My spoiler free thoughts on Star Wars The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens

When I’m really looking forward to seeing a film I try my best to avoid any mention of it before going to see it. I don’t want to know If people enjoyed it, didn’t enjoy it, and I certainly don’t want to know any plot details. In this post I won’t mention any plot points or give anything away, however I will mention how it made me feel. If this is too much for you, please stop reading now and come back once you’ve seen the film.

I mean it, this is your very last chance.

Good, then let me begin with some context.

I was six years old when I first saw Star Wars in early 1978. It wasn’t the first film I’d seen at the cinema but it was the one that left the greatest impression. My father, having just worked a long shift in the local paint factory, took me and my older sister to our local cinema. My memories of the occasion are a little vague having been blurred by repeated viewings but the main thing I remember is the sheer fun and adrenaline rush of it all. It was all my childhood adventures thrown up onto the big screen but much cooler than what my imagination could conjure up. It was big, brash and exciting. I really wanted to be Luke Skywalker. He was young, handsome, got to fly X-wing fighters and fought with a lightsaber. What was not to like?

My father, meanwhile, slept through the whole thing.

For months afterwards all I did was play Star Wars, and although I didn’t know it at the time, a life-long love affair with Star Wars was born. Star Wars had a major impact on my life in other ways, too. I first became close to my best friend (who became my best man) because he had an X-wing fighter and Tie-fighter toys.

As I got older my I came to appreciate the whole trilogy. My allegiance changed to Han Solo, wishing I could be as cool as him with his rebellious streak and his witty one-liners, and I found myself preferring the darker, more nuanced, Empire Strike Back over both Star Wars and Return of the Jedi. There were some parts of the later prequels I enjoyed but generally they were a disappointment. They were plodding, poe-faced, and took themselves far too seriously. Story and emotion were replaced by CGI special effects and set piece battles; snappy dialogue replaced by long, dull exposition. The films were interesting from a completist’s perspective, but somewhere along the way George Lucas had mislaid his creation’s heart and soul.

With Star Wars – The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams has delivered a film that is fun, funny and exhilarating, and made this middle-aged man feel like a six-year-old again.

From the moment the classic Star Wars text slowly made its way up the screen until the final credits (the one piece of information I will give away is that you don’t need to stay until the credits finish rolling, there’s no sneak clip at the end), I was enthralled.  I laughed, giggled, even let out the odd squee – something a middle-aged man shouldn’t do when attending a cinema on his own – as this unashamedly nostalgic ride progressed. This was the Star Wars movie I’d been waiting for for over thirty years.

It isn’t a perfect piece of film-making – neither were the original trilogy. It is gloriously bonkers in places, breaks many storytelling rules, and there are some parts that won’t hold up well to too much scrutiny, but it does perfectly capture the essence of what made that original trilogy so successful. Finally the moribund prequels are consigned to history. Star Wars – The Force Awakens brings back everything I loved about the original film. It has heart, it has soul, and it was the most fun I’ve had in a cinema for a long time.

The force is strong with this one.

So what do you think? Have you seen Star Wars – The Force Awakens? Did you enjoy it? Are you looking forward to seeing it or are you really not bothered? I’d love to hear from you.

Please keep things spoiler free and respect those that have yet to see the film. I will be moderating the comments more than usual.

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24 thoughts on “My spoiler free thoughts on Star Wars The Force Awakens

  1. I love it! You didn’t even feel the need to find a small child to take with you!

    At 18 when the original came out, I was definitely a Han Solo girl – cool, rebellious, right up my street 😉

    One of my favourite ever quotes comes from the original, a perfect Yoda moment: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

    • I went first as it’s a 12A and I wanted to see if it would be OK to take my 9 year-old. There’s nothing to worry about so I’ll be taking him Christmas Eve.
      I love that quote, it’s one for life!

  2. I’m seeing it Christmas Eve and only skim read your “review” so as not to spoil anything for myself. This bit caught my eye.

    I laughed, giggled, even let out the odd squee – something a middle-aged man shouldn’t do when attending a cinema on his own

    Quite possibly the biggest endorsement you can have given it to a fellow middle aged man who wants a Star Wars film to make him feel like a six year old in the way that the 99-05 trilogy failed to do 🙂

  3. I am so very excited to see this film – like you, I saw the originals in the cinema as a child, then was bitterly disappointed by the prequels when they came out. So I think I will be ‘squeeing’ and possibly crying when I see this one, as all reports say it is excellent. I’m booked to go on Wednesday.

    And that Yoda quote is one of my favourites, always. 🙂

  4. First, thank you for avoiding spoilers in your review. I am currently agonizing over the fact that I cannot go out and see it tonight as I would have liked to. I thought finding a sitter this close to winter break would be too difficult. Now I find out that my sons have been invited to a sleepover freeing my night up, but of course, no tickets are to be hand. Tragic.

    This proves that I should have gone ahead and ordered the tickets and pushed for the sitter. Yoda is right. There is no try. Only do.

  5. Glad you enjoyed it, Dylan. Suspect I won’t get for a week or so, but am looking forward to it, though I’m trying hard to rein in my enthusiasm in case I come away disappointed. Thanks for keeping this spoiler free

  6. Good to know Dylan! We are all going to see it tomorrow, well, not Carys. Until I saw your post, I had mixed feelings; I really loved the original 3, hated the first new one (with that God awful Ja Ja Binks) and don’t really remember the next two. All the men in this family are confirmed die-hard Star Wars fans though. Having read your post, I am now looking forward to seeing it, so thanks! 😊

  7. So, I kind of missed the star wars thing. Wasn’t my… erm… generation. Anyway, I love the impact its having on so many people. I haven’t seen it – will wait till its out on sky or something I think. I had to get a friend to explain the plot of the first six – having seen the more recent 3 and being very confused by the sequencing and storyline. But then I never paid much attention to the plot so that was probably why!

    Im more of a trekkie anyway!… wait am I allowed to say that? I know there’s a bit of rivalry!

  8. I loved the original movies as well, although I missed seeing them in the theatre and had to catch up later. I was trying not to get my hopes up before I saw this one because it couldn’t help but be overhyped with all the fan excitement. On the other hand I wanted to see it before someone spoiled it for me! I ended up enjoying it a lot. So nice to see the spirit of the first movies come back again! Glad you liked it too, Dylan. 🙂

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Sue. Most people I know have. I tried not to play things up too much in my review as I didn’t want to raise expectations too high, but personally I loved it!

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