The universe that was first introduced to the world back on May 25th, 1977, is officially back in theaters with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, it was what a movie experience should be. It has some humor, it made me cry (yes, I’m not ashamed), and it enthralled me to no end.
The Force was with me, as I waited until Monday to see the film, without taking part in a self-imposed social media blackout, I was still able to see the film sans spoilers.
In many ways this film has the same feel as Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV), in that we are introduced to the characters, the lore, and the story as the film progresses. And just like A New Hope, this is just the beginning of a trilogy. It may not give you the whole story, but it’s not leaving anything out, more like just teasing you. Tantalizing you with small bits that you’d like explained, and that you’ll have to wait for Episode VIII to get anything more on.
Scored again by the incomparable, John Williams, the music in Episode VII, is just as much a character as it was in the other six films. Although, to the trained ear, there appear to be some musical nods to his Jurassic Park scores.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the cast. And not just the return of the original cast, or the fantastic newcomers, but the number of large names with small parts, some of which I only know because I sat through the credits. Names such as Simon Pegg, Warwick Davis, Judah Friedlander, Bill Hader, Tom Kane, and upon further research an uncredited Daniel Craig.
J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, along with Michael Arndt, should be commended on the script, and for those other famous names the casting by Nina Gold, April Webster, and Alyssa Weisberg deserves some kudos, as well. Although, I doubt it was hard to get anyone to participate, that list is still impressive.
And while I’m at it, is it possible that J.J. Abrams’ handling of both Star Trek and Star Wars, the most powerful feud in any and every Galaxy, could bring about a truce? That may yet to be seen, though both sides seem fairly happy with him at the helm.
So far as the future plans that Disney has for Star Wars, it all hinged upon the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And a success it is. It was easily going to be better than the Prequels, because unlike The Phantom Menace, The Clone Wars, and Revenge of the Sith, we don’t know how this trilogy ends. This is new territory and the current success of The Force Awakens sets us, fanboys and general fans alike, up for a bright future in the Star Wars Universe.
Now, as for the merchandising… Last week, I saw that my local Disney Store had a remote control BB-8, in stock. I passed on purchasing the little droid at the time, but now, after seeing BB-8 in action, I kinda want one. Well, I kinda wanted one before, now, I really want one. For me, and I’m sure for others, BB-8 will never replace R2-D2 in my heart, but he’s fantastic in his own right, and has the ability, like his predecessor R2-D2, to steal a scene or two.
Overall, I was extremely happy with the film. It has a beautifully woven story, told with the utmost respect and admiration for the original trilogy, with enough Easter eggs for the keen observing fanboy to enjoy, alongside the new stuff. But I fear the Dark Side; despite my enjoyment, I am sure there are people out there that will pick the film apart as absolutely no one else can.
Is that what we’ve become? Is that what the internet is now for? Picking apart something that should be beloved, that is definitely revered and should at least be respected. If people don’t get the movie because they’ve never seen Star Wars before, or even if they just have no interest, I can respect that. But if you liked Star Wars before and you’re going to nitpick about this or that you’re missing the entire picture.
It’s not about that one frame or that one scene without, this, that, or the other thing. It’s the whole thing, the larger picture; the story, the characters, the universe, it’s about the Force inside us all. It’s about endings and it’s about new beginnings.
This is Star Wars, it is back and I, for one, think that that is cause enough for celebration.