2015 / Director. J.J. Abrams.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The Force has well and truly awakened and within the blink of an eye, the blemish of George Lucas's widely ridiculed prequel trilogy has been appeased. With the legacy now in Disney's hands STAR WARS has bound back on to the screen and with Episode 7 comes a renewed energy and the nostalgia fans were praying for.
THE FORCE AWAKENS has been a long time coming and will, no doubt, become the biggest opening film in box office history. Fans of all ages have been clambering to cast their eyes on it with the anticipation of a whole new adventure. In fact the world is so caught up in the hysteria right now that reviewing the film seems pointless. STAR WARS transcends professional criticism and rests its fate in the hands of the fans. Their verdict is the only one that matters.
If the midnight screening I attended is any indication then case dismissed. There is no cause for concern here. Director J.J. Abrams has taken the monumental task of reviving the series in his stride and, in turn, delivered a truly stunning film that taps into the original trilogy and recaptures the atmosphere and aesthetic that made those first three films so special.
What stands out above all else is the wealth of practical effects that compliment the digital design and ultimately outclass it. Gone are those outrageously flawed CGI production designs from Lucas's ill-fated prequel saga and back are the intricately detailed environments. From character designs to otherworldly landscapes, and the machinery that binds them, THE FORCE AWAKENS is a demonstration of skill and a respect for the artistry that paved the way some three decades earlier.
From the opening title shot to the reintroduction of beloved characters, this new chapter is packed with nostalgic moments that will evoke eruptions of cheers from its audience and melt the hearts of nerds everywhere (fanboys/girls is the PC term). Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher step back into their roles as though RETURN OF THE JEDI were yesterday. They are, albeit, aged by the ravages of time and much wiser. With several other endearing characters also returning, THE FORCE AWAKENS insistently reminds us that this is a brand new adventure and with the familiarity comes a fresh array of new characters, creatures and droids.
By attending the midnight screening I felt like a big kid at Christmas (er, that's exactly what I am) and I was overcome with that hyped up elation that non-STAR WARS fans can never understand. This thing goes beyond just being a movie. This is a culture, and when packed into a theatre full of likeminded people, it becomes a community. As if figuratively connected by The Force we all united for the one common purpose... to watch space ships go ballistic and laser guns “pew-pew” all over the screen.
STAR WARS EPISODE 7 – Next please!