Finally … FINALLY, we are able to talk about J.J. Abrams’ latest movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Granted, we only saw it for the first time a few days ago, but sitting on those spoilers and steering clear of plot details has been about as difficult as completing the Kessel run in 12 parsecs. Still, not everyone has seen The Force Awakens yet, so if you happened to stumble into this article on accident…
This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you want to read our spoiler-free review, click here. The rest of you, read on… but know that you have been warned.
So, as we have said in our Star Wars review, and in my recent column, The Force Awakens does a lot to recapture the magic of the Original Trilogy. And one major way that Abrams accomplishes this is by injecting humor throughout his film. Star Wars is funny again, which helps the whole movie move at a spirited pace. We wanted to single out our favorite funny moments. Which was your favorite? What did we forget?
Poe Dameron zings Kylo RenThis interaction was the first indication that I’d love The Force Awakens. Captured and dragged to face his enemy, brash pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) stares into the black mask of Kylo Ren. After a beat of silence, he cockily ribs the villain with, "Are you talking first? Or am I? Who’s supposed to talk first?" It’s a verbal middle finger, a sign that Ren doesn’t intimidate Poe one bit. And with a few lines, Abrams lets fans know that the humor in The Force Awakens will be different than the slapsticky prequels. In other words, it will be better.
Finn Can’t Find The Right ToolFor a chunk of The Force Awakens, Finn (John Boyega) is afraid to tell people who he really is – a Stormtrooper who has rejected his "programming" because helping the Resistance is the right thing to do. He often tries to deflect his new cohort, Rey (Daisy Ridley), by pretending to be more than he is. And when she needs his help fixing the broken Millennium Falcon, it leads to a very funny exchange that bounces along under the sharp delivery of these young, fresh co-stars.
C-3PO Disrupts Han And Leia’s Reunion… as only this clueless droid can do. The first time Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and General Leia (Carrie Fisher) share the screen in Force, they’ve been apart for a long time. They lock eyes, and the two outstanding actors share a number of emotions without saying a word. There’s tension, but it’s expertly shattered by the stumbling, bumbling droid, who is very excited to see Han again… even if he steps all over the emotional dance being staged by the star-crossed lovers.
Han Argues With Chewie Over His Negotiating SkillsOne of the pure delights about this particular entry in the Star Wars universe has been the re-emergence of the charismatic and entertaining Harrison Ford. We see multiple glimpses of that scoundrel throughout The Force Awakens, and it’s a direct callback to the glory days of the Original Trilogy, when the Nerf Herder was winning over Leia’s heart (and our hearts, in the process). Solo telling Chewbacca that he "always" talks his way out of problems was a serious laugh-out-loud moment, one of many in the film.
Han Feeds His Enemies To The CreaturePhysical comedy is a mark of J.J. Abrams’ tentpole efforts, and he stages an off-kilter, kinetic and slightly sloppy creature fight aboard the ship Han Solo pilots in place of the Falcon. The lifelong smuggler finds himself pinched between two clients, but before anyone can settle with him, all hell breaks loose as his flesh-eating cargo is released. Sensing its every man for himself, Han does what few would do… he tosses a dude into the mouth of the beast. Harsh! But necessary.
Rey Tells The Stormtrooper To Leave The GunIt’s the Force equivalent of "These are not the droids you are looking for." Rey, trapped by the First Order, realizes that she can use the Force to manipulate her less-intelligent Stormtrooper guard. At first, it doesn’t work. When it finally does, she pushes her luck and checks to see if she can get a weapon out of the deal. It’s hilarious, and another great comedic beat Abrams wisely weaves throughout his adventure.
Stormtroopers Walk Away While Kylo Ren Throws A Hissy FitThe thing I love about Kylo Ren as a villain is that he doesn’t keep his cool. When he gets frustrated, he takes it out on nearby machinery. There are numerous scenes where the petulant "leader" unleashes his anger, but to counter it, Abrams drops a hysterical moment between two Stormtroopers who are probably at the end of a long day and just don’t need to put up with their supervisor’s shit at the moment. They pause, turn tail, and avoid conflict. Perfect silent comedy in a spot where you just wouldn’t expect it.
BB-8 In… Well, BB-8 In Every Scene He/She Is InI said this in my column, and I meant it. BB-8 gives a better performance in The Force Awakens than most actors give in the entire prequel trilogy. It’s all reactions, and well-timed bleeps and bloops. But the droid conveys humor, pathos, frustration, despair… a whole gamut of emotions. And he’s the funniest scene stealer outside of Oscar Isaac. Get these two a Netflix series, Disney. It could run for multiple seasons.
What was your favorite funny moment from Star Wars: The Force Awakens?