I went to a midnight screening of SW:TFA last night.
So does it live up to the hype? Was it better than the prequels? Is it a fitting continuation of the original films? Should you go see it? Am I really tired?
Yes. Omg yes. Totally yes. Absolutely yes. Yes.
Ignoring a few tiny things which made me go "really?", this is a Star Wars film through and through. Absolutely everything is on point, it runs beat perfect and scratches that itch the prequels never did. It makes it feel like the prequels were just a bad dream. And boy is that a good thing.
The lighting, the shot setup, the set pieces, everything will remind you of the original trilogy. But not in a sucky way, in a way that comforts and guides you through the experience. The good guys get lit with warm colours, yellows, greens, whilst the bad guys get stark contrasts of black and whites and reds. Just like the originals. There's a shot from inside a Tie Fighter which is identical to how it the original trilogy did it. Which WORKS dammit. There's lots of stuff like that around the film for you to spot. Lots and lots of little nods to the original films not to mention some enormous great whacking ones.
One of my biggest complaints about the prequels was that it tried to show you the whole universe in every shot. It showed the things that you didn't see in the original films, the bits that you had to imagine for yourself, and that is why it failed. You can't show that much scope. The Force Awakens goes back to the original vision and just focuses on the characters you want to follow. It's a rollercoaster ride that doesn't let up at any point.
There's also a good mix of old and new characters - on both sides. There's no filler characters here either. No Jar Jar role. Although BB-8 did concern me when he was first introduced, it could have so easily been a complete disaster there, but luckily it's not. He's not going to take R2s crown, but he's definitely right up there.
The set pieces are stunning. I got lost in the magic of the visuals at many points in the film. From the star destroyer grave through to lush woodland, every shot is just gorgeous. I would have been happy for the film to have just focused on that wrecked star destroyer - I mean wow what an awesome concept to go explore right?
I was also very very excited to see Puzzle Wood
being used in one set of sequences - this is an amazing Roman open cast iron ore mine in the Forest of Dean and I've been to walk in it many times. I literally wanted to get up and shout I'VE BEEN THERE, but no one likes a crazy at a film, right?
It's so hard to not give anything away whilst writing a review of this film - SOOOO much I want to discuss... but I don't want to spoil it for you guys. Is it better than Empire? No. Is it better than Jedi? I'd say it's a close run thing. It might just be and boy what an accolade that is.
Go see it. Enjoy it. Love it. Let your inner child embrace it. I did and I'm not afraid to admit it.
May the Force be with you.