The Force Awakens

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I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens on opening night, but to be honest I was too busy thinking “Please don’t suck! Please don’t suck!” over and over again for the 135 minutes, to be able to take it all in.

I guess it would be akin to watching a friend or a relative doing a part in a play or perform some kind of musical act on stage, in front of hundreds of spectators.
You are too busy hoping they won’t mess it up to be able to evaluate their performance. All you remember afterwards is that they (hopefully) didn’t suck.
I was left with the same thing after December 16th. What did I really think of the movie? How was it? … I had NO IDEA! All I could offer people who asked me was “It didn’t suck”.
So, yesterday I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens again, this time knowing that it didn’t suck. I was therefore able to actually watch the movie and remember how I felt about it afterwards.

Here’s the thing…
Star Wars: The Force Awakens did not change my life – and I don’t think it would ever have been able to, or was even supposed to.
It is, for lack of a better word, JUST a movie, and it’s not revolutionary in any way, shape or form. In fact, it is not even the best movie I have ever seen (not even close, to be completely honest). It is – just – a movie. A pretty well thought out mix of seriousness and fun, all wrapped up neatly in a shiny and new, but yet comfortably familiar package, but still….just a movie.

In 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope changed the ways movies were made, in a profound way! I was too young to have experienced that then, but it is blatantly obvious even today – that A New Hope was life altering.
The Force Awakens never reaches – or even aspire to reach – those hights, instead it aspires to ‘not suck’, and it does very well to meet those aspirations.
It has been accused of rehashing A New Hope, and even though I can see where some of that critizism is coming from, I disagree about it being a huge drawback.
So what if it uses plot points from earlier films, even if it is MANY plot points! Sequels tend to do that, you know. Very few sequels stand fully on its own two legs, without at least a couple of nudges and winks to previous films.
What matters, says I, is what the sequel does with what it rehashes. Is it simply cashing in – or is it in fact delivering entertainment?

Other voices have tried to put a spotlight on a number of questions we, as an audience, were left with at the end of this movie.
What happened to so-and-so? Why did they do this or that?
And all I can say to that is May 26th 2017. That is the official opening date for the next entry in the series – AND there is still one more to go after that one!
-Please hold all questions until the end of the ride, thank you.

Seeing The Force Awakens again, a mere six days after opening night,left me feeling good. I knew it didn’t suck, but now I also know it holds up for repeated viewings. In fact, I was thoroughly entertained, from start to finish, and actually came close to shedding a tear or two at a couple of moments.

As a film in itself, compared to all of movie history, The Force Awakens doesn’t deserve more than maybe a 3 out of 5, if that even!
But as part of the Star Wars-saga, and compared only to its own peers, it gets a solid 4!

I can now enjoy a feeling that I have not had in a very long time; actually looking forward to the next Star Wars-film! So, thank you for that, J J Abrams, well done you!

Now, repeat after me:

-You don’t need to see the prequels.

-This IS the movie you’ve been looking for.

-You may now go about your business.

-Move along.

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