Star Wars was basically the force that binded my childhood together. Whether it was watching the films to then instantly rewind the VHS and re-watch until bedtime, or playing with my huge collection of figures and ships whilst darting around Endor (our garden) or acting out light saber scenes with a makeshift long plastic tube I found in the garage, my early years were dominated by the original trilogy.
When the prequels were released many years later, I, like many, was filled with initial excitement and expectations only to have everything crushed by George Lucas’ ridiculous over-use of CGI, terrible scripts (dominated by talks of trade federations and other political nonsense), dreadful acting and the departure of the franchise’s recognisable core that flowed effortlessly through the originals.
So when news broke of The Force Awakens a couple of years ago, minus George Lucas, I was filled with mixed emotions. Despite my admiration for the man, (after all, his unbelievable vision and imagination is responsible for much of the childhood I fondly remember), his supremacy was mercifully up and it was time for the galaxy to take guidance from a younger, more attune leader, in the name of JJ Abrams.
Having seen the film last night, handing the baton over to Abrams is the best thing to happen to Star Wars since Darth Vader lobbed Darth Sidious down that deathly shaft.
The film is an absolute triumph – 5 stars (and the rest). It’s on a galactic scale that sits contentedly with the originals. My love for this wonderful galaxy, far, far away is well and truly rebooted.
Now, I’m no Barry Norman so I’m not going to attempt to review the film or reveal any spoilers, but I can safely say the film meets all expectations and then some. There’s a return to the humour we saw in the originals, the sets feel real and removed of ridiculous CGI, the new stars, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega more than hold their own alongside the amazing Harrison Ford and there are a couple of twists and revelations that maintain the audience’s suspense and surprise.
As the film reached its climax, and knowing there were only ten minutes or so remaining, I felt saddened that it was going to end, I wanted the fun to go on and on all night. But thankfully, the final scene is perfect – a sight that leaves the audience counting down the days until the next instalment which judging from this film will be even better. I’m delighted to say the force has well and truly awakened.