The Force Has Awakened! It’s been more than a decade since we have seen a live action Star Wars film grace theatre screens everywhere and well over thirty years without the original cast, but all of that came to an end on December 18th/2015, when Star Wars Episode VII- The Force Awakens opened worldwide (with the exception of China which will see the release in early January).
I don’t think that anyone living in our Galaxy or the next, didn’t hear about this movie in one way or another. I mean when your kitchen is full of Star Wars items that you didn’t intend to buy such as soup, cereal, crackers, cookies and my personal favourite, BB-8 oranges, one could not help but to have this release date ingrained in your head. Combine that with numerous television ads, commercials, chain restaurant promotions and the expected holiday push and you get the perfect marketing storm. To be honest though, it was generally expected that the film would open with big numbers and gross a lot of money, as every film in the Saga has to this point, even the prequels. As Monday morning rolled around, it was announced that Episode VII had broken Jurassic World’s numbers at $500 million plus, to no one’s surprise.
Financial success aside, the question remained, “Is it a good movie?” People have been waiting a very long time for this film to be released. Whether you liked the prequel trilogy or not, the fact is they were a different kind of Star Wars. By this I mean, we knew what was coming. We knew how it was going to end so that element of surprise and awe was diminished somewhat. Now though, everything is new, and anything can happen. We would finally get to see the fates of Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie. Would the thirty plus years of build-up prove to be a letdown? Without going into too many specifics, as some people will take several weeks before they see the film, we will give you our general thoughts. There were a few fears most fans had when the new films were announced:
1. Would it feel like Star Wars?
2. Is the original cast merely there to pass the torch on? And;
3. Are the effects going to compliment the story or get in it’s way?
In my opinion the crew succeeded in all of these aspects. From the opening crawl and theme to the end credits, it felt like Star Wars. The story was put first and foremost as all the other elements just came together. The Saga has always been about family and this chapter is no different. We get to see what happened after Return of the Jedi and how the next generation fits into our story . The biggest fear was how the original cast would fit in to this installment as many believed them just to make cameos, however it came as a complete shock to myself and many others when Han Solo turned out to have some of the longest screen time in this installment, allowing the story to fully take shape.
Then there were the effects. A return to practical effects enhanced by digital effects which have never been this awesome. Seeing the characters, ships and locations look dirty again felt like Star Wars. This is a used universe and nothing is new as Leia comments about Han’s dirty jacket! In conclusion, it would have been hard for me not to like this film as I am a fan of all things Star Wars, so I look to my wife (who is your average movie goer) for her opinion and she said she loved it, which summarizes the majority of the people present at the theatre the night I attended.
There were a few surprises and without spoiling anything, I can safely say the biggest one was with how funny the movie was. Star Wars has always been sprinkled with humor but this one seems to take it to the next level with a lot of amazing one liners. Also the fact that we have a female and a person of color playing the leads in the film is nothing new to Star Wars as we have not only had had Leia and Lando in the originals, but also Padme and Mace in the prequels. However the public made these two feel different as they are the focus of the film. For most Star Wars fans, we have embraced these differences light years ago, and it seems that the general public is now embracing it as well.
Overall I give it a 11 out of 10 because that’s how good it is. For me it’s not a film but rather a chapter in a series and it certainly succeeds where one may argue the prequels did not. The Force has Awakened and with it a new generation to continue the amazing story that is too good to come to an end!