THE FORCE AWAKENS
On Christmas day I went and saw The Force Awakens with family. While some families have made a Christmas movie day a tradition, I had never done that. It was kind of cool to be honest and I enjoyed it. The new Star Wars movie was a tough sell for me. My younger days were built around Yoda, Ben Kenobe, Leia, Han Solo, Chewy, Luke and Darth Vader. That cast of characters made special the trilogy that included Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The first Star Wars in the late 1970’s was and remains one of the best movies I have ever seen. The filming and special effects in that first Star Wars were innovative and ground breaking as far as I am concerned, and it is hard to imagine recapturing that magic after a gap in the continuance of the story from the three films I grew up with. Call me old, nostalgic, or whatever you like, the Star Wars of my childhood was pure magic, and not to stand up and look back and say that things were best in my childhood, but,I am saying that Star Wars was better during that time. Yes, apparently I am one of those guys! It is always better in the past while the present and future don’t measure up or are falling apart. I am definitely not that curmudgeon so relax. Being a kid in the 70’s and 80’s was special and Star Wars was without question a part of those cherished memories.
I have no attachment to attacking clones, a phantoming menace or a returning sith, and I question the strategy of going backward before going forward. I realize that George Lucas started with the fourth movie in the story, and perhaps it was inevitable that the story went backwards in number before going forwards. The only problem with that is the aging of Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamil and Chewy! Let’s be real though, Chewy doesn’t look a day older than he was in Return of the Jedi. They are lucky that the three stars are still alive and kicking after years between the number 6 story and the Force Awakens. Harrison Ford once again rolled the dice while crashing a plane that he was piloting. Had he been unlucky, what do you do with the Force Awakens Story? Will they make the next movie in time to take advantage of these character actors in the realm of the living? They need to if for no other reason than to keep us 70’s Star Wars fanatics into this story. I had no attachment or interest in Attack of the Clones, Return of the Sith or the Phantom of the Menace. I may go back and pick those up just so I feel like I didn’t miss anything, but let’s just say I am not chomping at the bit.
The Force Awakens was entertaining and worth venturing out for on a Christmas Day Celebration. For you 70’s babies like me that were old enough to process and understand the first Star Wars Movie, the new movie in the series might fall a little short. I would even go as far as saying I will eagerly anticipate the next film whenever that may be. Just like I want to make sure the old characters are alive for the next movie, so too would I like to be in the living when it comes out. Yo Disney, are you reading this? Please do not create these long gaps between movies.
There will be no spoilers here. I can tell you that we were introduced to 4 or 5 new characters 3 of which I am imagining will have larger roles in the story told moving forward. 2 characters on the good side were fabulous in the movie and very likable as characters. It gives the Star Wars franchise characters to move forward with as their aging predecessors continue to grow long in the tooth. Based on their central roles in this episode and the fact that this old fart thinks it was crucial for Disney to find actors to carry this story forward, they did a good job. While the Force Awakens is smashing box office records, I am saying they did a good enough job to pull even us nostalgic folks out of the wood work to continue watching the battle between the Force and the Dark Side.