Judging the Force: The Star Wars Verdict Is In
For a couple of months there had been some stirrings at my work leading up to Christmastime. It was time for our quarterly company-wide meeting and along with the usual festivities of “get-to-know-you” games and a parade of executives and strategic partners, we were in for a special treat – a free screening of the newest Star Wars movie.
Being in a tech company, I am right in the heart of “geek” territory. It works to my advantage as I feel a little more at ease letting my own “geek” flag fly, but it also keeps me in touch with some of the youngest die-hard Star Wars fans out there. With that in mind, this review is brought to you, not only by myself, but by some of the biggest Star Wars fans we have on the Gold Coast.
There were a lot of really positive points to the movie that even the harshest critics can’t deny.
1. It was a good story overall. The introduction of a new generation of good and evil characters continues to add to the folklore. They did a decent job at explaining how the dark side systematically took over the galaxy once again.
2. The way they introduced the older characters such as Princess Leah, Han Solo, Chewy and R2D2 was fantastic. It felt a bit nostalgic while not taking anything away from the story unfolding before us.
3. The decision to keep with the original soundtrack and music from the old Star Wars franchise was brilliant. When it’s not broke, don’t fix it and even today the original score of the movies can move you from the edge of your seat to the brink of tears.
4. The next Jedi will be a woman! Woo hoo! OK, I know fiercely independent women are taking over the big screen, but it’s great to see that Star Wars isn’t immune to this wholly feminist movement going on in Hollywood right now.
5. The special affects are the best I’ve seen in any Star Wars movie to date. While I’m not a total die-hard like some of my co-workers and friends, I have seen them all and I can say hands down that I’m so glad for the advancement in technology that allows these fictional worlds become more and more realistic looking.
Missing the Mark
There were definitely a few misses related to this new Star Wars endeavor and fans weren’t shy about bringing it to our attention.
1. OK, explain to me one more time what happened to Luke Skywalker. He got his heart broken so he decided to leave to the edge of the galaxy where he could meditate while the worlds around him went all to hell? What!?
2. The enormous death planet was a little bit hokey to me. You mean to tell me that after all this time, the bad guys haven’t gotten any better ideas than making the death star 10 (or is it 100) times bigger by embedding it into a side of a planet? Also, I’m pretty sure the good guys took out the death planet the same way they took out the death star in the previous movie.
3. Physics teachers beware, there’s no logic to this Death Planet. So the planet is supposed to absorb energy from its sun. But what happens when the sun is stripped to nothing? And how does this energy sucking affect the gravitational pull of the sun that keeps the planet from spinning off into space? We’ll stop there but the questions I have on this are endless.
A Big Bit of Controversy
There has been a bit of controversy over this latest installment of the Star Wars franchise related to Ray and her ability to master the Force without training and over such a short period of time, especially since she thought it was a myth in the beginning of the movie. Afterall, Luke Skywalker needed an entire movie and a mentor to do the some very basic things such as handle a light saber. Does this mean she will be an even more powerful Jedi than Skywalker?
I took some time to ponder over some of my opinions and reactions. I got some education from some friends related to the franchise and I asked those who saw the movie more than once if their opinions had changed any with the second viewing. And I got the opinion of a few youths as well.
A special thanks to those who shared their opinions and helped to educate me more about the franchise itself. Props to you!
Overall, I give this movie 7 stars. I was pleasantly surprised by this latest installment for Star Wars. I think it may be the perfect introduction of this franchise to a new generation. For the original generation, we’ll just have to agree to let certain things go. You’re always nervous when a franchise is bought out by a new company, especially Disney. I went in thinking “how badly can they screw this up” and ended up leaving with the thought “pretty good, overall.”
Now that you’ve had time to let it sink in, how many stars would you give Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens?