Director: JJ Abrams
NO SERIOUSLY, A SPOILER FREE REVIEW.
Cards on table – ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ was the first film I ever saw at the cinema. I’m not sure I had even seen Star Wars at that point. I had no idea why the Empire were so pissed off but the rebels must have done some sneaky stuff.
So this is a considered opinion after two visits to the picture-house to see Episode VII of the Star Wars saga. Can’t say I wasn’t a little apprehensive but I had trust in JJ Abrams after his reimagining of the Star Trek universe. But once the words rolled into the distance and he pulled a new twist on the infamous opening of ‘A New Hope’ my buttocks unclenched. As the infamous line from that first proper trailer announced -“Chewie, we’re home.” The overly slick CGI tackiness, bogged down sludge plotting of the three prequels was forgotten, this was the same grimy, dusty, world of poor people struggling to survive and the rich evil bastards in their shiny floored space palaces.
It could be said that plot wise this is a re-run of ‘A New Hope’ with a modern twist, certain scenes echo back through time as do sounds, little old skool sound FX and lines shimmering from the mix. Yet it doesn’t feel like one just for the fanboys\girls – this is a perfect jumping off point even for those who have never seen a Star Wars film. You may not understand why others are laughing at certain lines or gasping when certain faces fill the screen but the new characters thrill and excite equally as the old guard.
It may not be Citizen Kane (and thank fuck, have you seen that snore-fest lately?) but its not supposed to be -its escapist entertainment and you can party like it’s 1977. The dog fighting Tie Fighters and X Wings, the moments of mystic wonder, the great jokes and sight gags – this is a barrel of monkeys, drunk on Baileys and let loose in ‘Bananas R Us’. Walking out after the 2nd showing a little kid looked up at his Mum and said “Mum, what happens next?”. That’s planted seeds like ‘Empire’ in my imagination at the turn of the Eighties and he’s got world of wonder to explore with likeminded friends. (He’s taken his first step into a larger world – oh stop it).
I’m sorry if you don’t get this excitement, this rush, this fun, that you’ve put away childish things, you’ve grown too cynical to just let this take you away on a thrilling ride but The Maker we are loving this thing we have seen.
All I can say is they have finally made a fourth Star Wars film and count your blessings that George Lucas was nowhere near it.
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