I decided to wait to post my review of the new Star Wars movie as I’m sure some of you haven’t seen it yet. Some of you die hard nerds, like me, probably went to the premiere, were first in line and waited two hours to be let into the theater. Others are probably still waiting for the hype to die down so they can sit and enjoy the movie without excessive clapping every time an old character comes on screen or something amazingly hilarious happens. Yes, I went to the premiere, yes I waited in line and no–I was not one of those weirdos wooing or clapping when Han Solo and Chewie (spoiler!) found the Millennium Falcon. I did however go nuts during the previews. Seriously…my roommate has a bruise from where I kept tapping her repeatedly during the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer. It was fantastic by the way. And by nuts I mean me violently tapping L’s arm and shushing her when it’s me making all the noise. She’s used to it by now though so no nasty comments about me being an abusive friend, she is perfectly capable of defending herself (I taught her everything she knows).
To prepare for the event, I threw a Star Wars party much like I do on May the 4th. There were Han burgers, Wookie cookies with bantha milk, sarlaac pit dip, and plenty more themed food from that galaxy far far away we all know and love. After we watched episodes 4-6 it was off to wait in line!
The line wasn’t ferociously long, but we were there pretty early and had plenty of friends to snuggle up to and keep ourselves warm. We also brought the rest of the Wookie cookies to help with the nervous jitters. The worst part of waiting in line was trying to ignore the crowd from the previous showing as they exited the theater. A consequence of living in a small town and having an even smaller nerd population is knowing 45% of the crowd. All they want is to give you deets and tell you how good it is but my life long practice of watching movies for the first time is going in unbiased, despite how pumped I am for the movie. I don’t want to have expectations so I’m not disappointed if it’s absolutely awful.
Though I had compete faith in JJ Abrams (look what he did with the Star Trek reboot!), I didn’t want to go in expecting him to have lied about the Star Wars cannon statement and bring Jason and Jaina to LIFE! And even though Disney did stick to their decision, Abrams did not disappoint.
I ended up seeing the movie a second time with my dad, a life long movie buff and reason for my nerdiensss, and he was a tad disappointed. So, here are my observations:
1. This was a Disney movie packed with loads of fun animation and an easily understood story line. Most fans, like my dad, are in their late 40’s early 50’s and have been watching this series since the late 70’s and probably expected the series to grow up a bit as they did.
2. Although Lucas was involved in the early stages of the movie, he was not completely involved and did make a statement saying it wasn’t what he expected. Abrams is a Star Wars fan himself and tried to incorporate Lucas’s original method of cinematography into the film to pay tribute to the original movies. The shots on Jaku were very similar to the shots on Tatooine in A New Hope. This was Abrams creative choice and Disney has a HUGE say in filming as well. They had a direction, Abrams made it tolerable.
3. Han Solo’s death was planned and made public BEFORE filming. Harrison Ford never liked the role and was originally a carpenter on the set of A New Hope. He was asked to stand in for a reading with Hamill and it was all down hill from there. Ford was talked into the role and felt obligated to finish the series. The books were written after the movies so a seventh addition had never been though of until recently and Ford told Lucas and Disney he would come back but they HAD to kill him off. I don’t read gossip blogs or forums, especially on movies, and even I heard about this so I was prepared. Ford is an actor with his own creative ideas and vision, he said he was done and Disney said OK. He could have refused the role… just remember that. You wouldn’t believe the arguments I heard just sitting at Starbucks over this issue.
4. As sad as we all are that Disney kinda shoved the Star Wars cannon we all grew up with aside and went in their own direction, it could have been worse. Some of the facts are right though, Han an Leia’s son succumbed to the dark side, that was supposed to happen. And theres going to be three more, so there is NO telling what might happen. Ive got my own theories about Rae and who she is, but I’ll keep those to myself. Anything could happen and I’m just happy that someone is bringing the rest of the series to life. And if the series flops, us nerds can just forget these movies even exist an go back to our fan fiction and video games.
Its impossible to please everyone and the movie did break records in the box office and has great reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re one of those that hated it, fine, but let the rest of us enjoy the wonderment of what is to come, it may get better and it may get worse. As a writer myself I always try and look for meaning behind certain decisions, there was a reason, the writer wasn’t purposely trying to piss the Nerddome off… so just chill. My friends and I were fairly pleased and we were the weird kids in High School walking around arguing over who was better, Jaina or Ben from the original cannon. We lived for Star Wars and were disappointed when we realized we had been fed lies and Disney wasn’t using what Lucas deemed part of the official Star Wars cannon. In fact, one of my friends, we’ll call him Jay, said that the Force Awakens replaced Empire Strikes Back as his favorite and thats a HUGE thing for him. Mine is still Return of the Jedi, I mean.. the Ewoks hello? But Episode 7 was anything but a disappointment and I can say with great confidence that I am STOKED for Episode 8.
Till next time,