Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII)

“It’s true. […] All of it.”

[originally written 26/12/2015]

Unless you’ve taken refuge at the bottom of a garden pond or somewhere similar* you’re probably aware that Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out in cinemas in most places at some point last week. I went to see it last Saturday and this is it’s Reading List post – a hopefully spoiler-free** one as I can relate to really wanting to see a film but being too busy/disorganised/poor etc. etc. to see it as soon as it comes out.
I have a confession to make: I did not see the complete Star Wars saga until 2012. What was I doing with my life prior to this? Yeah, I don’t know either. I’d owned & seen the original Episode IV for a few years previously to this but it wasn’t until a family holiday where we stayed in a flat that had the full box set that we watched the rest. We did our best to make up for waiting so long by watching the remaining 5 films in 4 nights and I’ve been a absolute convert ever since. So of course the new film made it’s way on to the list!
First off I’d like to talk about the excellent score. I love film scores, like to listen to them while I study or do chores or anything. The way they lead you through the emotions the film is trying to make you feel, adding another dimension to the action, enhancing it, is amazing. John Williams is most definitely one of the greatest film composers in existence. His work on all the Star Wars films is incredible and it’s great that he returned to work on The Force Awakensas who could continue his legacy best but him? I particularly enjoyed the way past themes and motifs were woven in.
It was great to see so many returning characters who were, I think, well-used. The new characters are also very good including Rey and Finn played by British (whoop!***) actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. BB-8 (the orange football) follows a fine tradition of comedic & adorable Star Wars droids. And there’s a whole host of new, excitingly varied bad guys.
It also made me happy to see some film locations I recognised as places around the UK, either from their use in TV programmes or having visited there myself. Special mention to Derwentwater in the Lake District, England in the light of the severe flooding the area has experienced recently.
The film is the first I’ve ever seen in 3D which was exciting. I’m not sure if I particularly prefer it to 2D – 3D glasses are a bit of a kerfuffle when you already wear glasses – but it was very impressive to see the traditional scrolling text at the beginning appear to extend out of the screen.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a must-see, once you’ve seen at least the original trilogy if not the prequels. It echoes the originals a lot in more than just style but does so without becoming boring. It is overall a beautiful, great, epic adventure of a movie.


*Yes, this is a Potter reference.
**To the person whose Youtube comment contained a poorly-labelled spoiler for a huge, emotional moment, which I accidentally read when watching the trailer on Tuesday – i.e. when it had only premiered in the US and hadn’t been released to the general public anywhere. Know that in the spirit of Christmas I am trying to forgive you. #DontSpoilIt
***Extra whoop! for female lead (esp. in a sci-fi/action film) & POC representation!