Ten years ago I sat in a cinema and watched the famous Star Wars introduction crawl with John Williams’ famous theme song playing in the background. It was the conclusion of my generation’s Star Wars and one I could call my own. I was absolutely excited and exhilarated to relive the stories of the Jedi, the Sith and the history of Anakin Skywalker. At the time, the prequel films were state of the art, practical effects replaced by eye-popping CGI, choppy lightsaber duels over fluidic, smooth and stylistic ones. A prequel trilogy set for a new generation and the 21st century.
Later on I would agree with critics, the prequels were bad: overuse of CGI and campy dialogue were no match when compared to the Original trilogy. The magic wasn’t there, yes the films looked beautiful but nothing could beat the level of reality as seen in Jabba’s palace, the Mos Eisley Cantina, or the Death Star trench run. The original was absolutely beautiful and watching it on VHS and the re-release in the 90’s, it was truly magical.
Ten years after Revenge of the Sith, I am watching the first Star Wars not directed by George Lucas. When the opening scrawl popped up on screen with John Williams’ Star Wars theme blasting in the background, I was at the edge of my seat. I had a dozen questions, all based on the trailers released in the past year, and I was eager to find out.
As the movie moved at a frenetic pace, characters were introduced: Finn, Ray and Poe as well as old ones reintroduced. When Han and Chewbacca or even the arrival of Millennium Falcon, I couldn’t help but utter Han Solo’s words “We’re home”. I was home and the whole movie suddenly felt so familiar, so practical, so down-to-earth. No CGI-overload, campy dialogues but practical effects, a script laden with so much intrigue that I was literally at the edge of my seat. Effects aside, it’s the characters who truly take away the show: Luke, Leia and Han older, wiser, wearier join Finn, Poe, and Ray in an adventure that will take them further into a galaxy far, far, away.
When the film finally ended, I joined the other people in the cinema with their applause. I may not have watched the Original trilogy when it was first shown (heck I wasn’t even born yet) but I can only surmise that this is what fans who were in their teens were feeling after. The Force Awakens is the Star Wars film that they have been waiting for and one that my generation and a new one have so eagerly waited to see.