26 December 2015

The Force Awakens. Indeed!

I went to the latest Star Wars movie last evening. Like thousands others, I too had been waiting eagerly for the release, and wouldn't have missed it for anything.
Now come the obvious questions: how is it? (duh!), tell me more about it, etc, etc. Here's what I think of it, but I'm not about to give away any spoilers. Read on.
I watched all the previous Star Wars movies only a few years back. They were all excellent. I really liked the basic story-line, special effects, the characters (especially the characters), and more. However, I'm not a hardcore fan. Sorry.
So I was familiar with the past stories and looked forward to the latest movie. I wondered if 'may the force be with you' would sound as cheesy and funny as it does in all the jokes and references. The special effects are greatly improved, as is evident from trailers, so I wanted to see more of the old stuff (characters, aliens, X-wing planes, etc) in new light. The last movie came out many years back, so there was a lot of catching-up to do, I thought. 

The Force Awakens delivered on all fronts. Tons of catching-up, superb CGI, old characters, everything. Some of the old elements are well-preserved and refreshed without trying hard to reprise old cliches just for the heck of it. So you see the alien bar with every kind of alien in it, light sabres, the Millenium Falcon (I know!!), Han Solo still talking his way out of murderous money-lenders and traders, Chewie, R2-D2, (I should stop here), and more of the old stuff that you remember and love, without feeling like its 'just the same old thing, so what's new?'. The stormtroopers could use a little overhaul in design, in my humble opinion. I joined-in when fans in the hall cheered at the entry of Han, R2-D2, the Falcon, Chewie, and Leia. You can feel a collective smile spreading across faces that are familiar. Their appearance alone makes it more than half worth going to the movie.

There is a lot of mention of the 'force', but it doesn't seem like an overkill. There is only *one* time someones actually says 'may the force be with you', and it makes you smile, again. :-) This movie was lot about catching-up with the past, and I expect to see it mature with further sequels. 

Another pleasant surprise was stellar performances by the two new faces. I mean, really impressive. Refreshingly good to see these two new characters develop while the old ones step just a bit into the background. Very well done. 
All in all, a must see or even do-not-miss-it-for-the-world for any Star Wars fan. The ending suggests more sequels, so look forward to those in the coming years. 


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