Fans Speak on The Force Awakens: Linda Talks To Paul Marino

Now 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!

PaulMarino_ESBBobaFett_TFAPremiere_12172015_02Since Paul cosplays Boba Fett, I knew I wanted to hear his take on The Force Awakens as a whole, but especially on Captain Phasma since there has been a fair amount of commentary about the similarities of Phasma and Fett. Initially I didn’t think they were all that close, but I found Paul’s thoughts interesting enough to change my mind:

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

My expectations around TFA didn’t change significantly between Celebration and its release – mainly because I avoided as many articles and media around it as I could. I wanted my initial impression of the film to be as pure as possible and for it not to be influenced by any opinions, speculation or details, as high-level as they might have been.

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

I saw TFA on Thursday, Dec. 17th, the day before its official release. I trooped with the 501st earlier in the day (dressed in my ESB Boba Fett) and met with all sorts of excited fans – taking pictures with them, discussing how generally excited we all were to see the film. After trooping, our group was able to sit in on an evening screening of the film – which was the first of seeing it 3 times that weekend (again on opening day and again that Saturday).

  1. TFA in one word:


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

Han Solo was my favorite returning character. While it was great to see the returning cast of characters overall, Harrison Ford picked up right from where he left off in ROTJ. Ford gave Solo his trademark cockiness and also blended it with a healthy dose of emotional depth, showing us a nuanced and mature character that had quite few experiences since Endor. That was extremely satisfying to see.

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

Its toss-up between Rey and Finn, but in the end, Finn was my favorite new character. I really enjoyed his path in the film – going from soldier of the First Order to Resistance loyalist. It was an extremely interesting arc; we first see him witness the death of his troop mate (ironically shots fired by soon-to-be-friend Poe Dameron) to discovering Rey and BB-8, whose friendship give him guidance and purpose. John Boyega gave a pitch-perfect performance to this role and made him someone extremely likable and relatable – the lost soul who one who finds their greater calling through emotional bonds & partners.

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

I tried to keep my expectations of TFA fairly reigned in. While I anticipated the balance of old and new as a result of the trailers, I didn’t want to set myself up with a vision of what the film should or shouldn’t be – which would ultimately result in less-than-fulfilling experience. Let the storytellers tell their story and take it from there, I said.

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

I look forward to the development of the new characters, but also exploring the past 30+ years as well. There’s so much back story to mine – the main questions of Han & Leia’s relationship, Luke’s growth as a Jedi, the fall of the Empire and rise of the First Order, but also side plots, like what’s up with Lando, was Chewie close with Kylo and something near & dear to my heart — will Boba Fett return? It’s an extremely fertile universe to sow and it’s going to make for some great storytelling to come. With TFA now released and some of the story and images already teased for Rogue One, I’m truly excited about what we’ll experience with this new creative team at the helm.

  1. Much has been made about Boba Fett and Captain Phasma. Did you feel there was a likeness between the two?

I think the Phasma and Fett connection is really compelling. Like Fett, her armor just screams “back story!” – upon immediately seeing her, we wonder who she is, why she’s different, and where she is from. Additionally, there’s the same limited amount of dialogue along with the questionable ending for each of these characters – Fett’s fall into the Sarlacc pit & Phasma’s trash compactor walk – there’s no visual confirmation they’ve met their end, just an implied conclusion. Still, Phasma’s also a bold character, where gender doesn’t necessarily play a role and where mystique leads the way. She’s pretty fascinating from my standpoint and I wonder how they’ll expand her role in the future films – though I fear knowing more about her will diminish how cool a character she is!



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.