The tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens went on sale on the 20th October 2015, 58 days before the movie was shown in the cinema. I have never bought a movie ticket any more than a day or two out from seeing a film, and that wasn’t because it was a real anticipated movie, rather convenience because the group I was going with just wanted to make sure we could get tickets to the sessions we wanted to see. But this isn’t just a movie. This is Star Wars.
When I picked up the tickets first thing this morning, hours before we were seeing the movie ourselves, there were kids and adults there waiting for the next session dressed as their favourite Star Wars character. This evening when we went, there were others who had dressed for the occasion. As I wrote yesterday in my post Twas The Night Before Star Wars…, the poem from that which I shared on my Facebook page has been read and shared by many, I had already picked out the t-shirts that the boys and I were going to wear. And we weren’t the only ones wearing Star Wars tees with many other families there, dad, mum and the kids all dressed up like they were wearing a tour t-shirt of the band they were seeing in concert.
We sat through 30 minutes of advertisements and trailers for other movies. I believe that has to be the longest that we’ve waited from the published start time to the time that the movie is actually shown. As the LucasFilm logo appeared on the big screen I looked at my phone and saw that it was 31 minutes later than the time on our ticket. I expect that the advertising spots before this movie were being sold at a price that would be the equivalent of Super Bowl advertising. With tickets at many venues selling out for the opening few days well in advance, the captive audiences to show 30 minutes of advertising to was surely a major asset for the cinema franchises.
The movie was amazing. Things that I thought I knew were going to happen based on the trailers did not happen the way that I had thought they would. The way characters are introduced, the way they come together, it’s true to the way we expect in the expanded universe of the Star Wars movies. As we are taught in those first six movies, things happen for a reason, and that is expanded upon 32 years after we left off with Return of the Jedi.
I really don’t want to say anything that will give away any part of the plot, but it’s no secret that the producers of the new movie have delivered what many Star Wars fans have been hoping and wanting for this series. In Rey, we have a strong female character, Finn is more than a token black actor, a title that many put upon the actor that played Lando Calrissian in Empire and Jedi, and the roles of the original cast see them being more than just decorations dragged out to tie into the Original Trilogy; their character developments and the dialogue that fills in the missing blanks of the last 32 years make you know that they did more than just sit around on their hands for three decades.
George Lucas always wanted to have humour in each of the movies, hence the bumbling shenanigans of Jar Jar Binks, and all those crazy lines by C-3PO including when he was beside himself, and this movie has jokes that rely on a knowledge of the old movies along with some really funny dialogue that actually gave the audience we watched it with a very audible belly laugh. Along with the humour, the series started to bring a lot of emotion into the frame with the Prequel Trilogy, and this continues with some scenes of nostalgia between Han Solo and General Leia Organa which brought more than a few tears to my wife’s eyes, and made it rather dusty in that cinema for me too.
If I could be disappointed by anything, it would have to be the very final scene. As the camera pans away leaving the characters in that scene standing there poised to continue the story in Episode VIII, I actually said in a loud enough voice that my son could hear me,
“No, don’t leave it there. Don’t finish it like that…”
But for the story to continue, I realise that it had to be like that. It had to end exactly as it did.
Even though I only had a few tears throughout those emotional scenes, when the big burst of music kicked in as the first closing-credits came up, my emotions got the better of me when the whole cinema erupted in loud applause and cheers. Just writing this a few hours later and I have goose bumps and shivers up and down my spine.
Sure it’s just a movie to some, but to many, this brings together strangers who acknowledge each other on the street, just as a young lady did last Sunday as I was walking back to my car wearing another one of my Star Wars tees.
“Love ya top mate…”
And she had the biggest smile as she said that.
The movie brings us joy. The movie brings us hope. The movie allows those who don’t believe in anything else to believe in something.
I’m not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last person to say this I’m sure… Jeffrey Jacob Abrams was asked to deliver, and did he deliver? Did he what.
Although merchandise is a big part of the franchise, there were no silly characters in the film that you know were created just to sell toys. Ewoks, I’m looking at you.
To finish off, I’m happy to offer a rating for this movie, and I am happy to give this a ten out of ten.