.
    • A Stormtrooper wielding a stun baton and then kicking a lightsaber-wielder's ass should by all means look comical, yet the appearance of FN-2199 aka "TR-8R" ended up being one of the most well-received parts of the film.

    N-S 
  • Nausea Fuel: A desperately thirsty Finn drinking from a happabore trough on Jakku, which he almost immediately gags on. Not only is the water likely not very clean to begin with, but imagine what the backwash from an enormous pig monster with a huge, snuffling nose tastes like.
  • Never Live It Down: Has its own page shared with the rest of the franchise.
  • No Yay: While Kylo Ren/Rey is a very popular pairing there are many fans uncomfortable with it, given the amount of hate and fear Kylo inspires in Rey throughout the film and his behavior towards her, which leads them to think the two ending up together would be unhealthy, have Unfortunate Implications, or require "weakening" Rey by having her act out of character.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • As this video would tell you, Starkiller Base is far from the first Post-ROTJ "Death Star clone". In the Old EU, building planet-destroying superweapons was practically the Empire's hobby.
    • The crossguard lightsaber was actually created for a Dark Horse Comics series (albeit with two blades instead of three) and is not original to this film, despite the complaints to the contrary.
    • The death of Han Solo, which Harrison Ford had suggested before filming The Empire Strikes Back. Ford even mentioned several times in the years after Jedi that he'd likely only come back to kill off Han for good.
    • Captain Phasma being called the new Boba Fett met a lot of push back from fans because of Phasma ending up as little more than an extra. It seems these fans don't recall that in the Original Trilogy, Boba did very little and like Phasma, both of them were characters who happened to wear cool armors and had an aura of mystery, but in the end both of them failed to do anything badass or even remotely memorable.
    • Some disliked Han landing the Falcon on Starkiller Base with lightspeed, since lightspeed travel supposed to require precise coordinates. The original script of The Phantom Menace, had Anakin land the Queen's ship in the same manner on Naboo, in order to evade detection by the Trade Federation blockade. However that scene was meant to showcase how precise Anakin's Force-intuition was, and while Han might've come to accept the existence of the Force, he's not sensitive to it.
    • One of the biggest complaints about the movie is that it relies too much on pointless nostalgic callbacks and references. Many forget however that these pointless callbacks existed as far back as the prequel trilogy (Chewbacca, Grand Moff Tarkin, and the Death Star in Revenge of the Sith, C-3PO being built by Anakin in The Phantom Menace etc.)
    • Whoever was disappointed by the Happy Ending Override should not forget that for many years, the Expanded Universe (now Legends) was exactly that: the original heroes were lucky if their victories stuck for more than a few years before a new menace appeared and brought new chaos to the galaxy.
    • In Star Wars Legends, Luke and Mara have a son named Ben, while Han and Leia have Jacen and Jaina. Jacen turns to the dark side while Jaina becomes an ace pilot, similar to Kylo and Rey.
    • Anakin's lightsaber was recovered from Bespin in The Thrawn Trilogy.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Lor San Tekka gets only a few minutes of screentime, but since he's played by acting legend Max von Sydow and stands up to Kylo Ren, he makes every moment count.
    • Mark Hamill's appearance as Luke Skywalker at the end of the film.
    • The Stormtrooper Rey uses the Jedi Mind Trick on. What makes him even more memorable is that he's played by Daniel Craig in an uncredited cameo. What makes it better? His Stormtrooper name was JB007.
    • Upon noticing and recognizing Finn, a First Order riot control Stormtrooper yells "Traitor!", drops his rifle on the ground and charges at Finn with a riot control shock baton, and almost kills him in the ensuing bout. Why is this so interesting? Finn was wielding a lightsaber at the time, and the weapon this riot trooper used actually allowed him to go toe-to-toe against Finn and nearly kill him! He instantly became one of the most popular and memetic characters of the movie, referred to as TR-8R.
    • The two gangs Han has a run-in with... especially The Guavian Death Gang, a bunch of mysterious silent red guys that look like Deadpool led by the wily young outer space-Scot, Bala-Tik, a guy with a Scottish accent so thick that you could stir it with a spurtle.
    • Lieutenant Dopheld Mitaka for some. His getting throttled by Kylo Ren has given him adorable Woobie status.
    • The two stormtroopers who nonchalantly turn around and leave when they come near the sounds of Kylo Ren tearing apart a room.
    • An ordinary stormtrooper who reports to Kylo Ren to inform him of their progress in locating Rey has gained noteworthy attention for being female! note 
    • Sidon Ithano, aka The Crimson Corsair, the space pirate in red armor whose crew Finn briefly considers joining, mostly because of his cool voice and awesome costume design.
