Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I saw the new Star Wars movie yesterday at the Lowell Cinema. The Force Awakens is a very good movie, well worth seeing.

This is the seventh movie in the Star Wars series although you don’t need to know that to enjoy this film. If you are old enough to have seen the original Star Wars movie back in 1977, it is worthwhile to watch it again before seeing The Force Awakens. There are many parallels, most notably the presence of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, but also cute droids, white-clad Imperial storm troopers, X-wing rebel fighter aircraft, old men with mysterious powers, and an innocent, young person living in the dessert with undiscovered powers.

If you’re a Star Wars fanatic, you’ve probably already seen the movie which debuted on December 23. But if you’re like me, not caught up in the Star Wars hype and with interest that peaked almost 40 years ago when the original movie premiered, you really should see this movie before it leaves the big screen of the theater. It’s a traditional adventure story with plenty of suspense, action, humor, and a good dose of nostalgia.

This December, Manohla Dargis wrote this in her New York Times review of The Force Awakens:

The big news about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is — spoiler alert — that it’s good! Despite the prerelease hype, it won’t save the world, not even Hollywood, but it seamlessly balances cozy favorites — Harrison Ford, ladies and gentlemen — and new kinetic wows, along with some of the niceties that went missing as the series grew into a phenomenon, most crucially a scale and a sensibility that are rooted in the human. . . . in “The Force Awakens” [director J. J. Abrams has] made a movie that goes for old-fashioned escapism even as it presents a futuristic vision of a pluralistic world that his audience already lives in. He hasn’t made a film only for true believers; he has made a film for everyone (well, almost). So, will Rey, Finn and Poe save the day? Will they battle Kylo Ren and Oedipus, too? Stay tuned for the next potentially thrilling, or at least pretty good, adventure.

And here is what Dargis’ predecessor, Vincent Canby, wrote about the original Star Wars movie back in May 1977

“Star Wars,” George Lucas’s first film since his terrifically successful “American Graffiti,” is the movie that the teen-agers in “American Graffiti” would have broken their necks to see. It’s also the movie that’s going to entertain a lot of contemporary folk who have a soft spot for the virtually ritualized manners of comic-book adventure. . .

It is, rather, a breathless succession of escapes, pursuits, dangerous missions, unexpected encounters, with each one ending in some kind of defeat until the final one. . .

The true stars of “Star Wars” are John Barry, who was responsible for the production design, and the people who were responsible for the incredible special effects . . .

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