Star Wars. It’s a film experience that started for me in 1977. I have seen every installment in the theater, all six of them (see my review of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on this blog). It had me hooked. So it is no surprise I went to see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
A coworker of mine who took annual leave on the day of the premiere said I would love this movie. I would meet old friends, be introduced to new friends, and that it was everything she’d hoped for and more.
With that recommendation, and her constant pestering me about why I hadn’t seen it yet, I finally went with my husband to a matinee after the crowds had thinned somewhat. The film is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.
Sitting through all of the previews before the movie, I was getting kind of down. There were several previews clearly intended for teenage boys, who are the vast majority of the theater going public. This is something studios know, thus the constant action films, superhero movies, and violence spewing trash I was getting glimpses of. I said to myself, please don’t let Star Wars be like these awful films. Please. Give me the old Star Wars with good character development, characters we can root for, and a story where the Force is central.
It was good, much to my relief. I can’t say too much here, but the media has broadcasted it around so much that I knew we’d see our old friends in the characters of Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.
We are introduced to new characters: Kylo Ren, of the dark side (Adam Driver), Rey, an independent and resourceful young woman (Daisy Ridley), Finn, a stormtrooper who has deserted his post (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron, daring pilot (Oscar Isaac). One thing I really enjoyed was that the main characters are shown struggling between the pull towards evil and the centering of the Force. It makes for some suspenseful moments.
My husband said that seeing the film served to remind him of just how special the earth we live on is with all of its stunning nature, and amazing animals. We stayed for all of the credits to see where this Star Wars was filmed; it featured the stark landscapes of Abu Dhabi, Iceland, and Ireland. All of earth is thankfully not like those landscapes. He said that science fiction films always seem to depict devastated, unwelcoming planets, and that part of the film is disappointing. The violence is overwhelming, and the pace caters to a world of people who seek constant stimulation, rapid sound bites, twittering, and I phone-using fools who can’t look up and around them to see the beauty that is the earth.
That said, if you haven’t seen Star Wars yet, what are you waiting for? I’m looking forward to the next installment and hope it has more Yoda and fewer machine guns.