The Force Awakens
May the Fourth be with you. It’s been over four months since the long-awaited new entry into the Star Wars canon opened in the cinemas and began its remorseless assault on worldwide box office records. Now it’s setting its sights on world domination of the home entertainment market with its release on digital, DVD and Blu-ray.
When the film opened, everyone was commendably wary of spoiling the film in any way for those who hadn’t seen it yet, even though it inevitably meant whole swaths of the film were off-limits for analysis and discussion. At this point, however, we feel comfortable in saying that anyone who is going to view it at the cinema has already duly done so, and that the arrival of the DVD surely means it’s time to throw the shutters wide open and allow some light into the deepest, darkest recesses of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and finally talk about some of its biggest secrets.
Luckily, for the purposes of this endeavour, we have an expert on hand in the form of Generation Star Wars‘ John Hood, who is so knowledgeable about all things in this field that we suspect he actually really was born a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and is only on Earth with us now because he took a wrong turning at the local spiral cluster roundabout. By comparison, Taking The Short View‘s Andrew Lewin is a mere dilettante in the subject, but he is also a classic example of where a little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing in the wrong hands.
Andrew’s going to start off pitching the questions and John will be initially taking care of the answers, but anyone who has followed our previous collaborations will know that such a tidy and orderly format won’t last long before descending into chaos. Hopefully amid the turmoil along the way we’ll tackle all the burning issues arising from the rebirth of the Star Wars franchise, and even take a look at what we think might be to come in future installments of the sequel trilogy.
Now this should be obvious from the headline and the preceding introduction, but just to be completely clear here’s your first and final warning: this article will be smothered in major spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you haven’t yet seen the film and want to maintain your purity and innocence then it’s absolutely imperative that you stop reading now. Okay? Clear? Good.
Right. Let’s jump to spoiler space! Read the rest of this entry »
Contains spoilers, although hopefully not the really big ones.
With the Christmas and New Year revels behind us, this week I finally managed to haul myself to the cinema and see the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga. Miracle of miracles, despite the fact that Episode VII: The Force Awakens has been on release for three weeks now, I had somehow successfully managed to avoid even a whisper of any significant spoilers in the meantime – a feat that might well end up ranking as my most successful accomplishment of the year! – and I was duly rewarded with a completely unsullied viewing experience despite my tardiness.
Rather than play games and withhold my verdict to the end of this review, let’s start with the conclusion: this is a really enjoyable film. Exciting, emotional, funny and thoroughly entertaining, it barely pauses to draw breath even once during its 135 minute running time. The Force Awakens manages to recapture almost all the magic of the original trilogy while purging all that went wrong in the prequels.
I’m confident in saying that it’s almost certainly the best Star Wars film that anyone could possibly have made in 2015. Many congratulations to director JJ Abrams for managing to both keep the same feel of the 1977 original film while at the same time bringing a thoroughly 21st century updating to the pacing, look and feel, stunts and FX. That is one incredibly tough balancing act to accomplish – actually almost impossible, I would have thought – and he’s achieved it with aplomb.
So all these things considered therefore, I have no hesitation in proclaiming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens to be a very robust … four star movie. Read the rest of this entry »