So… this is it, huh? The most anticipated movie of the year and possibly the biggest single release of all time (so far). A movie saddled with almost 40 years of history and the baggage of towering expectations of super-fanboys who’ve been burned harshly three times before. I’m going to keep this completely spoiler free (so I’ll keep it short).
The obvious initial question is: Is it good? But the more important question is: Is it Star Wars?
The answer to both of those questions is a resounding ‘yes‘. J.J. Abrams has absolutely created a joyous, modern Star Wars film. I was on the edge of my seat and grinning practically the entire time.
The cast and crew have brought their A-game to this film. An extra special shout out should go to both Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, who have knocked it out of the park and given us brand new characters who are just as good (and maybe even better) than the big three (and Lando) from the originals.
And it’s surprisingly funny. The Force Awakens is so full of jokes it should win the Oscar for Best Comedy. And every bit of it works and does not feel forced (haha) in any way. Even the references to the old films are lovingly inserted in a way that will make you smile.
There are also things that made me upset, but I can’t go into those yet for the sake of the people who haven’t seen it. But let it be known: it was a good upset and it was earned.
The verdict is: watch it. Then come back to me and we’ll talk about it in greater detail. And I desperately want to talk about it in greater detail.
The next burning question is: Is it the best Star Wars movie ever made?
The answer to that is a resounding ‘no‘. Because it never will be! Not for me and not for any old school Star Wars fan.
Why? Because, even if you go to the fanciest restaurant in the world and have the most delicious meal, nothing will ever beat home cooking, and it is unrealistic to expect that. And the Original Trilogy is what we will always come home to.
It was a realization I came to while watching the movie. The Force Awakens was different. It wasn’t the Star Wars I remembered. It was faster and more intense and I missed some of the slower moments I had been used to . But, unlike watching the Prequels, at no point did I feel Force Awakens detracted from the originals. Nothing was ‘ruined forever’, only added to, and by people who clearly knew what a Star Wars film should be. It was a good movie and it was a good Star Wars movie.
And I’m sure, as the hype wears down and we watch it over and over, we’ll find something to criticize and nitpick so we can knock Force Awakens down a peg, just below the pedestal of the originals. But, really, that doesn’t matter.
The bottom line is, The Force Awakens is an entirely worthy successor, bringing the Star Wars Saga into the modern age of blockbuster Sci-Fi. For many kids, this will be their first Star Wars movie and, given how it captures the soul of the originals, it deserves to be people’s first Star Wars movie, which is the highest praise I can give it.
The baton has been passed (quite literally), and, while the new movie will never be as good as the original trilogy we remember, it is definitely and unabashedly Star Wars.
Because that is what The Force Awakens is: not the last of the old, but the first of the new.