Long time no see moviepilot. My activity has been kind of absent lately, I got caught up studying, doing a South Park marathon... . I didn't have a lot of time for a post and frankly I didn't have any ideas, but yesterday I saw all the Star Wars franchise in a row and I thought "Why don't I talk about Ep VII ?". I mean, it's a pretty big deal for a lot of people, including myself, so without further ado, here are a couple reasons of why The Force Awakens will have the same sparkle as the original trilogy and if it doesn't have it, it'll be very close.
1° Mostly practical effects
As JJ Abrams has stated in one of his tweets, mostly every thing in the movie will be practical (animatronics, miniatures, real stunts ... etc) and CGI will only be used for space battles and little more. One of the reasons why the prequels were such a failure is because they overused the CGI, which was pretty bad at the time so it aged very badly. Almost each scene of every prequel movie has CGI, and the human eye can very easily detect fakeness, so you're always taken aback. Really, nothing was real in those movies, except the actors, every scene had a green screen in someplace. Even the clones were computer-made ! When there are a lot, I can understand, but when there's only one in the frame, why not putting a guy in a costume, like the old-fashioned way, like the stormtroopers ?
2° It's not George Lucas
This might sound like an insult, but it's true. It's a known fact that the original trilogy is better, why, you might ask ? Well it's easy : because George didn't have control of every part of the studio. He had a couple good ideas but most of them were a little idiotic, so the whole team worked together improving on the good ideas and leaving the bad ones behind. And that's why the prequels are bad, because this time he had control of every departement and no one dared to question him. What I mean by all this, is that The Force Awakens can't possibly be worse than the prequels because it's not George directing, it's JJ Abrams and he's a pretty huge fan of the original trilogy and Simon Pegg (another fan of the original trilogy) is "consulting" Abrams regarding the script, saying what they could improve on, what they could leave behind. Onto the next reason.
3° Watch Lost and you'll see
Bare with me, here. Lost can be considered by many as one of the greatest TV shows ever. It's so huge that it has created some sort of cult following, just like Star Wars did in the past. Not only is Lost a great show, but it also has lots and lots of references and easter-eggs to Star Wars. I believe an episode was even named "Some Like it Hoth" where Hurley writes the script of Empire Strikes Back. Listen to the conversation they both have in the begining, it's a well-made juxtaposition to what roughly happens in Empire. I know other shows also refer to Star Wars, but it's usually just fan-service, in Lost it has even something to do with the story.
4° Star Trek 2009
This movie is very divisive, some love it, some hate it, let me explain. Quite frankly it was really good : it had good acting, good camerawork, great fast-paced action, there was a bit of humor and the characters had nice chemistry between them. What's wrong with that, you might think, well here's the answer : everything was wrong because it didn't feel like Star Trek. You see, the original TV show was much more slow-paced, sleep-inducing and technical (at least that's the impression I get from it, they actually spent an entire episode talking about the warp-drive) whereas the movie is fast-paced, its has great action and the whole technical mumbo-jumbo was left behind leaving place for some humour. In short, it felt like a Star Wars movie. You see my reasoning now ? As a Star Trek movie it completely failed but it completely succeded as a fun-space-adventure/working-together movie, which is what Star Wars should be and not people sitting and talking about trade laws (coughphantom menacecough).
5° The old cast is back
Now this, can be either an aweful thing or an amazing thing. Harrison Ford doesn't look like he cares about movies anymore. His performances in the lastest Indiana Jones (which I'm trying my best to ignore) and Ender's Game should be proof enough. I just hope wearing those clothes will help him to become Han again. I don't yet know what Carrie Fisher's role will be, well she's gonna be Leia of course, but I don't know what she will be regarding the movie (an old wise woman or something), I just hope she has something to do. As for Mark Hamill, now being old, he's obviously gonna play some sort of Jedi master. Obi-Wan was Luke's master, now Luke will be either Rey's (played by Daisy Ridley) or Finn's (John Boyega) master. It's like poetry, it rhymes (Plinkett reference FTW). I think Episode VII, or maybe the one after that, will be a way of saying goodbye to all the old characters, a transition of generations, if you will. R2-D2 is gonna be replaced by BB-8, Luke by Finn (from the looks of the trailer, I'm guessing he's the main character), Darth Vader by Kylo Ren.... etc.
To summarize, this movie will be very good. Will it be on the same level as Empire Strikes Back, I definitely hope so, if it isn't, it'll just be under. One thing is certain, JJ Abrams is a skilled director.