Yesterday, Star Wars Episode 7 was released in the UK. Today I went to see it at the cinema having managed to avoid all spoilers. I was very impressed with what I saw. It's a true Star Wars film that no fan should miss. Let me share with you why without any spoilers.
When it comes to films, I'm fussy. It is very rare that I'll agree with the main reviews on a film. Spectre was one such film. The bulk of reviews gave it 5 stars. I thought it was more like 3.5. But here's the good news. I thought Star Wars Episode VII was VERY GOOD. I'd give it 4.5 out of 5. In fact it was so good, I felt compelled to write a post on our site about it. But I want to share why I thought it was good without giving any spoilers or by giving away any of the plot. That's not an easy task. But I think you to see it and here's why:
The Original Movies were great because...
Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI were so good for one simple reason. It wasn't the effects. It wasn't the battles. It was because you got to really adore the characters. You cared about them. And whilst the likes of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader were favourites for many, there were still a bunch of supporting characters that were fun to watch and people loved: Boba Fett, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Jabba the Hut, Emperor Palpatine. The list just went on and on.
When Star Wars was revisited with Episodes I, II and III, I was so excited. I grew up with IV, V and VI and had watched them countless times. George Lucas would be behind them again, so what could possibly go wrong? Whilst they were OK, they were nowhere near the quality of the original movies he made. I felt the main reason for that was that the character development was weak. There was little humour. Anakin seemed to me to act like a spoilt brat. I went away from those prequels not caring about any of the characters. And I wasn't alone.
Disney purchased Star Wars
Then Disney came along and purchased Star Wars. Many of us sighed and wondered what that meant for Star Wars. Disney were quick to announce that they would be making a new set of films. Having been disappointed with the prequel movies I didn't hold out too much hope. But as time went on, I began to hope. Snippets were leaked like original cast members were being included, the Millennium Falcon was going to feature and the plot was kept very secret. I was also pleased that a top director was working on the movie (J.J. Abrams). Finally there was a drive to work with some largely unknown actors for the main parts. But would it all come together?
In recent weeks, the excitement and build up to this movie has been phenomenal. I have never known a film get so much exposure from so many places. No matter whether you were online or offline it was impossible to not know Star Wars Episode VII was releasing on December 17th. The hype got me so keen to watch it, my wife Christine and I decided to take the morning off today to go see it. I haven't done that with a film ever. I'll normally wait for the fuss to die down and then go see it. But in this case I was desperate to not read or hear any spoilers. I avoided social media and the news all day yesterday and succeeded to get to see the movie spoiler free.
Watching The Film
At 10am, we sat down to a 3D viewing in a quiet Cinema room, dead centre for the perfect sound and visual experience. And for the next two hours we were whisked to a galaxy far away which engrossed me and my wife from start to finish and left me dying to know what will happen in Episode VIII. The film was almost perfect and satisfied pretty much everything I wanted in a Star Wars sequel. And that is a big ask. So why did I like it so much?
Key is the character development. If you're a Star Wars Collector, you'll be aware of many of the characters prior to the film's release. Indeed figures are already available in cheap form and the high-end Hot Toys Kylo Ren, Rey & BB-8 and numerous StormTroopers will soon be here. For me, Rey and BB-8 steal the show. Rey is played by a British Actress called Daisy Ridley and despite her lack of big movie experience, she plays her role wonderfully. She's feisty, strong and funny. She looks right at home alongside the movie giant Harrison Ford. It would have been easy for J.J. Abrams to rely heavily on the old guard of Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia, but he wisely uses them to build the story in a way that compliments the new characters but doesn't overshadow them.
Another key new character is Finn who is played by British actor: John Bodega. Again, this guy is largely unknown in the blockbuster movie world. But he plays a noble character who makes you smile and looks perfectly at home on the big screen.
The one character I felt a little underwhelmed by was Kylo Ren. At times he is fearsome to behold but Abrams decides to show a little more of the personality of this character than I would of liked. Personally I always like the bad guy to be very dark and mysterious for the entire movie. He's still interesting to watch though and certainly creates a few shocking moments. He's played by US actor Adam Driver.
As with all Star Wars movies, the special effects are stunning in The Force Awakens. The 3D effects work really well in the ship battle scenes. It's difficult to talk about specific scenes without spoiling the film for you, so I won't. But suffice to say, you'll be very happy with the variety of ships and dog fights that happen in this movie. As for the lightsabers, they look better than ever and Kylo Ren's new style of lightsaber looks amazing on the big screen.
Good Story Line?
But is the story good? Yes. I can't tell you much without ruining the plot for you. But it zips along at a great place with plenty of humour, twists, turns and total shocks. Make no mistake, this is the Star Wars sequel you've been hoping for.
Should You Go And See It?
Absolutely 100% yes! This film will smash all previous box office records without a doubt. And justly so. Star Wars is back and I can't wait to see the next episode! J.J. Abrams and the Star Wars team, I salute you for a job very well done!
Wha About The Star Wars Merchandise?
Some of the original Star Wars merchandise is now worth a lot of money. And now we have some great collectibles which should be sound investments for years to come. I reckon that straight after seeing this cracker of a movie you're gonna want to seriously consider adding some characters to your collection. Top of my list is the Hot Toys Rey & BB-8 1/6 Action Figures. Perhaps a StormTrooper too. I also heard today that Finn is on his way is 1/6 form. As with all movies, you'll fall in love with lightsabers yet again. Hasbro have both Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren ones due in January. See the links in this paragraph for more info on each item and to pre-order them or see all our pre-orders here.
What do you think?
Well you've heard my views. What do you think? Please don't give any spoiler comments. But have you seen the movie? Did you like or dislike? Or when are you going to see it?