On movies and that cathartic jolt only Star Wars can do

My parents watched The Force Awakens earlier today. I asked my mother via SMS if she caught my father tearing up in arguably the most shocking scene in that movie.

Her reply was, as expected, a resounding yes. For all the gruff exterior of my father, deep inside the man is a softie. Films like The Shawshank Redemption and King Kong reach him in a manner most casual moviegoers can’t be touched. In that regard I guess it’s only fair that when it comes to that, I am my father’s son.

They just had to kill Han Solo.

Not that it’s such a dick move, especially when it’s used as a platform to propel the narrative forward. From an objective point of view, it was a good way of establishing just how messed up the main villain was to have him kill his own father in cold blood. But from a fan’s perspective who grew up on the original series it was just a bit too much.

solo

By the time Han yelled “BEN!” I was already mourning. That scene had the intense classic elements of someone getting killed: The helpless onlookers, a one on one confrontation with a volatile villain, and the nagging voice floating inside your head endlessly repeating that the rumors about Harrison Ford’s character being killed off is true. That the actor himself, basing from interviews years even before The Force Awakens was itching to kill off his character in Return Of The Jedi, only added to that irreversible finality.

Save an extra roll of tissues for Kylo Ren’s death. I’m sure it’ll play out like Darth Vader’s did. In the meantime, the Skywalker family dysfunction continues.

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