Well, I can’t believe I actually saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night. Part of me feels like it didn’t really happen. The nerds were out in full-force last night and I was one of them. It really was a great experience and a great movie. Everyone screamed and applauded at the credits, they applauded at the entrances of notable characters (and spaceships…wink, wink), and there were more than a few gasps. It was a worthy film to be added to the Star Wars cannon.
I must say, however, that a particular group of guys behind me almost ruined my experience. They were hyperventilating in a few parts – I’m not making this up! Screaming and hyperventilating. I didn’t know if Kylo Ren’s powers were having some sort of effect on them…they finally settled down…a little.
I think the best compliment I can give SW7 is that it felt like Star Wars. I remember when I saw Episode I in the theater, it felt like a different movie. There were elements that felt similar, but overall it just seemed like a totally different movie franchise. SW7, however, seemed to fit with episodes IV-VI. It fits pretty seamlessly with the original series. Without a doubt, this one was far more updated – special effects, etc. But, J.J. Abrams did an excellent job of not overdoing it. The effects weren’t too much and the action wasn’t too much either.
Think about it, by 2015 most of us have seen various spaceships don the silver screen. We’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy and over-the-top action films with insane stunts. Abrams held back on some of that. Even his Star Trek reboots had modernized action, but he didn’t over-do it with SW7. Yes, there was plenty of excitement and plenty of updated action sequences, but he held back in order to make this film fit with the other three – that’s good directing.
I do think there will be a newer generation that isn’t as enthralled by this film, because they’ve been spoiled on CGI and insane-action. In all seriousness, if you don’t enjoy this movie it’s because you’re spoiled. (Or, either you’re not a fan of sci-fi which means you shouldn’t even be watching this film.)
I also thought the story and new characters were intriguing. From the opening credits of SW7 the story grabs you. Again, there were some gasps as people read the context of Episode 7. I love how secretive this film has been – I can’t believe they’ve maintained to keep a tight lid on things.
The new characters in the film meshed well with the old. I was pretty impressed with Harrison Ford being able to channel his inner-Han at age 73. I couldn’t imagine how hard that would be for an actor to portray a character they created some 40-years prior. Yet, Ford spoke dialogue, had mannerisms, and even facial expressions that reminded me of Han – my childhood hero (second to Indiana Jones).
So, these are just a few initial, spoiler-free reactions to the movie. It really was enjoyable and maintained continuity with the previous films. Don’t go in thinking you’re going to see a Best Picture nomination, just go in expecting to have fun. As I emphasized grace yesterday, be sure to enjoy that aspect. Going to see a movie like this is historic, so it’s a special experience to say the least. And, it’s an experience that reminds us of God’s grace on his children. God gives and gives so much to his creation. He doesn’t owe us a thing, but he gives us fun experiences like visiting a galaxy far, far away….