Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Why it worked. (A non-spoiler review)

Having lived through the insanity of the original three Star Wars movies,

and through the unfortunate disappointment of the recent, forgettable “prequel” movies that most Star Wars fans choose to pretend DON’T exist, my husband and I held our breath as our family braved the crowds and a packed theater at 9:00 AM Sunday morning during opening weekend.

After the huge disappointment of the 1999 Phantom Menace movie, we didn’t really expect much from The Force Awakens.

But wow, were we in for a delightful surprise!

The Force Awakens brings back everything that we all loved about Star Wars. Action, adventure, a touch of romance, and believable, not-forced comedy. The Force Awakens is also filled with characters that you can actually care about.

These are the things that were missing in the prequels. I didn’t care what happened to those people, and I didn’t believe that the romantic leads were in love (or ever would have fallen in love in those circumstances) The prequels were also jam packed with ridiculous tries at humor that instead of being funny, ended up annoying.

But let’s get one thing straight: the Force Awakens will leave you laughing just as hard as you will be clinging to your chairs during the action scenes. But the comedy here is not forced.

Things are funny, because life is funny.

Think about Han and Lea in the Millennium Falcon, and the hyper drive doesn’t work while they are trying to run for their lives.

Leia says, “Would it help if I got out and pushed?”

And Han responds, “It might.”

Very funny, and very believable. The Force Awakens is filled with stuff like this.

We are also treated to the same roller coaster ride plot that made the original Star Wars great: the underdogs fighting for what’s right, up against a more powerful enemy that they can’t possibly beat.

You will also see history repeating itself in many ways.

And we loved every minute of it.

I will admit that I was skeptical when I heard Disney now had their hands on the reigns of Star Wars. Now, I can’t help but think The Force Awakens might be the best thing to happen to Star Wars since the franchise exploded into the theaters in 1977.

Well done, Disney. May The Force be with you.

Have you seen The Force Awakens? What did you think?

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18 responses to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Why it worked. (A non-spoiler review)

  1. Absolutely LOVED it! My youngest daughter didn’t even like SW that much until this movie. Now she’s very into it & I’m so excited! I’ve seen it twice, and I know I’ll see it again in the theater.

  2. Seeing it on Saturday… apparently. If the family holds to their plans! 😉 I just watched all six eps last week in preparation. Going by what I’ve learned about writing since I last watched them, I feel that eps 1-3 contained a lot of tell and little show. Looking forward to this one!

  3. Seeing it on New Years Eve …. CAN’T WAIT!!!!! 😀

  4. I had no plans of seeing The Force Awakens in the theaters, but my nephew called last minute and asked me to go with him. We saw an afternoon showing on opening day. I was pleasantly surprised and agree with your assessment. My nephew wants to go see it again!

    • I definitely was not planning on seeing it opening weekend. I’m not a fan of crowded theaters, but my son was afraid that spoilers would get out. He already had the big surprise ruined by a kid who saw it at midnight and then ran into school the next morning shouting what happened.

      • I’m no fan of crowded theaters either. my MO is to slip into an afternoon showing while everyone is at work or school. Hard to do that during the opening weekend of an anticipated blockbuster.

  5. I tried not to worry too much about past movies, and just enjoy it for what it is. Some parts are a trifle too calculated for me, like BB8’s excessively cute voice. In all, the movie held up well.

    The new cast are a nice balance and they mix well with the oldtimers. I found it deliciously ironic that the “big bad-guy” could swear to follow in Darth Vader’s footsteps but then act like such a pouty brat.

    Don’t know if I’ll go see it in theaters again, but I’ll definitely buy it on DVD.

  6. I loved it. I think the nostalgia part of it is what leaves me all warm and fuzzy. It’s a new chapter for a new audience. And who couldn’t fall in love with BB8? I was very pleased that Abrams went back to the original feel good Star Wars and not try to take off on another tangent that wouldn’t work in this universe or theirs. I am planning on seeing it again, the next time not in 3-D, though I did like the way I could almost reach out and touch some of those star cruisers. Loved the new characters. I do have a lot of questions and I’m hoping they will be answered in the 2nd and 3rd installments. It’s a shame that Abrams isn’t directing the 2nd film. It sort of scares me to think what the next director will do to it. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the force is still with those with the power to wield a darn good movie.

  7. I think the biggest reason why it works so well is because they balance humor and action with nostalgia. I don’t know that I would have loved it as much if there weren’t all the well placed cameos.

  8. We saw it in 3D yesterday (the second viewing). It grows on me more and more with repeated viewings. My expectations for something new and fresh were dashed by the replay of the plot of Episode IV, but I did like the new characters.
    I’m waiting to see about Rey’s parentage and a better explanation for Finn’s ability to shirk off a lifetime of brainwashing before I give it two thumbs up. Yes. I’m THAT person.

    • You know what? The plot replay was one of the things that I loved. I looked at it as history repeating itself. That was one of the things that worked for me and all four Jedi that I sat with.

  9. I loved it too! It was incredible and funny and everything you said. Yes. My hat is off to Disney for putting out an awesome movie that I want to watch again and again.