There is no doubt that the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie is one of the most eagerly awaited films of this holiday season, and perhaps of all time. After all, moviegoers last saw a Star Wars film back in 2005, when George Lucas’ Revenge of the Sith hit the theatres. It’s been a decade since then, and Lucas’ refusal to make more Star Wars films or pass the series to a new generation of directors had many Star Wars upset, especially those who were less than satisfied with the so-so prequel films.
All this changed when The Walt Disney Company, perhaps the biggest name in the U.S. entertainment industry, bought Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise with it for the huge sum of 4 billion dollars back in 2012. With it came the news that more Star Wars films would be made, with the first one hitting the theatres in 2015.
And director J.J. Abrams, who was behind the phenomenally successful Star Trek movies released in 2009 and 2013, would be helming the first Walt Disney owned Star Wars movie, titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And this is the first Star Wars movie which George Lucas will have no hand in making, which is a negative thing for some.
After all, the original 1977 Star Wars film which Lucas directed is a sci-fi masterpiece, and one of the best movies made to date, period. And even the prequel films, which were heavily criticized due to characters like Jar Jar Binks and for being rather mediocre like Attack of the Clones, were still amongst the highest-grossing movies to date. And even Lucas himself has criticized the makers of The Force Awakens, claiming that the film’s vision is different to his own, and saying that Star Wars is basically just “a soap opera”, in a CBS News interview.
And while J.J. Abrams proved with the 2009 Star Trek reboot that he can direct sci-fi like a maestro, some of his earlier films like Mission: Impossible III, which starred Tom Cruise in the title role, were only so-so, with some believing that movie was a poor James Bond clone. Abrams also co-wrote 1998’s dreadful Armageddon, although to be fair both it and Mission: Impossible III were big box office successes.
Another worrying thing for Star Wars fans, which hints that The Force Awakens might not be that great a movie, is the way the movie’s marketing campaign has handled the character of Luke Skywalker. He was the protagonist of the original trilogy, but he’s been kept under wraps since being heard in an early trailer muttering that “the Force is strong in his family”.
This means that there might be some kind of big surprise related to the Luke Skywalker character in the movie, something along the lines of Darth Vader’s revelation to Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. But if this surprise is handled in a heavy-handed way, then this moment of the movie might come across as silly instead of dramatic. Also one of the film’s TV spots shows the First Order Stormtroopers using flamethrowers to burn a settlement on the planet Jakku, which seemed not that fitting with Star Wars lore.
But still, this is a movie that Star Wars fans and casual viewers alike will be watching anyway, and there’s simply no way that this film can fail at the box office unless the public had suddenly lost all appetite for things Star Wars, which is extremely unlikely. And despite the fact that George Lucas wasn’t involved and expectations for the movie are sky-high, perhaps The Force Awakens might end up being a great movie after all. And given that the film’s release date is just around the corner, audiences don’t have to wait much longer to find out…
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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