Star Wars: A Good Sequel Awakens

Zion Smith, Staff Writer

“The Force Awakens”: the most highly anticipated movie of 2015. Christopher Orr from the Atlantic magazine summed it up like this: “briefly: The Force Awakens’s chief protagonist, Rey (Daisy Ridley), is essentially a female version of Luke Skywalker…; its chief antagonist, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), is a Darth Vader knockoff in more ways than one; Harrison Ford’s Han Solo fulfills pretty much the role this time out that Alec Guinness’s Obi-Wan Kenobi did last time; oedipal issues are once again resolved by means of a light sabre encounter witnessed by young heroes; it ultimately all comes down to an X-Wing assault on the minuscule weakness of an asteroidal, planet-killing super-weapon; etc., etc., etc.” The parallels to be drawn do not end there.

 

“A New Hope” and “The Force Awakens” are very similar movies with similar plot lines, but that’s not a bad thing. David Morgan from CBS news said this, “Here, he (J.J.  Abrams) gets the tone exactly right: playing the drama and thrills with grit and style, with just a wink and a nod to the earlier films rather than slavishly rehashing them.” And for that, kudos to Abrams. The man knows how to resurrect a franchise.

 

And it was definitely in need of resurrection. Once certain characters (*Cough cough,* Jar Jar…)  and long, wordy political debates were added into the prequel trilogy; how do I put this lightly? “Bring back the glory of the original trilogy, Lucas could not” No matter how good the score was, or how much the CGI improved, the fans just tolerated the movies until the last ten minutes of the third movie when they finally got some real resolution of plotlines.

 

“The Force Awakens” is not that kind of prequel. The sheer attention to detail (and money spent on the project) says it all. A mix of prosthetics and CGI was used for all the aliens. The new hero, heroine, and villain are entirely new characters. (Albeit with connections to the old ones, as per the original trilogy.) There is enough use of the father figure-ish old man for you to be satisfied with the learning curve of new characters.

 

This is all part of a cleverly formulated plan to show you just enough of the old to revive the spirit of the original trilogy, and just enough new that it makes you ready for more. (also, new original scoring from John Williams) But, let’s be honest; you would’ve watched it twice in theatres even if Kylo Ren was Rey’s father. (weird image there…)

To sum it all up, the new movie is satisfying for two reasons. One, because there’s no friggin Jar Jar. And two, because it reflect the old one, without being entirely unoriginal. And in two years, when the next movie comes out, we’ll all go watch it. If for no other reason than to find out what Luke is about to say to our new young hero right as the credits rolled. Good one J.J.