The Force Awakens: New Hope

Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be the best Star Wars film since the original trilogy. Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be the best Star Wars film since the original trilogy.
Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

By Connor Risenhoover

The most anticipated movie day of the year came and went.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke records as it opened on the December 18.

There was laughter, tears, and overwhelming nostalgia as Star Wars fans young and old got to experience a new movie that was actually good.

The film seemed to meet all the expectations and left audiences thrilled with the new direction that the series is taking after George Lucas decided to leave.

The only negative aspect that people have raised of the film was that it relied too heavily on the original trilogy. They felt that it didn’t just pay homage to the films but ripped pieces of their stories wholesale and repackaged them for today’s audience.

That’s not the case, however. Yes there might have been a reliance on the originals, a large space ship, space outlaw, Jedi, Sith, and the Force… these are all familiar for the audience.

There needs to be a guide post for the audience to get back into a universe that hasn’t been explored since Return of the Jedi. This is a continuation of a story and characters that ended nearly 30 years ago.

The Force Awakens is a way for fans to ease back into the universe with familiar faces and scenarios that they have seen before with slight modifications.

For all of the tropes that are used from the previous original trilogy, there are many new ideas that are introduced and will be explored in the next films. Characters who were on screen for little time who will hopefully be fleshed out in the upcoming two films.

The Force Awakens takes time to borrow plot points from its originals in order to set up for a divergence from those familiar points in the next movies. More important still, these movies have seen the pitfalls of Episodes 1 through 3 that were so reviled by the hardcore fans. Instead of diverting far from the source material, Force Awakens made sure to use its history to its advantage.

Most importantly, this is a trilogy that knows it’s a trilogy. Each movie was written with that in mind.

The original was going to simply be a one off that was received really well. The writing in Force Awakens with its plot points and characters are all to continue a story that will last three movies.

The first must set the stage, establish some of the stakes, and get the audience familiar with the characters.

It took that job seriously and gave the audience a mix of new and old. New and old plot devices, characters, mythology, and force powers were there to pay homage to the legacy of Star Wars while establishing that this is a new and separate entity.

This is not going to be the same as the originals but will take that foundation and build upon it.

The problems that people had with part of the movie feeling too much like the originals are valid. Force Awakens leaned heavily on the source material in hopes that fans would not reject it like they had done previously with Phantom Menace.

This is simply a starting point, a launching pad for a new generation of Star Wars. The film itself is fantastic and the world that it has built seems to be as good as the originals.

Realize that this is a trilogy, there are many more places to go, new things to explore and see. The farther the series goes, the less reliant the writers will be on the past and the more focused they can be on the future.