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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 12.18.15] scifi action adventure

Though press had a chance to see it earlier this week for many fans, yesterday was Star Wars day. The day it would become clear whether J.J. Abrams could live up to the expectation of millions and when Disney would really begin to see how big of a cash cow they have on their hands because let's face it, this movie was always going to make tons of money. The real question has always and continues to be: just how much?

As someone who didn't grow up with Star Wars, the series has always been just another movie to me but there's a contact high that comes from living with a super fan and I admit, it started to rub off on me. I can't pretend that last night was just like watching another movie because it was a bit more than that. The gathered crowds were jovial but there was an apprehension hanging in the air and it didn't dissipate until about fifteen minutes into the movie with a collective sigh of relief (in the form of a holler) when the sold out crowd realized there were no Abrams-isms here and only sincere love and appreciation for this world.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a lot of fun; a movie that introduces a number of new characters to the already expansive universe, chief among them a female lead that is a worthy role model for generations of fans to come. The story is easy to follow for new fans and full of callbacks and entwining story lines that will keep hardcore fans busy with theories about how it all ties together and where it's all going.

The movie has a sense of humour that was lacking from Lucas' prequels and the story, though it has more than a handful of winks and nods to previous Star Wars movies (there are plot points taken directly from predecessors), is a good reboot to a series that seemed lost.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn't reinvent the wheel but that's not what fans wanted anyways. They wanted a well made movie that played to their nostalgia while adding a few new players and layers to the universe so that the franchise could continue and that's exactly what Abrams and their team delivered.

For my money, I still prefer Mad Max: Fury Road which took some serious risks in their reboot of a classic franchise while Star Wars: The Force Awakens has played it very safe.

I love that 2015 can be remembered as the year that saw the return of two previously successful franchises - now with female leads. Huzzah!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens everywhere today. If you haven't seen it yet, I urge you to avoid what is likely to turn into a spoiler filled comments section until after you've seen it.

Recommended Release: Battle Beyond the Stars

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darkintheboy (4 years ago) Reply

Nice write-up, Marina. I agree with you. I personally did not have any expectations that The Force Awakens would not be an adequate, albeit, super entertaining story in the Star Wars universe(/franchise), but man, those performances were something I was not expecting to be so good. Daisy Ridley; wow. But especially Harrison Ford; his delivery was so on point, I have a new found respect for him as an actor than I ever had in the span of his entire career. And I felt that way before his heroic showdown with Count Jar Jar Binks.

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