My Thoughts on Star Wars Ep VII: The Force Awakens

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One of the many great things about New Zealand is that we frequently get to see movies before other countries, since we are the first on the other side of the International Dateline. When it comes to huge releases like a new Star Wars film, this is extra great. I can’t get spoiled if I already know everything, right? Anyway, yes, I did go to the midnight release and I wanted to put some quick, spoiler-free thoughts down for those interested.

First, a little background. I love Star Wars. Like, I really love Star Wars. I grew up in a very nerdy family, always surrounded by sci-fi fandoms. I honestly cannot ever recall not knowing that Darth Vader is Luke’s father. Star Wars has been ingrained in me from childhood and I will follow along wherever it goes. However that doesn’t mean I can’t see the weak points in the franchise and recognize where things could do better.

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All that said, absolutely I loved the Force Awakens. I went into the theater expecting to really like it, which can be dangerous. High expectations can be dashed more easily than low expectations can be raised. However the film went above and beyond what I expected. I was worried the film would rely too heavily on nostalgic references to get by or would fall victim to some of the pitfalls the prequels fell to like over-use of CGI, corny laughs, and gaggingly terrible romantic dialogue. Luckily my fears were unfounded.

While nostalgia certainly plays its part in the film, I feel that with a universe like this one it is near impossible to avoid. It is, afterall, a sequel. It calls back to previous characters, locations, and events in the universe because those characters and events have lasting effects on the universe. However I wouldn’t say that the film relies on nostalgia to be good. The new characters like Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, and others were great. The old characters didn’t feel shoe-horned in. There are allusions to the original trilogy’s styling and plot structure that devout Star Wars fans will appreciate but they aren’t necessary to enjoy the film if you don’t recognize them. If you don’t know anything about Star Wars, obviously a lot of the plot will be lost to you. Similarly, if you have no knowledge of the characters and events from the original trilogy and prequels, you might not be able to appreciate some of the character development quite as much, I think.

Some people were concerned that the trailers and teasers shown for the film would be giving away too much and there wouldn’t be any substantial new info from the film itself. I can say without a doubt this was proven very false. I was quite surprised at some of the events of the film.

My one big concern with the film: not enough Captain Phasma. There is never enough Captain Phasma.

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I don’t want to say too much more, because I think if I do I might accidentally spoil things. So I’ll just end here for now. But you should definitely go see it!

6 Comments

  1. S Stein   •  

    Thanks for a great review that didn’t spoil the movie for those of us that did not see it.

  2. Joe Tomlinson   •  

    You Mom linked us to your review via Facebook. Nice Mom. Anyway, I appreciated your review. I may even go to it. Of course, it’ll be too loud for my ageing ears so I’ll take ear plugs, and I’ll have to take a portable cushion for my swollen feet, but U think I’ll brave it.
    The first time I saw it, it was sub-titled in English and spoke-over in German. I was living there at the time. Funniest part, I was watching it in the V Corps Army movie theatre.

  3. Joe Tomlinson   •  

    That should have been “I think I’ll brave it.” Thanks again!

  4. PT Rothschild   •  

    It was good to hear about Star Wars from someone who grew up in it. I remember watching A New Hope at the movies 13 times that year. I was dragging my cat to see it toward the end. It was awesome, starting with the opening scene that just isn’t the same if it’s not on a 60 foot screen. You answered some of my main movie concerns as I have been staying away from the latest teaser trailers for the very reasons you mentioned. And then the original trilogy. I didn’t dislike the prequel but it didn’t have the same omph to it. Glad to hear that’s back. I like JJ Abrams, young and smart, and seems a genuine nice guy. Having been in an Indie once, every film is a project so it’s nice to hear, as the A Team’s famous line goes, ‘I love it when a plan comes together.’ Thanks for a well written review. I do spoiler-less reviews also.

    • Cithryth   •     Author

      There’s something incredibly special about hearing those bombastic opening notes of the theme and “STAR WARS” appearing huge on the screen with everyone in the theater cheering! After seeing a few interviews with Abrams I could tell he was doing his very best for this. He talks a lot about he grew up being enamored with Star Wars and being able to direct one is a dream come true. Thanks for the kind words and I hope you enjoy the film too!

  5. Elarand   •  

    Hey Cithryth,
    I was watching your LOTRO Lore-master video series recently and I was wondering where you got the steed? I know this is sort of an irrelevant question on this post but this seems to be the most recent post. Thanks!

    P.S. The videos were awesome.I play a Lore-master too. I’m sad to see that you don’t really play it anymore.

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