David on Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

After lying dormant for decades, George Lucas' brainchild was dusted off and rebooted by J.J. Abrams and company at Disney, Lucasfilms' new owner. While I'm sure they were itching to make a few million off of their new property, they showed respectable restraint and took their time creating a worthy successor.

While The Force Awakens was a massive financial success, it was not universally praised by critics and fans. Accusations that it was a remake, as opposed to a reboot, were chief among the complaints. And I cannot argue with this; the parallels with the original were patently obvious.

And you know what? I don't care. J.J. Abrams delivered such an outstanding film that it more than makes up for its shortcomings. Perhaps most significantly, it was unabashedly fun to watch. Remember fun? As in the original? It's a vital ingredient that was lost along the way as Lucas churned out more and more sequels and prequels.

While the film is not without its flaws, it's still hard for me to run out of things I really like about it. Daisy Ridley is a knockout newcomer; watching Rey go toe-to-toe with Kylo Ren sends chills up my spine. Han Solo's death (oh, don't tell me you didn't know about this) is genuinely gripping, even upon repeated views. The visuals are all utterly flawless; the spaceship graveyard alone is worth the price of admission. The breathless pace is maintained throughout, with battle sequences that succeed at raising one's pulse. Plus, Abrams knows just how far to push BB-8's cuteness without becoming annoying.

I've watched it several dozen times on disc, which ought to indicate how deeply I'm hooked. It's given me hope that future entries in the franchise will be as lovingly and skillfully crafted. This is the way Star Wars ought to be, and I refuse to believe Lucas isn't secretly envious.


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