Film Review by Bowe Bergdahl.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which was just released on DVD and BluRay this week, is a refreshing return for Star Wars fans to George Lucas' beloved saga a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It has everything Star Wars fans love: action, adventure, romance, all set against a great galactic battle of good versus evil.
Among the many outstanding performances, I really want to single out John Boyega for the character of Finn, a disillusioned stormtrooper who just decides one day to walk off post and becomes the hero of the movie. I can't think of any character who has ever spoken more to who I am, except of course Jason Bourne.
I'm sure Finn was told plenty of times to stay where he was, but as a freethinking individual he just had to follow his conscience. A really important lesson of the film is we could all stand to be a little more like Finn: questioning what we've been told all our lives, or at the least in the year since we entered basic training.
I haven't watched Star Wars, or really any movies, since mid-2009, but it was good to see how the filmmakers got back to the basics of what really made the original movies so enjoyable: showing the importance of running away.
Right from the beginning of the series in "A New Hope," we see a hero who runs away from his responsibilities on a farm to meet the old man who ran away and hid for 20 years, then to "The Empire Strikes Back" where Luke runs away from battle to meet someone else who ran away and hid for 20 years, and even to "Return of the Jedi," where Luke runs off on Endor to surrender to the enemy.
A scene late in "A New Hope" was probably the best of them. The heroes are stuck on the Death Star, but it turns out Han has little compartments in the Millennium Falcon to help him hide. I was like "Wow! This is a guy who takes running away seriously!"
I did notice that in Star Wars when someone deserts their post nobody in the audience stands up and shouts, "Hey! He signed the damn contract! What the hell?" No one whines about all the stormtroopers who got killed looking for Finn, or goes on TV and asks the Resistance to just please take him out back and shoot him.
Nope, they all got up on their feet and applauded.
Finn also gets welcomed into the Resistance like family. He's not locked in a cage like some kind of goddamn animal for years at a time, living in his own filth and starved while occasionally hauled out for mock executions or to get beaten with a rubber hose.
Because you know in real life that's what would have fucking happened.
Or he would have been returned to the First Order and put on trial, even though the presiding official recommended against it, just because he appeared on Serial, like that's a fucking crime.
Must be nice, Finn.
Bowe Bergdahl is an active-duty Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He served overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom, spending two months in Afghanistan and five years in Pakistan. He is currently stationed at Fort Bragg.