Fans Speak on The Force Awakens: Linda Talks to B.J. Priester

Han and ChewieNow that The Force Awakens has been out for a few months, fans have seen it multiple times, and we’ve all had time to digest and process the movie, I was curious to catch up with my fellow fans and see what they though of The Force Awakens. Initially I sent everyone the same questions and planned to do one post picking one answer from each person. But sometimes when I do interviews, even when I know my interviewees and their passions, I’m surprised at how interesting and unique each person’s answers are! It became impossible for me to choose one answer from a person, so instead, here is a series of fan impressions to The Force Awakens. Reading everyone else’s feelings about the movie has made me want to watch it again with their points of view in mind.

I’d love to know what your thoughts are as well. Do you agree? Disagree? Please share in the comments or on Twitter!

I count B.J. as one of my trusted friends – he’s FANgirl Blog’s editor and often edits my writing. B.J. has a sharp eye for where a post can be trimmed and honed, but always does it kindly and with humor. He’s also incredibly logical and has a dry sense of humor – I wasn’t at all surprised to the sequence in which he saw The Force Awakens on opening day. It’s totally logical! Wish I had thought of that! But his answer to Question 3? It surprised me, and with further thought, I had to agree! See what you think:

  1. Did your expectations for TFA change between Celebration and its release (because of merchandising, trailers, rumors, commentaries, etc.)?

Not a lot. I kept up with all of the official materials like the Journey to The Force Awakens books and the Shattered Empire comic. So mostly I grew more excited as the movie got closer.

  1. Did you see TFA on opening day? (did you wait in a crazy line, dress up, etc.)

I saw it four times opening weekend, including the first available Thursday evening showing. I watched 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D in that order. It was fun!

  1. TFA in one word:

Hilarious! I did not expect how great the humor would be.

  1. Favorite returning character: (feel free to say why)

Han Solo.

  1. Favorite new character: (feel free to say why)

It’s so difficult to pick. I love Rey, Finn, and BB-8 especially! If I had to pick one, I’d choose Rey. She has much of the character arc of TPM Anakin and ANH Luke but without the Skywalker Whine™ they had.

  1. Was TFA the (the story, the movie, the whole experience) you expected? If it wasn’t, how did it differ?

I had followed rumors and spoilers fairly closely, so the plot of the movie was pretty close to my expectations. It’s the acting performances and dialogue that are more inscrutable in advance, and they’re what really made the movie so great for me. I was confident I would like the movie, but the actors made me love it.

  1. What are your hopes for (your new hope, so to speak) for future movies/the franchise?

TFA was a great start to the story featuring Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren. I hope Episodes VIII and IX can live up to it, and exceed it.

  1. For your question, as the FGB editor, I’m curious to know what you think about the editing of TFA– what we saw vs. what we didn’t see, and how that added/detracted from the storyline for you?

I think there are some weaknesses in the story design of TFA that could have been tightened up and improved with some more time put into the planning and the script, but the editing of the movie itself is pretty strong. Overall the pacing is great, which is important for an action-adventure story. I’ve noticed a few scenes that clearly have reshoots or dialogue replacement in them, and there’s only so much the film editors can do to account for last-minute changes like that. I agree with the criticism that a bit more explanation of the galactic politics situation would have helped make the plot flow a bit more understandable, so perhaps a little too much was trimmed out in Leia and Hux scenes. On the other hand, the entire snowspeeder chase sequence on Starkiller Base was cut, and that was definitely the right call. Shortening the gangs-and-rathtars fight on Han’s freighter was a good decision, too. So on the whole, I think the editing was really effective.



Linda has been a Star Wars fan from the time she saw Episode IV in the theatre with her parents and insisted on being Han Solo while playing with the neighborhood kids. She’s now a fangirl who splits her time learning to twirl a bo staff like Ray Park, jumping horses, writing fanfic she dreams up on her commute to work, and spending time with her husband and their own feisty Padawan version of Ahsoka.