Yet Another Star Wars Review

This is spoiler free.

As the days drew nearer to the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was wondering if this new film with a number of the original cast was going to basically wallow in nostalgia.  Could they capture the magic that the franchise once had?  That magic, by the way, was not there in the prequels, which weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great, either.

The verdict is it does capture the magic and move us forward.

The return of characters like Han Solo, Lei and Luke did give us all a sense of the past when we were back in fifth grade.  But the inclusion of these characters was not just about reliving the past, as it was about handing things off to a new generation.

I personally credit J.J. Abrams for this.  The director that took on two of the greatest science fiction franchises and revived them for another day.  In 2009’s Star Trek, we see the late Leonard Nimoy in the film paired with the new cast.  There is a scene in that movie where Nimoy as the old Spock talks to Zachary Quinto’s young Spock.  You get the sense that one generation is handing things off to the new kids.  That move lent that movie credibility and the freedom to move forward and not be stuck in the past.

That’s what happens in the Force Awakens.  It’s been nearly 40 years since the first Star Wars and it’s time to hand things off to a new generation.

The story is good and familiar in many ways if you’ve seen the first movie.  My only issue was trying to figure out the geo-political framework of this galaxy far, far away (like, why is there a New Republic and a Resistance)?

If the prequels scared you away, you can come back now.  The Force Awakens has acheived balance in the universe.


Staff Writer

Dennis Sanders is the Associate Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Minneapolis, MN.  You can follow Dennis through his blogs, The Clockwork Pastor and Big Tent Revue and on Twitter.  Feel free to contact him at dennis.sanders(at)gmail(dot)com.

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6 thoughts on “Yet Another Star Wars Review

  1. My only issue was trying to figure out the geo-political framework of this galaxy far, far away (like, why is there a New Republic and a Resistance)

    One of the best things that the original trilogy did right was how handwavey it got when it started talking about things vaguely related to a religious framework. The Force flows through all living things? Sure. Why not. Okay. I’ll buy it for the two hours we’re sitting here. Jedi, Sith… sure. Fine.

    While the sins of the prequels were legion, one of the things that it did worst was attempt to discuss the geo-political framework of the galaxy. We opened Phantom Menace with a trade embargo… and it didn’t get any better from there. When they tried to explain that The Force was something for which you could test positive, it was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

    I very much like how it looks like we’re back to The Force being “mumbo jumbo”. I mean, how awful would that scene on the Millennium Falcon have been had Ben Kenobi pull out a chart and explain how Luke’s numbers were consistent with a case of Jedi/Sith?

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    • I don’t know if they actually referred to midichlorians in any of the movies other than Episode I.

      (It is kind of annoying to write about these movies because when you say “the first one”, do you mean Ep I or Ep IV?)

      As a friend said after Ep I, “I was kind of disappointed to learn that all along the Force was just germs”.

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  2. “why is there a New Republic and a Resistance”

    My fan-wank about that is that after the second Death Star and most of the Imperial Fleet was destroyed, the Empire’s government no longer had the strong military force it needed to maintain its centralized rule. Many systems broke away and formed a loose confederation that calls itself “the New Republic”, and the Empire has developed into the First Order. The Resistance is an insurgent movement operating inside the First Order, supported by the New Republic, which is working to destabilize the FO and encourage systems to declare independence or affiliation to the New Republic.

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