The force is strong in this film. No really it is. You see, the promise of the new Star Wars film has not only awoken the force – but also a whole sleuth of fans who have now – forced – themselves on the bandwagon. Fans who don’t know nor care that Greedo shot first or that Sebastian Shaw appeared as Anakin Skywalker’s ghost in the original Return of the Jedi Ending – are now scrambling to catch a glimpse of Han Solo’s, now iconic ‘Chewy… we’re home.’
The George Lucas, now JJ Abrams directed epic, treats us to a two and a half hour, action packed story, lined with strong dialogue and fresh talent.
Alongside Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, who have reprised their roles as Han and Leia respectively, we see a new wave of fresh talent washed upon the shore of Hollywood. Two unknown British stars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, take a brave leap into the biggest franchise in the world.
And they landed successfully.
Despite being relatively new to the industry and still learning their craft, the two young actors managed to successfully hold their own calibre against the legends that are of course Ford and Fisher.
So why does Star Wars hold us in it’s telepathic grip? Well, the franchise appeals to audiences for many reasons. Some relish the action scenes, the lightsabers and the fast pod racing. Others, such as myself, are sucked into the saga due to the storytelling.
Scratch the surface of the epic battle scenes and dramatic explosions and what we have is a story surrounding the Skywalker family. No amount of clever design and special effects thrown onto a production can tear a viewer away from a good story. We’re not dumb. We know what tugs at our heartstrings and Star Wars is definitely up there in the top 100, ‘films to make you cry before you die,’ type ranks.
We follow this family through the generations. Watching little Anakin Skywalker racing around on his pod and struggling not to think ‘you’re going to be one of the most evil beings in the galaxy,’ is a surreal experience. We then see his strong friendship with Obi Wan, his marriage to Padme and most heartbreakingly – his excitement at being a father. Unfortunately none of that was to last. As much as we’d love to watch him skip off into the Naboo sunset with Padme and their two little Jedis, we knew it could never be.
Finally, we watched Anakin’s transformation to the dark side unfold. Anakin became Darth Vader.
Darth Vader is classed as one of the most iconic villains in the world. He’s portrayed as being feared upon the storm troops, he’ll strangle you in one grip – and yet… the sight of his son writhing in pain on the floor, was the final push he needed to destroy the real evil, once and for all. Luke managed to tear a scream “Father!” and suddenly we weren’t looking at Vader the monster behind the iron mask… we’re looking at Vader the man. The father.
Dying in the arms of his son.
So how does the new Star Wars fare? Well, without spoiling it too much for you, it follows the story of the Skywalker family in perfect tandem with the rest of the films.
In the end that is what counts.