I haven’t liked many of the reviews I’ve read regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Some folks thought it was Epic! While others were disappointed and listed all their reasons why. Frankly, I thought it was as good as Episodes 4, 5, and 6, but I think I understand why some folks were let down. It wasn’t really anything new. It was a seamless transition from Episode 6 to 7.
J.J. Abrahms didn’t try to recreate Star Wars. We were thrown right into the middle of a story (like in episode 4) and were forced to figure things out as it went along. The characters were all well played and none of them were nearly as annoying as the characters from Episodes 1, 2, and 3. There was great sound, great action, and not too elaborate a plot. Star Wars is not Lord of the Rings, after all. If you were expecting three and a half hours of adventure, that isn’t Star Wars and it never was.
Think back to the plot of The Empire Strikes Back. The Rebellion is on a planet. The Empire finds them and attacks. The Rebellion escapes. Luke goes to see Yoda. The other characters go to a City in the Clouds, after nearly being eaten by a strange asteroid creature while escaping some star destroyers. Luke leaves training early and goes to rescue Han and Leah after they are tricked. Han gets frozen. Luke battles Vader. Luke learns Vader is his father and loses a hand. Luke communicates to Leah telepathically, Leah and crew rescue Luke. Then they have a plan to rescue Han. Not a very elaborate plot, but still, very exciting to watch.
The Force Awakens was, like The Empire Strikes Back, a story short in scope, but an excellent story nonetheless. I won’t go into the story, you know, in case, somehow, you still haven’t seen this movie yet. The movie ends with much more story to be told, which is why you’ll go see Episode 8.
Was it the greatest movie of all time? No. If you were expecting the greatest movie of all time, then I understand your disappointment. However, it was the 3rd or 4th best Start Wars movie ever made, and that’s not nothing. No Star Wars movie ever was the greatest movie of all time, but they were all great stories with timeless characters and a timeless mythology. Which is why we’ll never be done wanting more.
So quit complaining. The Force Awakens was an excellent movie and a joy to watch. We should learn to enjoy movies without them having to be the greatest movie we’ve ever seen.