I’m literally not going to spoil a thing here, which means at some point in the near future I should put a second review with all the spoilers in. Is it worth the ticket? Should you go see it in Imax or regular theater? Should you wait a week? Should you wait until the Blu-Ray? Should wait until you can Netflix it? This franchise, more than any other, always seems to be a different cup of tea to everyone. The classic trilogy is held in a very high standard. The prequel trilogy, as often the infamous chapters 1, 2 and 3 are referred to, not so much. My advice is not to expect either one.
It’s a different time. It’s a different director. J. J. Abrams has made a Star Wars movie and you will identify his touch. He’s been incredibly respectful about the source material but he’s also put a lot of input and you will notice it. The nostalgia is here. The moments are touching. The characters are believable. And you should make plans to see it, because although you might nitpick every little detail, you want to give the movie justice. I say, buy the ticket. If you like 3D, go see it in 3D. If you can’t stand 3D, avoid 3D. This is a movie you want to watch.
If possible, try to leave your critic self outside and walk into that theatre without preconceptions. You’re here to see a movie and let yourself be taken away by movie magic. That being said, set your expectations to realistic. Someone already made your Star Wars. This is a new generation – but, if you’re nice enough you will see that it can be for you too. Yes, you will run into some old friends. But it’s time to meet some new ones, and odds are good you will become emotionally invested in them.
I say this with uncertainty because we all have different expectations from this film. It won’t please everyone, but I dare say it’s worth clearing your mind and let go. The payback is there. You will have to accept new names and new alliances. Things will be familiar, but none of us can claim expertise. However, old school Star Wars pseudo-historians will see parallels. New empires rise from the old ones.
Abrams has also made a point to use a lot more grounded battle scenarios. The enemy is closer. The risk is greater. Atmospheric encounters above lakes and close to trees ground this new Star Wars as smaller in scale but greater in excitement. It’s like the lens is kept closer to the action, giving you less of a global view but more of a personal one.
And yes, I’m dying to talk about specifics but… That will do for now.