Disclaimer: This post is going to be filled with spoilers about The Force Awakens, so that’s a fair warning for you if you haven’t watched the movie. If you want a spoiler-free take on the movie, read my spoiler-free review that I posted just yesterday – https://beingnickyb.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/star-wars-episode-vii-the-force-awakens-review-spoiler-free/
While watching the iconic opening crawl, I was stumped to read that Luke Skywalker had literally gone missing and that no one knew where he was or why he’d disappeared. My mind was buzzing with different theories about his disappearance and also about the plot of the movie. I initially assumed that this would be a “find Luke Skywalker” adventure where our heroes and villains would scour the galaxy for him and I was disappointed by that prospect, but thankfully, I was relieved to find later on that it was not so.
In my review of The Force Awakens, I said that there was a point very early on in the movie when I just knew that this was going to be a really good ride. I can finally divulge the details of that here. It was when Kylo Ren kills Lars von Tekka (Max von Sydow’s character) and Poe shoots at Kylo Ren in anger and then, Kylo Ren suddenly turns around as the camera zooms in and holds his right hand up and stops the blaster bolt mid-air. I’ve seen people using the Force in many ways in the movies, but I have never seen that. This is one of the things that I liked about the movie – they use the Force in many similar ways, but also add some new things into the mix to keep everything fresh. Another example of the Force being used differently is when Kylo Ren just stopped Rey dead in her tracks – it was like she was frozen by a tractor beam. The film treads familiar paths, but innovates enough to make me feel as amazed as when I watched Star Wars for the first time.
Star Wars and I go way back; I was introduced to it at a very young age by my father and was instantly entranced by it. Yoda, Luke Skywalker and Jabba the Hutt were my favourite characters at the time and my father often pokes fun now at how I used to pronounce Luke as “Loop” when I was a child. The series was what got me so interested in space and even science and I remember nights when I would stare doe-eyed at the stars and imagine myself flying an X-Wing. Star Wars really is like a fairy tale – it has a protagonist who is the quintessential good-guy, a villain who is as evil as the protagonist is good, a fantastic story that takes place in many elaborate locations, the age-old notion that good always triumphs over evil and of course, a happy ending. Just like a fairy tale, Star Wars has endured, maybe even grown, in popularity in the 38 years since its inception.
I remember being very confused by the ways the movies had been numbered – I remember being stumped by the fact that the fourth movie, A New Hope was made before the first, The Phantom Menace. I didn’t really know the history of Star Wars at the time and thus, it was one of life’s big mysteries, that is, until I asked my father about it many days later (I don’t know why it took me that long) and he answered the burning question. Star Wars has a very special place in my life because of the massive impact that it has had on me. The Jedis are the embodiment of good, of what is right, of purity of mind and spirit. I always wanted to be a Jedi when I was a kid and there were many times when I would spend almost an hour trying to move a door or a bucket by using the Force or try to force-choke my annoying cousin (that’s more Sith, but hey, a lot of Jedis have temporarily turned to the Dark Side. For example, Kyle Katarn). I would have lightsaber battles using these plastic lightsabers that my grandfather bought for me from a toy store with that same annoying cousin who I tried to kill by holding three of my fingers in the air.