The top ten reasons I’m looking forward to the new Star Wars movie
In May of 1977, the first Star Wars movie (later retitled ‘A New Hope’) was released in theaters and the movies would never be the same. Nor, for that matter, would I. This was a movie that changed the way I viewed movies. In some ways, I became obsessed with the culture that was ‘Star Wars’.
The movie spawned five sequels, a TV show or two, hundreds of books and comics, thousands of toys and a whole wardrobe of clothing from t-shirts to full blown costume replicas.
I actually saw the first movie in theaters seventy five times. It played at the Bayberry plaza in a Cinema National theater they once had there that closed years ago. Star Wars stayed on the big screen in first run for 62 weeks. No other film since has come even close that.
George Lucas (who created the saga) promised a total of nine movies (with three more peripheral stories that were planned if he could ever find time to make them). But as time went on, it became extremely less likely that he would ever get around to making episodes seven, eight and nine.
After the prequels were received by original fans like me with less than thunderous applause (Jar-Jar Binks comes to mind) there were some skeptics who even felt that Lucas would probably find some way to screw up the third trilogy.
I honestly didn’t think I was going to live long enough to see the story told at all. But now, the new movie is just days away, scheduled to be released in theaters on December 18th with preview showings beginning as early as 7PM the night before.
And to be honest, I’m very excited. Here are the top ten reasons that I’m looking forward to Star Wars: Episode Seven – The Force Awakens.
The return of the Jedi (and the Sith)
The Force is what gives Star Wars its appeal. It’s an energy field generated by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the audience together. That’s why we’ll all be cheering when the curtain goes up.
Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher
Star Wars was never quite the same when all the original characters went away. Of course, twenty to thirty years in the past, two of the characters weren’t even born yet and the details of the third were kind of sketchy, defined only in print and not on the big screen. But now, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa are back for another go at defeating the Empire.
J.J. Abrams, the director
Everything he touches seems to turn to box office gold. ‘Lost’ was one of the most admired TV shows of the last several years and Abrams successfully managed to reboot and reinvent ‘Star Trek’ for the big screen. Now he’s bringing his talents to the galaxy far, far away. Complete with the occasional lens flare.
The music of John Williams
In the mid 1970s, John Williams was single handedly responsible for bringing cinematic orchestral music back to the big screen. Who can forget the da-thumping beat of the Jaws theme, the flourishing resonance of the original Star Wars theme or the swift cadence of the Raiders March from Indiana Jones? He’s got the awards to prove it, too.
In the 1970s, everyone loved See Threepio and Artoo Detoo who became the Abbott and Costello of the Star Wars universe. This time, we’re introduced to yet another cutesy droid type, BB-8. Will he be as fun and adorable as Artoo? That remains to be seen, but the other two droids are back as well.
That galaxy far, far away...
How can you NOT enjoy adventures in a place that can only be truly defined on the silver screen? We’ve been introduced to a myriad of worlds in the universe already – Tatooine, Hoth, Endor and Yavin just to name a few. Where will we be this time? Who knows, but as Han says to Chewie in the preview, “We’re home.” We certainly are!
And speaking of Chewie, it’s great to see him yet again on the big screen. Actor Peter Mayhew may be getting up there in years, but his facial expressions truly bring the 200 year old Wookiee to life.
This is Star Wars for a new generation and we’ve always seen relative unknowns in key roles. These are the movies that launched careers, including Ford, Hamill and Fisher. The prequels mainstreamed Ewan MacGregor and Natalie Portman. This time around, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega take center stage.
More bad guys
Darth Vader and the Emperor may be dead, but they’ve made room for more sinister villains. The main baddie appears to be Kylo Ren, a dark suited villain with a wicked looking lightsaber shaped like a cross. But the Star Wars universe is filled with scum and villainy so I’m certain there will be others as well.
Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon
Solo is, arguably, the best pilot in the galaxy and the Millennium Falcon is one incredible ship. Sure, it’s all special effects, but it’s still fantastically cool to watch as Solo flies this magnificent freighter from a cockpit fastened to the far right of a vessel that carries the bulk of its weight nearly 100 feet to his left. I’m sorry, but that’s just fun to watch. And let’s not forget that Han’s also an ace shot. The bad guys are in for it.
So, you can guess where I will be this week on Thursday night. I already have tickets and shows throughout the country are selling out fast. If you want to be part of the fun, you’d better hurry. It’s not very often that we get to be a part of cinematic history and I know hundreds of fans who are keeping our fingers crossed that this installment will be better than the three prequels.
Oh, and whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not – May the force be with you!