Ladies and gentlemen, a film franchise has been saved. And perhaps more importantly, some of our childhoods. Even with all the hype and the trepidation and the expectations, this new chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, is a return to the tone and feel of the Original Three, most especially Star Wars, A New Hope.
Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams seem to have used A New Hope as the blueprint for The Force Awakens. But it all works just as it should. So many moments of nostaligc chills, those warm fuzzies that make you smile without realizing you’re smiling. There’s lots of excitement, surprises, and even those old school film wipes for scene transitions. Dare I say, they got everything right here. THIS is the Star Wars film we’ve really been waiting for since Return (Revenge) of the Jedi.
Thankfully, in addition to the feel of the film, the cast is wonderful. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyongo, and Domhall Gleeson and all solid and create characters worth following fo at least two more films. And of course the appearance of Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Leia and Mark Hamill keep us connected to the original trilogy. And have no fear, it’s also wonderful to have Chewbacca back along with C-3PO and R2D2.
There is a perfect balance of old and new here. Many nods to the original Star Wars are all throughout the film. But there are some excellent new elements and characters, too. And they all FEEL organic, like they are supposed to be there, a part of this mythology. J.J. Abrams did everything right here.
I feel like I don’t want to say too much – you should just go see it and find out for yourself. Well, ok, I guess most of you will anyway, whether you read this or not. But I DID mention that there are surprises. So, I’ll allude to nothing here. I’m sure Chris and Graham will be doing a spoiler episode if they haven’t done that already with the podcasts already done in Australia. I’ll have to listen to those this weekend while I’m flying for the holidays.
But, when all is said and done, any complaints about The Force Awakens will have to fall under the category of “nit-picking”, for sure. I am quite satisfied with this film. And not just because episodes I-III were so lame. The Force Awakens is great in its’ own right, not just as a comparison to those. This is great in comparison to the Original Three (VI-VI).
Easily four or four and a half kittenhands! Yay!
~ Neil T.Weakley, your average movie-goer, looking forward to seeing this a few more times. For real. 🙂