The Force Awakens (After 16 Years of Waiting For a Good Star Wars Movie)

star wars han leia chewbacca

*Spoiler free

I sat there, clutching the armrests of the chair with a deathgrip that could pull the most stubborn stuffed animal from the depths of the claw machine. The skin on my arms was pimpled, hairs standing at attention, and the butterflies in my stomach zooming around at an intensity that rivaled the jitters from drinking a fourth cup of coffee. By the time the gold font scrolled up the screen and the John Williams score kicked in, I was 100% invested.

I’m sure some people will judge me for showing more excitement at the premier of Star Wars Episode VII than at, well, pretty much anything (I’m fairly confident that I won’t be as excitedly nervous and breath-taken at my own wedding.)

star wars han leia chewbacca

Even though I don’t tend to write about pop culture or movies, I would be remiss to not share my feelings on The Force Awakens. Not just because it’s on par with my love for Harry Potter (fun fact: while Harry Potter wins my personal award for favorite books/series, Star Wars wins favorite movies by far) but because Star Wars has been a part of my life since I made a habit of watching A New Hope, taped from the local cable station, every other weekend growing up. Literally. Twice a month, over, say, about 8 years, meant I had seen A New Hope approximately 192 times by the time I hit middle school.

Without giving anything away, The Force Awakens brought back the spirit that the original movies did, without a doubt.

The story itself is adventuresome, it’s fun; and the characters are charming and endearing in their own ways. While there’s humor to be found in the original trilogy (see here), The Force Awakens is laden with moments of honest laughter as opposed to the dry, political drama of the prequels. I have so many questions — so many thrilling, I-can’t-wait-to-see-where-this-is-headed questions — and I haven’t been this excited for a movie in years.

It wasn’t perfect: there were some moments I felt were lagging as a story, or ones that felt inauthentic or just could’ve been fleshed out better. In appreciation of keeping these parts spoiler free for those who still need to see it, I’m not going to discuss that now (feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss, however!), but it’s worth mentioning that even with it’s faults, The Force Awakens is a much more fitting addition to the universe than the early 00s prequels.

Are the Star Wars movies my go to example when teaching archetypes or relaying the cycle of the hero’s journey as it pertains to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth? Certainly. Do the originals hold a spot in the accolades of classic cinema? You bet. Do I really just have fond memories watching The Empire Strikes Back with my Dad growing up?

Absolutely.

  • Nina

    The Force Awakens is the movie experience us Star Wars fans deserve! It definitely felt more like a throwback to the originals than the prequels. And how effing adorable is BB-8?! OMG!!! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a movie either — my heart felt like it was going to explode with joy soooo many times and I nearly cried when John Williams’ score started blasting in the theater. UUUGGGGH. I love Star Wars so much!

    PS: I adore the fact that you use Star Wars as examples for your lessons. 😀

    • BB-8 WAS TOO CUTE UGHDSGHJKsdfhg. So many music-induced tears <3

      (Star Wars is a great example for SO many things, haha)

  • My one world review: AWESOME! I freaking loved it! I was so mesmerized by the whole film and the beginning of Rey and Finn’s journey. It definitely mirrored A New Hope a lot, but in a good way. I liked that there were familiar elements along with new ones. Can’t wait for the next one!
    ~Sara

    • There were lots of ANH parallels that made me smile, but new things too. Glad you enjoyed it too!

  • The Force Awakens delivered so much more than I expected it to. I loved everything about the film and it really was such an ode to A New Hope. I have no idea how we’re supposed to wait for Episode VIII at this point! This is the movie that will create a new generation of Star Wars fans. It’s all so exciting!

    • All of the above! I’m so excited to see my kids talk about the movies at work (and I’m sure they’ve caught on by now that bringing up Star Wars us a surefire way to get me off topic for a few minutes…)