By Jordan and Eddie on 27/11/2015
In but a few weeks’ time a little movie you may’ve heard of happens to be hitting cinema screens the world over, this movie you might know of or perhaps have already purchased tickets for is Star Wars: the Force Awakens.
All jokes aside, it’s quite possible that the newest entry into the beloved Sci-Fi franchise is the movie industries most hyped movie, not merely in this year or this decade, but of all time.
From trailers being watched millions upon millions of time, merchandise flooding our stores and pre-sale tickets being swooped up on-mass faster than an Ewok running through the shrubs, the evidence is all around us that the force is strong with this one.
While hype is great and in this case justified, it leaves director J.J. Abrams film with a mighty expectation to meet and in considering this we here at J and E have decided to provide our none to professional opinion on whether or not we think the Force Awakens can realistically live up to the hype.
Using a simple Pro’s and Con’s formula with a final verdict, below you’ll find our analysis and no doubt we will see you all on December 17th, lined up and ready to witness a new age of Star Wars.
Happy reading and happy watching!
- J.J. Abrams – As a personally unashamed fan and supporter of Abrams, from the excellent and oft misunderstood Lost through to the fun and enjoyable Sci-Fi yarns of Star Trek and Super 8, he seems to me to be arguable the best man for the job and knows how to mould thrills with heart and an understated humour. Perfect for the Star Wars universe then.
- The Cast – What a major bonus for the Force Awakens to net all major cast members from the old beloved trilogy. While Disney and the filmmakers here could’ve gone for the easy option of recasting or the doing away with characters of old, they went about harnessing together everyone from Harrison Ford through to Peter Mayhew. While there might be a few more wrinkles on screen than ever before, it will be a dream come true for many getting to see the faces we know and love back on screen once more.
- The Trailers – Ever since the very first image was glimpsed of the first teaser for the first teaser the hype train started rolling and rightfully so! Every TV spot, every trailer and every behind the scenes look at the Force Awakens suggests that a mix of mind blowing visuals and a thrilling story will teleport us to a galaxy far far away that we will want to revisit again and again.
- No Jar Jar Binks – Seriously how good will that be! Oh and no Hayden Christensen to boot!
- The Hype – It wouldn’t be wrong to say the Force Awakens is holding up nerd/geek/movie loving hopes on its very shoulders. Never before has hype for a feature film been this world spanning, this extreme and against unmeasurable history. Only on December 17th will we know if the hype was worth it but with great hype comes great responsibility!
- The Story – Unless you’ve delved deep into the recesses of the Internet’s underbelly or somehow snuck on set, chances are the actual plot line to the Force Awakens remains largely under wraps. Will the narrative centre around a missing Luke Skywalker? Is Darth Vader somehow going to return? We mere mortals are none the wiser but what made the original films so good were strong narratives that were largely lost in the later prequels and hopefully not lost here.
- The Cast – We can talk about the old cast but can a group of largely unknowns and up and comers become the new Han Solo, Princess Leia, Jaba the Hut etc.? A lot is riding on an untried Star Wars cast with the likes of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac just to name a few and it will be interesting to see how they compare alongside their more seasoned space explorers.
- BB-8 – The new Jar Jar? Only time will tell but let’s hope this loveable looking droid isn’t there for unwarranted comic relief or just hijinks of many different shapes and forms.
Can the Force Awakens live up to the hype?
Final Verdict – Yes. If anyone can do it it’s J.J. Abrams and on face value evidence the Force Awakens looks like everything any fan of the series could’ve ever hoped for! The hype is truly incredible and the expectations high but just like the original Star Wars film proved, it’s possible to believe in the impossible and be transported to worlds that seem real, true and most importantly breathtakingly entertaining. May the force be with you indeed!
- The Timing – It’s been ten years since Revenge of the Sith concluded the prequel trilogy, meaning that a huge portion of The Force Awakens’ audience will be kids seeing their first cannon Star Wars movie after years of Clone Wars animations, while the ample rest of us will be seeing our 7th after a decade long break filled with rumour and anticipation.
- 7th Time is a Charm – The 7th entry in a film franchise has often brought the goods over its sequel predecessors, see: Furious 7, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and of course Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow. So its scientifically proven then that this has to be good.
- The Secrecy – Sure, we know the cast of returning characters and various technical specs, but only because these things are often impossible to keep from an audience. The fact that the plot has been kept under wraps to such a successful extent surely signifies how proud the creative minds behind it are, and that there are many surprises awaiting us.
- No Hayden Christensen – There is no place for moody adolescence in the Star Wars universe.
- The Technology – A New Hope introduced galactic warfare on a scale not previously seen and it wowed audiences and critics alike, and like it or loath it, the pod racer sequence in A Phantom Menace was the stuff of dreams for kids at the time who would watch it over and over again. In an era now where Interstellar has made space exploration seem all the more believable and the Marvel films have seamlessly integrated CGI into live action, can The Force Awakens have the wow factor of previous entries?
- Can it win over a new audience? – Sure, pre-sale tickets have already gone some way to recovering the budget for this one, but if it is to the first of a new trilogy then it needs to snare new converts, and I’m not convinced those unfamiliar with the mythology and nonplussed on the brand will see it.
- Return of the Old Timers – If Han Solo and Princess Leia are somehow as vibrant now as they were nearly 40 years ago, then this will be moved to the Pros list, but one can’t help but fear that the return of Ford, Fisher and Hamill (please no… remember Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) will slightly tarnish the legacy of the originals if they act at all in a knowing, self referential or lacklustre manner (I’m looking at you, Harrison).
- Kylo Ren’s lightsaber – Seriously, what is the point of those 2 side sabers?
Can the Force Awakens live up to the hype?
Final Verdict – Yes. Of course it can. If J.J. Abrams can make Star Trek popular to the mainstream in a fun, adventurous and exciting manner then he can do even more with a franchise pre-loaded with style and a lore that leaves the rest cinema has to offer in it’s space dust. This will be one of the best movies of 2015.
Star Wars: the Force Awakens opens in Australia on Thursday December 17th.
What are your thoughts on the Force Awakens? Do you trust Abrams or are you still reeling from the finale of Lost? We’d love to hear from you so drop us a line in the comments below! And may the force be with you.