There may not be more hype associated with any series of films more so than Star Wars. The fan base is rabid, cannon has been written since the first film hit theaters, and the characters are all household names. George Lucas reinvigorated the franchise with his prequels which were largely disliked by hardcore fans. Now J.J. Abrams is tasked with making us the force be with us again.
30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire at the end of Return of The Jedi, a new threat rises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of Heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance now led by Leia Organa. The galaxy is in turmoil and one of the biggest questions looking is the location of Luke Skywalker who has all but vanished.
Let me start by saying all of the expanded universe cannon is tossed aside. Forget what you think you might know. The film has the feel of the original trilogy. It is filmed with more practical effects and that is a good thing. I have love for the prequels, but Lucas fell in love with all things digital.
The beginning of the film introduces us to the new characters. In their eyes, Han and company were just legends or fairy tales. It makes sense considering the time that has passed. Poe, Finn, and Rey all seem to mimic the original heroes in their own ways and only time will tell if they can become as loved. It is not your parent's Star Wars with a touch of your parent's Star Wars.
The galaxy also faces a new threat in the form of the First Order. The villains again sort of mirror their predecessors. Captain Phasma is pretty intense and the scope of the army is massive. Kylo Ren is the new evil Jedi, but to me was a let down. The story behind him is interesting. It's all relative. Literally. In comparison to Darth Vader and Darth Maul, he just falls short. I am sure he is supposed to do just that. The one thing that the prequels gave us was incredible Jedi versus Sith battles.
It is great to see Han Solo and Chewbacca back! It makes the movie, but also is what made me mad about the movie. I wasn't crazy where they took this. I wish we would have gotten more interaction with the original cast. I understand what they did, but I saw it differently. People will probably like the arc, but to me it was not enough of the old. We got a taste and not a meal. I can't say more without spoiling.
The story of Luke is set up well and it made me long for the next chapter. Make no mistake this is a great film. It has more positive than negative going for it. I just wish it were more of a continuation over reboot. J.J Abrams did well. He made me feel like a kid again and for that I thank him. The journey back to a time long ago, in a galaxy far far away, is a great trip. The force is strong with this one.