On December 18 I was one of millions of moviegoers around the world that headed off to see the first showing of Star Wars Episode VII.
Those of us who had seen both the original trilogy and the prequels knew that despite all the hype, anticipation, and awesome trailers there was a chance that the films would end up being terrible and a huge let down for us nerds and geeks who have so fallen in love with the characters and universe created by George Lucas.
When the title screen came up and the Star Wars theme music started to play I was taken all the way to a galaxy far, far, away for the next two and a half hours. The movie gave me a fantastic mix of nostalgia, action, dialogue, and new characters that far surpassed anything from the prequels which saw me relieved and surprised at just how well the movie turned out.
I think the saving grace for Episode VII is that it’s been made by fans of the original movies, so it harkened back to a lot of the same themes and moments from the first films while also adding its own new touches and introducing us to new characters who are all interesting and have a lot of potential for the upcoming movies in terms of their development.
Speaking of characters, the casting was spot on with every single member of the cast being a perfect match for their character and each of them giving an amazing performance. It must have also really helped them to move back to filming at actual locations rather than blue screens.
The move to using more practical special effects rather than relying on CGI characters and effects also helped the film’s world to have a more tangent feeling to it and gave it a sense of place that was totally absent from the prequels. Looking back now, the CGI effects of the prequel movies, it’s almost laughable how badly they’ve aged compared to the practical effects of the original trilogy movies.
So overall I’d have to say that I walked away from the movie theater feeling that the Star Wars franchise is finally back on track and is now living up to its illustrious original trilogy entries. I’m looking forward to the next two films in the trilogy and I’m cautiously optimistic about Disney’s ownership of the franchise. Hopefully future directors can add their own little touches to the Star Wars universe and keep us entertained for years to come.