Ok so the only opportunity I’ve had to watch a Star Wars movie in a theater on release date is with Episodes I through III, also known as the infamous “Prequels”. Now, don’t get me wrong, the prequels do have their good moments, but I never thought they had that sense of adventure the originals have. Now, I did watch the digital re releases of the original trilogy but, as most people out there, I still prefer the original versions.
Having explained that, I was very excited to be able to watch The Force Awakens on opening night, specially after Lucasfilm and Disney had done an amazing job of making the movie feel like Star Wars again. And I am glad to say I was not disappointed!
From the opening credits accompanied by the famous John Williams score, the movie geared up and took us for a fun, exhilarating ride in a galaxy far, far away. Now, I know the movie is not perfect, but really neither are the originals. The reason we love these movies so much is not because they are perfectly made movies, but because they take us on a journey that makes us feel like little kids again. This was TFA’s main goal, to take us back to the roots of Star Wars, and boy did it accomplish it. Relying on both old known characters, magnificently introduced new ones, and nods to the originals, TFA brought back the heart that the franchise had lost so many years ago.
- The new characters take center stage, and are fleshed out fluidly within the story, letting us know where they’re coming from without giving away too much too fast. One of the main factors that allowed the characters to stand out, is the story. Abrams parallels the main conflict to the one in A New Hope, familiar territory for old fans, and an easily to understand conflict for new ones, allowing him to focus on telling the background motivations for each character. Even BB8 was a great addition to this universe as the comic relief. Yes we can finally forget about Jar Jar.
- Han Solo is back, and is one of the strong points in the film. I was afraid that his character was going to be shoehorned in just for nostalgia effects, however, not only is he integral to the story, but to me it seemed as if Harrison Ford was having the time of his life revisiting this character. Han and Chewie definitely stole the show on every scene they were in.
- Kylo Ren. This was a pleasant surprise on the film, as we meet a villain in the making. He is not Darth Vader. In fact he is merely a Vader wannabe, but as the movie goes along we get to see a troubled person behind the mask, a villain who’s journey will be told throughout the new trilogy, making him a very interesting character.
- The acting. Everyone seems to have brought their A game (well almost everyone, that is), which makes the experience more enjoyable! Special nods to Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, who gave unique qualities to each of their characters.
- Few Exposition. One of the things that made me not like the prequels too much is the exposition. The movies take no time to show us things, they just explain it all on looooong boring dialogs. NOT HERE! Everything we learn about the characters is shown through situations, decisions or behavior, we learn about the story and the characters, we are not told about them, which makes us care more about what is going on.
- The final light saber battle! This fight looks brutal, like two people literally fighting for their lives. The choreographed look of the fights in the prequels is over and man is that a good thing.
THE NOT SO GOOD:
- Snoke. The problem with this is not with the character, but only with the effects used to present him. In a movie filled with practical effects, this CGI character stands out and looks not as good as the rest of the movie.
- Carrie Fisher, although it is good to watch her character again, she hasn’t acted in a while, and it shows on the movie.
- Episode VIII can’t come fast enough.
All in all this is a movie that succeeds because it was not only made as eye candy, but it actually has a good story, respects the universe created in the originals, and most importantly has heart, a LOT of heart, and a story and ending that only leaves us wanting Episode VIII to be premiered next week!
If you haven’t seen it, please go! I promise you will not be bored or disappointed.
May the force be with you!