To say I was anxious about the latest edition of the Star Wars saga would be an understatement. In the weeks leading up to the screening I had watched the first six episodes religiously much to the annoyance of my other half. I chose Everyman Cinema as the venue to watch it, which, in retrospect was an error of judgement, not so much that the quality or service of the cinema is sub-par, on the contrary, but rather because Star Wars demands to be seen in a setting with a gigantic screen and surround sound with the crescendo of the John Williams theme music blazing out and subtitles screening down the page as the screening commences.
The film had big shoes to fill, not only had Disney acquired Lucas Film for around $4bn comparatively recently, but the original trilogy is widely regarded by film critics and Star Wars enthusiasts as one of the greatest trilogies of all time. It would also be easy to see how one could be cynical given Disney’s recent purchase and perhaps be anxious about what has been coined as the “disneyfication” of Star Wars. What I witnessed however was one of the greatest, if not the greatest film of a generation. Unlike the prequels, which, in spite of their improved visual effects are widely regarded as a disappointment, the latest edition combines impeccable visual effects, superb acting and a story line which transitions brilliantly from one generation to the next.
Whilst missing arguably two of the original trilogies most celebrated characters in the form of Yoda and Darth Vader, The Force Awakens still includes a whole raft of original characters in senior roles; Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia & Chewbacca all feature. This is finely balanced with the introduction of a new generation of characters including the exceptionally talented British actress Daisy Ridley who plays Rey, John Boyega as Finn and Adam Driver as antihero Kylo Ren. The new film also introduces an exciting new edition in the form of the sleek new droid Bb8, a much improved version of the R2D2 droid in terms of both mobility and sex appeal.
I would urge anyone, Star Wars aficionado or not to watch this film as I will be doing again and again and again. You won’t be disappointed.