The film starts off with a spectacular battle sequence where the resistance deals a telling blow on the dark side, but apparently there are strings attached! So they get tracked even at light speed and are pummeled mercilessly. While Rey tries her best to play Karate Kid with her Sensei ‘Luke Skywalker’ and Kylo Ren mopes a bit, Finn goes off on a mission to save the resistance. This leads to an entirely useless sequence of events which amount to nothing in the end, but yeah Luke comes back to save the day. Meanwhile Kylo Ren mopes some more. Finally, Rey meets Finn and the resistance is saved to fight another day and Kylo Ren gets a chance to mope some more in the next sequel.
If I could give out spoilers, this would have been filled with a list of plot holes, clichés and wasted opportunities, but let’s not go there. The problem with this stretched epic is that it doesn’t for a minute tug at your heart strings. If you were a Star Trek character watching a Star Wars movie, you would be a Vulcan - because you feel nothing! There is neither any excitement when Luke trains Rey nor any emotion in Kylo’s internal conflict. The action sequences, though brilliantly done, are filled with predictable and unnecessary plot twists which invalidate the worth of their preceding sequences.
The conflict between the Darkness and Light is the very essence of the Star Wars. And both Rey and Kylo Ren are going through the same, internally. Will Rey tilt towards the darkness? Is Kylo too far gone to come back? These questions bind them together. But the biggest problem with the movie is that this conflict is very loose. The ping pong of Rey and Ren between darkness and light is too stretched and ultimately causes a pain in the neck.
In terms of the characters, while Daisy Ridley, Boyega and Fisher are consistently good, Mark Hamill is on the mark and Adam Driver drives you crazy with his constant brooding. The most interesting character – Poe by Oscar Isaac is largely kept on a tight leash and Benicio Del Toro fails to pull off an intergalactic Jack Sparrow. And what do I say about the Supreme Commander Snoke? He is a disappointment of the first order!
While I know that Resistance is Futile and if you are a Star Wars fan watch you must, I warn you – you might get disappointed. Go without expectations of this being one of the best Star Wars movies ever made (as proclaimed by many reviewers) and you might just have a little fun. And yes, it will break a lot of box office records because of the holiday season revelry. But for me, the force wasn’t strong enough to make me glued to the screen (or my seat)!