Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Stays Woke

Usually I would not bother to flag this as a spoiler free post because I generally attempt to leave out major plot details in my reviews, but in this case, I guess I will.

If you have come this far and are still curious about my thoughts, just know that you are in a safe place here with i luv cinema. Granted, I cannot prevent your being spoiled from happening elsewhere (say in the Comments section of a totally unrelated ESPN.com article about LeBron James … yes this happened to someone I know).

But I digress – on with the show….

After a little over a day to compose my thoughts, I can easily say that Star Wars: The Force Awakens easily ranks among the top two for me in the whole Star Wars franchise (the other being The Empire Strikes Back).

Photo is property of Lucasfilm, Ltd.

Photo is property of Lucasfilm, Ltd.

Here are some reactions/observations in the aftermath of watching Episode 7, a film many a fan has waited over 30 years to see:

  • I legit cried AT LEAST 5 times. Yeah you read that correctly. ILC’s heart turned to pure mush during some key – and not so key – moments. A combination of nostalgia and excitement left my emotional compass all over the shop. In the midst of my teary spells there were moments of levity and cheeky humor to be had.
  • Let’s be real – whether we realized it then or admit to it now, many of us who loved Star Wars as children (and adults) certainly detected the intergalactic camp on display. In fact, that is part of the appeal of these original films, for me anyway. While Episode 7 is chiefly devoid of any egregious flights of fancy, there are a few developments that may leave you asking questions. Please don’t take this as a criticism, because it is not. Just keep in mind there is no greater realm for the suspension of disbelief than what science fiction has to offer. Just go with it! Heck, if we can deal with crossbow-wielding teddy bears dancing around in a forest, I think you will be good. And in case you are wondering, there is nothing along those lines in The Force Awakens.
  • Okay so maybe slightly spoilery, (maybe this is actually proving I have NO idea of the finer details of what constitutes a spoiler nowadays) but I genuinely felt a sense of peril for our heroes … When you are in a galaxy far, far away you always know that the conflict between the dark and light side of The Force to contend with, but there is always the hope that the good guys (our good guys) will come out on top. During key scenes when our protagonists were on the run, I really felt the sense of dread and doom. It was an exhilarating and fun thing to experience.
  • Who woulda thunk at the beginning of 2015 that two of my favorite films of the year would be science fiction films featuring Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson. A very satisfying observation. That is all.
  • Newcomers can get the job done. Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) are so cute as our lead pair. Outside of the film, I cannot imagine the mixed emotions Ridley and Boyega are experience being thrust into this whirlwind. But from what I can tell in interviews and various appearances, they have been managing it quite well. One thing that may work to their advantage is the production schedule for Episode 8 (scheduled for release in 2017). This means that soon, they will re-enter the protective bubble that filming a secretive project offers. Side Note: I had a weird moment wowza! when I realized that their character names were Rey and Finn. Totally, if only momentarily, this realization gave me some My Mad Fat Diary feels. If you know that show, I suggest you find a way to catch it … Side Side Note: A chemistry test that translated to the screen – yeah!
  • JJ Abrams is masterful with taking the franchises of his (and my) generation and tapping into a kind of retrospective zeitgeist that makes them accessible to our adult sensibilities as well as those for a new generation. THAT takes skill – bravo!

So yeah I really, really liked Star Wars: Episode 7 (The Force Awakens). I hope that is endorsement enough.

Have you seen it? Let me know what you think!

Comments

  1. I REALLY liked it as well. I rank it highly as well; better than Revenge of the Sith (4) and perhaps better than Return of the Jedi (3), making it my new number 3. But I hate to compare, it’s a new story for a new generation, which thankfully STILL includes my own (Gen X), thanks to, as you stated, Abrams’ supreme way of appealing to the “retrospective zeitgeist.”

    For what it’s worth, the best movies I have seen this year have been Ant-Man, Creed, Mad Max: Fury Road, and now this (I hope to see Will Smith’s Concussion soon). A great end to a great year of movies!
    Ja Dawes recently posted..My Spolier-Free Stars Wars The Force Awakens TimelineMy Profile

    • not sure how to do a top list this year. i mostly liked what i saw but … well maybe i will write a post to explain …
      iluvcinema recently posted..Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Stays WokeMy Profile

      • Yep. For me, just seeing Han and Leia embrace. Chewie moping after Han was vanquished. R2D2 arising. And the list goes on. Abrams knew what the fanboys and fangirls wanted, and he delivered, while giving non-fanatics a well-paced popcorn flick with just enough depth to add weight. I watched it again with my daughter yesterday, and it held up on second viewing. I must say that I didn’t catch any new revelations, but that’s mainly because I’m online a bunch, and I have read just about every possible theory possible. :
        Ja Dawes recently posted..My Spolier-Free Stars Wars The Force Awakens TimelineMy Profile

  2. Great review eebs. You nailed it.

  3. Wow, you cried 5 times. I’m actually surprised I didn’t cry as I’m a big cryer in movies. That said, Chewie’s reaction to what happened to Han was quite heart-wrenching. I LOVE Ridley and Boyega, perhaps one of my fave pairings of the year, it just works! Kudos to Abrams for doing well on yet another major sci-fi franchise!/

    P.S. I’m off to NYC on holiday Iba. I’ll DM you, maybe we can connect, but I’m w/ the in-laws so not sure how much free time I’ll have, I’m only there for four days.

    • Yeah I think the cries had more to do with the emotions/nostalgia of the Star Wars mythology. This felt like a natural extension of episodes 4-6the ones I was so connected to as a child.

      P.S. to your P.S. Cool. I am working for most of the break but I will see if our schedules coordinate. We shall see 🙂 Hope we can!
      iluvcinema recently posted..Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Stays WokeMy Profile

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