Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I saw the new Star Wars movie earlier this week. I’m not going to write a review because by now there are probably a ton of them–and many of them are likely better than what I could write. But I would like to give my thoughts on it.

First of, I’m not a die hard Star Wars fan. Don’t get me wrong; I like them, but I know people who LOVE them.

Now to my thoughts.

I liked the movie. I thought the story flowed, the characters were sympathetic (even the bad guy whose name I can neither remember or pronounce), and the special effects did not overpower the movie–which is what I think happened to the prequels. I liked the movie, but it wasn’t memorable.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ll see it again. And I’ll enjoy it. But it wasn’t a stand out movie, and I don’t think it was supposed to be.

I read an article which quoted George Lucas saying, “They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that.” And that’s exactly what they did. It was nostalgic. It was fun to see all the original characters and the original actors reprising their roles. It made me smile–and I’m not a “real” Star Wars fan. I can’t imagine what it was like for the “true” ones.

The article went on to say,

Lucas defended his vision for the six previous Star Wars films, which he said involved constant innovation. “I worked very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships – you know, to make it new.”

Innovative the Force Awakens wasn’t, and I think that was done on purpose. And I thought it was very smart of J.J. Abrams to do it that way.

The Force Awakens, in my opinion, was a love letter to the fans–a way for Abrams to say, “Don’t worry about these characters that you love. They’re safe in my hands.” And, judging by what I’ve seen, that’s exactly how the movie was taken. He managed to interpret the characters in a new way that stayed true to who they were. It wasn’t innovative, but it was smart.

Because now that the fans trust him, he’s free to innovate in the next one. And I think the fans will give him a pass for it. In fact, they may even applaud it. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

One thing’s for sure: I’m looking forward to see where he goes with the next one.

-M.R. Anglin

Here’s the article I’ve been quoting: George Lucas Attacks ‘Retro’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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