December 18, 2015
I saw this on opening day, and had avoided the hype and trailers as much as possible, as I knew I wanted to see it. I wasn’t quite sure why until the night before, when it came to me.
I wanted to know what happens to Luke Skywalker.
Star Wars was always his story. He was the iconic heroic mythic figure of my childhood. And getting to find out what happened next is a lure too tempting to ignore. (In a way, where the prequels went wrong was by misunderstanding this central premise, and trying to make it about Anakin.)
So I was in.
Fundamentally, the first Star Wars was a wonderful imaginative ride. Fill a story sandpit with space ships, laser blasters, non stop pulp adventure, monsters to fight and aliens to meet, and underlying it all a spirituality that can speak to the modern age via the mythology of the Force, with Good and a real temptation of Evil, wizards and swords and magic, and you have something gloriously fun, fertile and special in which to play.
The Force Awakens gives us exactly this.
Where the prequels fucked it up, The Force Awakens gets it about right.
In fact, it is almost slavishly true to the original trilogy. But I think it needed to be after the catastrophe of the prequels; in order to get goodwill from the fans, it needed to communicate that it gets and respects the source material, and from here it can build on that, and evolve and mature the series.
And that is as much as I will say without delving into what happens in any way, other than that I really enjoyed the ride.