Movie Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Let me begin by stating I am no hardcore Stars Wars fan.  The first movie came out the year I was born and I have fond memories of watching the third (Episode 6) in the theater when it first came out.  I remember loving the Ewoks.  I watched all of the re-mastered ones when they came out, even showing up at the midnight showing of the first sitting next to a guy in a Chewbacca mask.   I really was not much of a fan of the prequels, and I really hate Jar Jar Binks.  Yet, I watched them all because I felt an obligation to see just how Anakin turned into Darth Vader.

That having been said, I saw Episode 7 for two reasons.  The first is simply because having watched all previous six movies, I feel that continued sense of obligation.  Second, I have to admit, that I am a marketer’s dream – I easily get caught up in the hype of the moment.   So, while I wasn’t about to camp out over night for a week to be the first into a midnight showing, when the chance to view the movie this morning appeared, I took it.

I thought that perhaps at a nine o’clock Monday morning showing I could beat the masses.  No such luck.  My wife and I showed up over a half hour early and still had to wait in a line.  The theater was packed.  Yet, we were still able to get decent seats that didn’t feel too crowded.  We sat down and over 30 minutes of previews later, we finally got to the movie.

Without giving away too much, I can say the movie lived up to the hype.  If you are a big Star Wars fan to begin with, you will absolutely love it.  While it was a bit too long for my taste, they inserted enough humor to keep me paying attention.  And let me say, it was my kind of humor!  Seeing some of the original characters was great.  They were blended in perfectly alongside new heroes.  The plot is quite reminiscent of the originals filled with plenty of illusions to them.   This really is a worthy successor to that first trilogy.  If you’re into special effects and action-filled fight scenes – this is your movie!  But, this is not just eye candy.  There is quite a bit of depth in the story-line to force you to think through just what is happening in light of the larger metanarrative.  There’s also a good deal of moral and theological undertones that make for good conversation, but I’m going to save all of that for a future Gospel Points podcast.

So, out of five stars, I give it a 4.5.  This is the movie you’re looking for…

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