    • Harter Kalonia, the Resistance doctor who treats both Chewie and Finn after their respective injuries, teasing the former and reassuring Rey about the latter.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Surprising no-one, "OT3" fanart of the new trio (Rey, Finn, and Poe, also known as JediStormPilot) turned up within days of release (with Finn and Poe being bisexual, of course).
    • Phasma, Kylo Ren, and Hux are also getting this treatment, although in a more platonic way than an outright romantic one. Usually, the latter two are depicted as bickering kids with Phasma as the exasperated one looking after them, acquiring the Fan Nickname "Phasmom" as a result.
    • And then there's Reylux, the trio of Rey, Hux and Kylo Ren. This one is definitely on the romantic side, with the scenario usually being Rey defecting/being captured by the First Order, then gradually developing feelings for Hux and Ren as they train her (while fighting their own attractions to Rey and each other). This fandom is relatively smaller than the others, but they're popular enough to have cosplayers!
  • Recurring Fanon Character: Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo tweeted a joke about General Hux having a cat named Millicent. It took off on Tumblr and, as of April 2020, Millicent the Cat is tagged as a character in over 800 works on Archive of Our Own.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Many fans who disliked Kylo Ren's portrayal as a villain in the movie itself were sold on him by Adam Driver reprising the role on SNL in Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base as "Matt the Radar Technician", where his more contentious traits are played for laughs.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • The X-Wing pilot Bastian (with the sole line "Direct hit!") is played by Tosin Cole, some years before he would debut as deuteragonist Ryan Sinclair in series 11 of Doctor Who.
    • Maisie Richardson-Sellers appears briefly as part of the crowd in the Hosnian System (with a larger role in the manual), months before becoming the Iconic Seauel Main Character of Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Ron the Death Eater: A Running Gag on This Very Wiki's Complete Monster cleanup thread involves a theory about how behind his cute exterior BB-8 is a violent psychopath at heart. He got more upvotes than any character actually approved as a CM.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Jessika Pava has a minor role and doesn't interact with Rey at all, and yet the together have surprisingly been getting a nice amount of fanart and fanfictions dedicated to them, often being Ship Mates to the Poe/Finn ship. Many fans are hoping for the two to meet come the future films due to Jessika being an Ensemble Dark Horse. Amusingly, even Jessica Henwick, Pava's actress, ships it.
    • Poe/Rey also has a decent following, despite having no interactions in the film. This is partially because the novelization gives them a proper meeting and provides some Ship Tease, and partially because of a video depicting Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" together.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Mainly between Kylo Ren/Rey and Finn/Rey or non-shippers of Kylo/Rey. Finn/Rey fans and non-shippers who dislike Kylo/Rey usually believe the ship is incestuous (prior to The Rise of Skywalker based on the theories that Rey is Luke's or Leia and Han's daughter and the two are cousins or siblings), and/or abusive (because of on-screen dynamics that match real-life abuse), and/or racist (due to it replacing Rey's more obvious Love Interest, who is black, with a white man). Kylo/Rey fans who dislike Finn/Rey usually believe it's boring (being a standard Hero Protagonist/Hero Protagonist ship), and/or believe that an enemies-to-lovers ship would be more satisfying, and/or believe Rey has more subjective romantic chemistry with Kylo than with Finn, and/or believe that ship opponents are engaging in morality policing. Shippers on both sides and non-shippers have accused the other of bullying them out of the Star Wars fandom, with bad players indeed engaging in that behavior, and trolls have flamed the fans higher.
    • Finn/Rey fans are also occasionally at odds with Finn/Poe fans, though with nowhere near the vitriol reserved for Kylo/Rey. Much of the debate is political in nature, with Finn/Poe fans arguing that having a gay relationship (especially an interracial one with both being minorities) would be far more progressive than the standard "hetero" romance, while Finn/Rey fans point out that an interracial romance between a black man and a white woman is quite progressive in its own right.
  • Ship Mates:
    • Despite the above combat, there are shippers who mesh quite well; Kylo/Rey and Finn/Poe are often seen shipped together. There's also an overall lack of Die for Our Ship, which helps lessen tensions.
    • Rey/Jessika and Finn/Poe seem to go together, and some JediStormPiloters also ship Kylux on the villain side.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • Kylo Ren stopping a blaster bolt in mid-air and holding it there for an extended period of time without looking.
    • The First Order using Starkiller Base to destroy an entire inhabited star system; five planets, from hyper-space distance, at the same time.
    • Any time Rey uses the Force, but especially when she grabs Anakin's lightsaber and lights it up to fight Kylo Ren.
