These past months I’ve been revisiting the Star Wars films, sharing my thoughts and looking at each film in light of this new era in Star Wars and the saga’s ever-changing canon. It’s been just over a year since we saw the release of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens in December of 2015 and it kicked off in a big way this new trilogy of films and so much more.
It’s hard to imagine a film that was more hyped in it’s release than The Force Awakens. I think that we would all agree, or at least as much as any two Star Wars fans can agree on anything, that the film delivered on the majority of it’s hype and delivered a solid, enjoyable film.
However, I must say that coming out of the movie for the first time that cold December evening, I wasn’t sure I liked the movie. It’s hard to put it into words, but the film was so different than anything that I could’ve expected but also so similar to what had come before, and the state of the galaxy is such a different thing than we could have imagined. I think it was borderline sensory overload. It wasn’t until I had seen the movie a few more times that all the pieces started to come together for me. The six original films have such a unique flow to the dialogue. The stories move at a very specific pacing and The Force Awakens doesn’t always move the same way.
Is the film perfect? No. However, it is an extremely well-made and entertaining movie. When asked to rank the films, I’m currently putting The Force Awakens in the middle. There are some simply incredible and breathtaking sequences, but there are also some moments there are less than impressive.
One of the most common complaints against the movie is that it is simply a modern retelling or remake of the original Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. This is simply wrong. It’s an oversimplification of both movies. George Lucas always said that the various movies of the saga and trilogies work like stanzas in a poem, rhyming, and repeating. The Force Awakens is no different.
One of the most intriguing elements about The Force Awakens is that for the first time in decades, we know so very little about the state of the galaxy and the players in the film. The whole prequel era was all about how the galaxy came to be in the original trilogy, always pushing towards the familiar. Now, we are in uncharted territory. Every time I watch the movie I see something new or gain a new insight into the movie.
We are less than a year from Episode VIII, but we still know so little about this movie and much of the time between Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens is still unknown to us. The future is unclear and that makes it a very exciting time for Star Wars fans. The Force Awakens was aptly titled, it’s a reawakening of Star Wars in our pop culture and the beginning of a new chapter for fandom.
The Cantina Cast
The wretched hive your Jedi Master warned you about!