I hadn’t been overly excited in the run up to the new Star Wars movie, I mean I’d grown up watching the prequels and have seen the originals a few times but I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan of the franchise nor proclaim that I know everything about it.
But on Boxing Day I was filled with a sort of nervous excitement for watching the latest installment, which was probably mine but also more than likely influenced by my boyfriend and his Dad – who later told me he had goosebumps throughout the viewing, but he did get to appreciate the originals in all their glory when they first came out at a young age. I did put my hair up in Princess Leia style side buns for the occasion though, so I think I get marks for effort at least.
It’s hard to discuss the film without major spoilers, so I’ll warn you now, if you haven’t seen it click off this post. Perhaps go and have a read of this one which is also about Star Wars, or even this one – surprise posts are perhaps the best kind. But I thought I’d give a quick low down today, on what I thought of the latest installment in the franchise.
First off, and you’re probably expecting a comment like this, I loved the girl power element in the film; Rey is such a strong, fun character from her telling Finn off for grabbing her hand when they run, to her showdown with Kylo Ren.
I was discussing the female characters in the franchise afterwards with Jamie and how happy I was that there were more introduced in prominent roles in the film, I couldn’t recall any of the female Jedis in earlier films – although there are of course some on the council – and the only strong women I remember are obviously Leia and Amidala. So to have Rey as a new Jedi and the reason for the awakening of the force and even more women in roles such as fighter pilots in the X Wings, taking part in the attack on the Starkiller base and even female Stormtroopers (I’m still a little sad though that we didn’t get to see Gwendoline Christie take off her mask though) I was a little excited.
The film was also progressive when it came to people of colour in leading roles, the first person to use a lightsaber is of course Finn, when he has no weapon and is passed Luke’s old one. Of course, I know the prequels featured more actors of colour (let’s leave a detailed insight into the perhaps racist attributes of Jar Jar Binks for another day) but the original three were not as strong. I’m so happy this is considered normal now, although the fact that we are still discussing it says a lot about our society still but hopefully in years to come there won’t be anything to discuss and racially diverse casts will be an everyday occurrence.
The comedic element was also a strong factor within the film and it didn’t grow old or tired either, every joke or funny moment was well thought out and executed with Han Solo and Chewie stealing the show as well as little BB-8 who is the cutest thing to exist.
The return of Leia and Han Solo was a moment to cherish, although I was left feeling a little disappointed that there was never a film to witness their marriage, the birth of their child and of course said child’s shunning of the light and his turn to the Darkside (which we all now we’d probably turn to as well because it has cookies).
Leia has shunned her Princess title in the Force Awakens and is instead known as General, confirming the progressive nature of the film as she is highly regarded in association with the military.
Even if you aren’t a huge Star Wars fan I feel like this film is a must see, simply for its action element and fun characters. If you are a Star Wars fan you will enjoy all the nods to the original instalments in the franchise, from the opening titles to shots within the X Wing battle scene and old familiar faces throughout the movie itself.
J.J Abrams did a fantastic job of ensuring the film still felt like a Star Wars movie, it captured the nostalgia and the wonder of the world the story is set in and now I really want to visit the Forest of Dean where the Stormtrooper battle and Maz Kanata’s watering hole reside. Maz is a brilliant new character, by the way and plays a pivotal role in Rey’s discovery of her abilities as she is the one who keeps Luke’s lightsaber safe and ensures it ends up in the right hands. Voiced by Lupita Nyong’o, she was apparently based on J.J Abram’s old English teacher, which I thought was quite a sweet touch to the movie as she is such a strong character.
Have you seen the Force Awakens yet? What did you think?