"Ah.. Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars!
Gimme those Star Wars.. don't let them end!"
Spoiler Alert BTW!!!!!
Well I'm a little bit confused right now, here I was all ready and everything to hate on JJ Abrams again. Well wouldn't you know it I only go and enjoy Episode 8 more than I thought I would. Whoda thunkit? After the passable Star Trek reboot and the not at all almost entirely ripped off Star Trek 2 from ..erm Star Trek 2 I was a little hesitant to even think about watching the Force Awakens. But I went and from the opening crawl and John Williams' fanfare blast to the final credits I was thoroughly entertained. I'd purposely left any trailers, reviews or spoiler filled podcasts out of my life for the duration and therefore I hadn't a clue about story, plot or fan theories... until afterwards that is.
I found myself enthralled in the Star Wars universe again which basically hasn't happend for years thanks to the prequels, (spits on floor at the thought of Jar Jar Binks' memory).
I was surprised to not find myself in the street afterwards burning JJ Abrams' efigy outside the local ABC cinema but there you go. I saw it in 3D too, which for me made the film even better, although I was dissapointed in my glasses were not the Stormtrooper ones so the fan boy inside me was a little sad at that. Even so the movie went through pretty much a blistering pace of action interspersed with comedy and sadness. Only two story points made me think WTF? but they were only minor ones at that. Although I did find that Captain Ginger Whiney bitch or whatever his name was didn't have the gravitas that Peter Cushing did as Grand Moff Tarkin but then the two actors are miles apart as far as I'm concerned.
I did have for the first time get a sense of scale with reference to the Star Destroyers and Super Star Destroyers when Rey both rappels inside the former and then flies the Millenium Falcon through the latter. So when you see the battles in the first three films you finally see the enormity of the conflicts happening over Endor etc. I was however annoyed that the entire canon of books released through the 80's and 90's are now swept aside as far as story is concerned... thanks JJ. Wasted all that money on hundreds of books for nothing.
I did have the thought though the other day that if I ever get a child that he or she would never be able to watch the films in chronological order, i.e. one through seven, as they would be totally spoiled by the prequels ... in many ways, but one in particular. If you think about it the biggest shock in the original trilogy was that Darth Vader was Luke's father. A fact that if watched in the episode order would be totally ruined by the prequels. So we'd have to sit and watch them in order of release 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, and 7. Mind you I'm so old that I can remember Han shooting first, Wolf man (later replaced by a Rastafarian Lizard and then something resembling an elephant face in Lucas' constant retouches) and the original print I saw at the cinema was not called Episode 4:A new Hope either. .... In my day etc. etc.
I do enjoy the Disney XD toons of Star Wars Rebels which is an adequate replacement for the Clone Wars animations, if you haven't seen them watch them. They start off a bit too kid friendly but get better and darker as the story progresses.
Little tidbit I found out after the film came out when I watched videos on the youtubes about it is that the Stormtrooper that Rey does the Jedi mind trick on is alledgedly none other than Daniel Craig. The fat alien in the first reel who doles out the rations in exchange for salvage is Simon Pegg.
I find myself enjoying the Star Wars universe again and can now be seen to be throwing money at Disney insomuchas I buy graphic novels, books and an X Wing for my nerd shelf.
You will find me queing up for Episode 9 in about a weeks' time ;) .
To JJ Abrams I say "May my money be with you.. always"