It's been just about two weeks since The Force Awakens and the everyone pretty much agrees that it's one of the better installments in the Star Wars franchise.
It isn't nearly as plodding as Episodes I-III, or as cheap-looking as IV-VI, but rather it exists in a nice middle ground that feels both lived-in and brand-new. Still, though, the movie's not without its faults. The Force Awakens would be the perfect Star Wars movie if these five simple changes were made.
WARNING: You probably shouldn't read this if you haven't seen the movie yet.
Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma is one of the most badass additions to the Star Wars universe, but she barely gets any screentime in The Force Awakens.
After being introduced as the Stormtroopers' intimidating commander, she's basically written out of the movie, save for one lackluster scene where she becomes a hostage and it's implied that she's thrown into a trash compactor.
General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), on the other hand, is given much more to do despite not being all that compelling a character. Where Phasma is arresting and has a chrome-plated gravitas about her, Hux comes off as a professional bureaucrat who doesn't know that he probably shouldn't be picking fights with lightsaber-wielding psychos.
The solution? Fold these two characters into each other. Or, rather, give all of Hux's scenes to Phasma. Imagine watching Phasma and Kylo Ren snarl at one another from behind their respective masks while Supreme Leader Snoke demands that they hunt down the Resistance.
Also, that very, very intense Stormtrooper with the electrostaff that can stand up to a lightsaber? He also should have been Phasma.
We already know that Finn and Poe are destined to be the best couple ever. Rather than leaving their love subtextual, though, make it explicit. Give these boys a chance to hold hands on screen the way the internet demands.
Toward the end of the movie, Kylo Ren grants Harrison Ford's wish and frees him from having to appear in another Star Wars movie ever again. Han Solo's death doesn't exactly come as a surprise, but the way that everyone reacted to it certainly did.
Finn and Rey, who barely know Solo, scream out in horror as he falls down an all too familiar ventilation shaft and Chewbacca shoots down a few Stormtroopers in a rage. Leia isn't present when Han dies, but she senses it from afar.
When the heroes get back to the Resistance fighters, everyone mourns Solo's death, but for some reason the first person that Leia chooses to comfort is Rey. Chewbacca, Han's life-long friend and co-pilot, walks right past the love of his life who's hugging some strange girl from a desert planet.
A tearful embrace between Leia and Chewbacca really would have given Han's death the reverence that it deserved.
For the most part, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) was a whiny, petulant, emo Sith-in-training with a lightsaber that was far too cool for him.
Kylo Ren is supposed to be a fanatic obsessed with completing his grandfather's (Darth Vader's) plan for galactic domination. The scenes where he's talking to Vader's charred remains are eerie, yes, but they don't quite feel like the kind of conversations an insane person might have.
The fix? Make him crazier, more unhinged and less in touch with reality. Now that he's killed his father, it'd be excellent to see him literally haunted by the evil that he's done.
Even without all of these proposed changes, The Force Awakens is a perfectly good Star Wars movie…except for that last scene between Luke and Rey. The movie culminates in a dramatic scene where Rey, having realized that she's in line to become the next chosen Jedi, tracks down Luke Skywalker to return his familial lightsaber.
The two stare at each other in an emotionally-charged shot that lasted way too long. Rey literally stands there for a good three minutes or so with her arm outstretched to Luke while a camera zooms around the two of them in a dizzying helicopter shot.
For a movie that's surprisingly well-paced throughout, this last scene was beyond unnecessary. We get it, Rey's the next person to bring balance to the Force, either have Luke say something or wrap. It. Up.
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