Ok I don’t want to give anything away as it would ruin the whole watching experience so let me begin this review with a personal background story about my love of Star Wars…According to the internet the #1 movie at the box office the day I was born was The Empire Strikes Back so when I was old enough my mom made me watch all three original movies and I became a fan at first screening. It seems to me that most of yours out there favorite character is Han Solo and yeah he is alright but for me it has been love at first sight (maybe even my first crush) for Luke Skywalker.
(from high school yearbook)Although only a fictional character he was the first character I ever cared about, which lets me to enjoy other beings of the fictional world including The Doctor and taught me that characters in which the viewer can feel compassion and passion for (none are more passionate then Star Wars fans) are what make for good story telling in any film or TV series. I watched each movie many times and (like with many others) quickly memorized each one by the time I was 10 or 11, even acting out scenes when no one was around. Jump to my teen years when with a new video camera and a few friends who shared the same love for the films made a mini movie which I still have on VHS (Hi Marcy, Cassie and Martha) and of course I played Luke. Jump to my early 20s when the three prequels come out, sure they weren’t as good but origin stories rarely are and if you think of them as a separate part of this wonderful world we were already a part of it makes for better viewing of each. That was past…
Now, from the announcement by new franchise owner Disney that there would be sequels to learning that J.J. Abrams (of whom I became a fan of through Alias) would write and direct the anticipation began, there were online teasers, trailers, then posters, TV ads, many many TV interviews and a Hollywood red carpet premiere, with tickets sold out and people standing in line (and costume) weeks in advance it was time for the lights to go down and to be transferred back to that galaxy far far away…
Not giving any plot points away I have to say that Star Wars: The Force Awakens directed by Abrams and written by him and Lawrence Kasden along with a 30+ year wait was certainly worth every minute and each frame of the Kodak film it was made on. In the first few seconds we were introduced to the main new characters and each fit into the story seamlessly, which helped me like them right away. For example I could tell from the commercials that I would like new droid BB-8 and I ended up caring for him more then I could have imagine. In fact all of the characters and the actors who played them new (Oscar Isaac as Poe, John Boyega as Finn, Daisy Ridley as Rey and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren) and old (Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as Leia) had amazing and perfect chemistry with each other thus permitting the viewer to easily flow into this new chapter. The newbies even brought a welcomed crisp freshness to the story.
Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew also star.
I trusted Mr. Abrams with this beloved tale and have to say he did not disappoint. The entire look of the film made me reminisce about the original three which allowed true continually with the story as a whole. He use old school effects like puppets and real explosions for most of the filming reminding fans of their childhood. Or course there was a beautiful score by John Williams and we all remember and love the sound of blasters, ships and those lightsabers (nothing like a good lightsaber fight to put I smile on my face). There were multiple nods towards true fans of those original three and a quick synapsis to anyone who has been living under a rock for 40 years.
Thank you to the cast and crew for a memorable and happy movie going experience, even at 10 am on a Friday I sat with a handful of faithful fans who cheered (sometimes out loud) for our heroes. If you are already quoting the lines and re-enacting the scenes as you exit the theater (and days later) those involved with making the movie must have done something right.
For its humor, sadness, heart and of course non stop adventure go see Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens.