There was a point very early on in The Force Awakens when I just knew that this was going to be one of the most pure Star Wars experiences ever. George Lucas said in an interview and I’m paraphrasing of course, “Disney wants to give the fans what they want and love with The Force Awakens.” And what better way to do that than to let a mega-fan direct it – J.J. Abrams’ love for Star Wars shines through in every scene and the love and effort poured into the movie is evident right from the first shot, which by the way is so reminiscent of that of A New Hope. Actually, the plot of The Force Awakens is very similar to that of that of Episode IV, but for the sake of keeping this review spoiler-free, I won’t delve into further details. Nostalgia plays a huge factor in this movie, not just with its beloved returning characters but also with so many easter eggs. I loved how they acknowledged the events of the previous movies to make the galaxy feel old and like it has many, many stories to tell. Nostalgia notwithstanding, the movie is excellent and can stand on its own two feet without resting on its laurels.
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.