And so, as Star Wars breaks all the box office records, I felt it worth recording my thoughts on the latest addition to one of the world’s biggest ever franchises.
Credentials? Well, I’m not a incredible Star Wars geek (it’s fair to say I know more about the likes of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter!) but I have seen all the previous films at least three times and done a Star Wars marathon before so I have got some pedigree!
I do enjoy it too.
Without too many spoilers (!), here’s my review of Star Wars Episode 7.
Watching it on Sunday, it really was a thrill to see those famous golden titles arrive with their declaration of a mysterious and angry new power on the scene in the Star Wars universe. The fanfare soundtrack – which I once played in church on May 4th on my trombone! – was like greeting an old friend and I felt I was in for a treat.
Audiences had been lured back through the prospect of seeing the “old guard” Messrs Leia, Skywalker and Solo and the waiting was prolonged to keep you interested. Considering how long it is since the original Star Wars came out, when these characters were their prime, they’ve aged well and seeing them again made everything feel OK. (Maybe that was what was wrong with the prequels?)
I never felt the common angst about the prequels although it was really only Revenge of the Sith that I truly enjoyed and in fairness that might have been because it tied together the main storyline. In The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams plays it safe with the spectacle – you could argue that much of it has been seen before in an earlier film! – but there is plenty of action, drama and entertainment to keep the audience interested.
For what it’s worth, I really enjoyed all the elements and am very glad to have avoided particular spoilers. New characters such as Fin and Rey appear to be keepers – their youthful mistakes proving to be very endearing and Fin really enjoyed having some of the best lines.
As for Kylo Ren (strange name!), he didn’t really convince me as a baddy beyond the opening scene. There were also a number of little niggles that didn’t really stack up. Is it really only just over 30 years between when this film is set and The Return of the Jedi? And, although it’s necessary, was Fin the only stormtrooper who has ever ended up with blood on his helmet?!
To sum up I, along with millions of others, had a blast watching the latest Star Wars and would certainly recommend it. After more than ten years without one, it was great to have the franchise back in my life and I look forward with great relish to the (many more!) films that are coming out over the next few years.