  • Signature Scene: Han Solo's death, easily the biggest shock of the series since "I am your father."
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • As BB-8 flees the massacre of the Jakku village near the beginning of the film, a very obvious puppet alien pops its head out of the sand to look at him. According to J.J. Abrams, everyone knew how bad it looked but decided to keep it in anyway because they thought it was cute.
    • The Rathtars are terrifying in concept, but the CGI used to render them looks rather conspicuous and accentuates the ball rolling movement in an unfavorable manner.
    • The vulture-like creature that Rey rides past near the beginning of the film, looks like it was taken from Disneyland's "Jungle Cruise" ride.
  • Stoic Woobie: General Leia, despite going through even more misery since the original trilogy (with her divorce and her son turning evil) doesn't complain one bit.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Some fans feel this way about the movie in comparison to the Prequel Trilogy. The sentiment is far from universal however.

    T-Z 
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Shares a page with the rest of the films.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Uncanny Valley: Snoke, dear lord. While he's been confirmed to be an alien, even without the scarring his face looks totally wrong. Not helped by the fact he has rather human-like proportions.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Finn's portrayal has received accusations of racism. The main complaints are his incompetence relative to other characters, his name and identity being decided by another person, and his snubbing as a romantic lead.
  • Vocal Minority: Negative comments of this movie are so common, even on This Very Wiki, it's easy to forget that it stands at a 93% critical rating and a 86% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Wangst: Kylo Ren's whining reached Memetic Mutation levels just one week after the film was released. It also served to support the "Skywalker Whining Gene" theory.
  • What an Idiot!: See here.
  • Win Back the Crowd: At the end of its opening weekend it was sitting at a 95% critical rating and a 92% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has had the best opening week in cinema history.
  • The Woobie:
    • According to the Visual Dictionary, the Stormtrooper who leaves a Bloody Handprint on Finn's helmet was so inadequate at being a soldier, the rest of his squad sans Finn made fun of him. Not only that, it was so bad that Phasma ordered Finn to just let him die the next time he gets in trouble.
    • Rey was abandoned on a desert planet that is considered little more than a junkyard when she was five, and has spent most of her life barely surviving, with only the vague hope that her family will one day come back for her to keep her going. Even after leaving Jakku, she endures the apparent departure of her only friend, a horrifying vision through the Force, kidnap and torture by Kylo Ren, the loss of Han, who had become a Parental Substitute for her, and is nearly killed fighting Ren after seeing Finn get struck down too. Yet through it all, despite clearly being weary on Jakku and terrified while battling the First Order, Rey never breaks.
    • Finn was taken from his family as a child to be raised as a soldier for the First Order, experiences the atrocities of his superiors up close, is left believing that one of his first real friends is dead, spends most of the movie terrified of what the First Order is capable of, is helpless to stop Kylo Ren from kidnapping Rey, watches Han Solo die, and is so badly wounded by Ren that he ends up in a coma.
    • All three of the original Power Trio have had some very hard times since Return of the Jedi:
      • Luke, despite his best efforts, failed to rebuild the Jedi Order because his apprentice and nephew Ben was corrupted by Snoke, became Kylo Ren, and helped the Knights of Ren massacre the rest of Luke's Jedi pupils. By the time of this film, Luke is in exile as a broken man.
      • Leia lost her son to the Dark Side, lost her brother when he went into exile, lost her husband when he left her to deal with his own grief, and is leading the fight against the First Order with very little support from the Republic that she helped build. Even after reuniting with Han and expressing faith that Ben can be redeemed, Leia still loses them both when Han is killed by Ben, who dedicates himself to the Dark Side of the Force. The way she slumps down, exhausted, while everyone else celebrates the destruction of Starkiller Base says it all.
      • Han, like Leia, lost his son to Snoke's corruption, became estranged from his wife (whom he clearly still loves and who still loves him), returning to a life of smuggling and even being robbed of his beloved Millennium Falcon in the process. Despite the ray of hope that comes when he meets Finn and Rey and gets the Falcon back, Han ends up being killed by his own son while trying to convince Ben to turn away from the Dark Side.
    • Chewbacca loses his best friend, Han Solo, who is murdered while Chewie stands there helpless to save him.
    • R2-D2 became this when he shut himself down due to the sadness of Luke's disappearance, with even his old friend C-3PO doubting that he will ever wake up.
    • Arguably, the biggest woobie doesn't even appear in the film, and that is Anakin Skywalker. Knowing that he's a force ghost makes what Kylo Ren does all the more harsher. He's probably horrified and broken-hearted by this, as if he didn't go through enough already. And his daughter still thinks of him as "Darth Vader".


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report