For as long as I could remember, I’ve loved Star Wars. Some of my fondest memories involved playing with unfortunately long since gone Star Wars toys, from Micro Machines, X-Wings, to figures while I watch the movies on laserdiscs. Yes, the ones bigger than frisbees.
Over the years, my love for Star Wars came and went, but it was always a constant in my life. I do have to admit I haven’t devoured most of the Expanded Universe material, but I have dabbled in it at times, the Republic Commando series and Tag & Bink being some of my favorites. The games were also a big reason my love for Star Wars kept all these years. Yes, even Masters of Teras Kasi.
When it was announced that new movies are going to be made, I was naturally giddy. Along the way, some decisions like decanonizing the EU did put some doubts and it still stung even to this day, but still, my faith kept on. The new Marvel Star Wars comics helped ease the transition, and if anything, there’s always the small solace that the old EU still happened and we still have the stories, only it happened in some other Galaxy Far, Far, Away in the multiverse. It’s sad, but still, it’s something.
And now that I’ve seen the movie just hours earlier, it was like the Galaxy Far, Far, Away never went away. The second the Star Wars logo came up followed by the opening crawl, I feel like I was five again, sitting in front of the TV watching. It was a state of mind that kept almost throughout the whole movie, which is why I decided to bill this a reaction rather than a review. A review implies a degree of objectivity while watching the movie, something that was nearly nonexistent during the 135 minutes of the film’s running time.
But of course, my pesky adult brain had to come rear its ugly head at times and forced me to analyze stuff. So let’s get that out of the way first. The movie is very, very well-crafted. Abrams and co. has certainly learned their mistakes from the Prequel Trilogy and mixed what little good they had with the charm and feel of the Original Trilogy. The effects, while the emphasis on practical effects was lessened, are still top-notch and has a similar feel to that of the Originals. One small detail that I loved was them going back to making actual suits and using actual people for the Stormtroopers instead of creating every single faceless trooper with CGI like the Prequels did with the Clone Army.
Every single member of the main cast, returning and new, were and are still perfect in their roles. Without going into too much detail of the plot, the chemistry between Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn were the standouts, as was Finn with Oscar Isaac’s Poe. The returning original cast was like they never left in the first place and they came across as the same characters, only older and (for some of them, not) wiser.
If my actual five-year old self were to watch this, I know he’d ramble on and on about this for days on end. In truth, so would I. In pure terms of nostalgia and Star Warsiness, this was the motherlode. Callbacks and shout-outs abound, and it’s just pure Star Wars from opening crawl to ending credits. I can’t—and won’t go into detail into the plot, since that’d just ruin a little of the enjoyment for all of you.
I honestly can’t count how many times I almost shouted out loud with excitement and had reactions that I know had people staring at me. I couldn’t help it, to be honest. I can’t even remember the last time a thing like this happened to me.
While this seventh entry will definitely delight returning fans, newcomers who haven’t had the chance to watch the previous movies won’t be too lost in this one. And if you haven’t watched the previous movies, you owe it to yourselves to do it. Only the Original Trilogy is mandatory, the Prequels are sort of optional but recommended.
In closing, as I punch out these words at midnight, half-awake, eyes still wet with happy tears, I want to thank everyone involved with the production of this movie, as I believe that the franchise is in very, very good hands. May the Force be with you all.
I know I’ll be seeing an X-Wing and the Millennium Falcon hanging from my bedroom’s ceiling again before I sleep. Thank you, Episode VII.