With only just over a month to go until the movie event of the century, you’ve got to be feeling seriously excited. And if you somehow aren’t, here are 6 reasons to be excited about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released in the UK on December 17 and worldwide on December 18.
1. They really are using practical effects
One of the main things that so many fans of all major franchises have been pushing for is a return to the use of practical effects over CGI, and although many production companies say they’re trying to make it happen, they don’t always follow through.
An example of that is this year’s smash hit Jurassic World, which, despite being a pretty exciting movie in general, was still overloaded with computer-rendered images that just didn’t have the soul of some of the animatronic dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park, despite Colin Trevorrow saying that the film would be largely practical.
But with the new Star Wars, we now have cold, hard evidence proving the use of practical effects. ‘Why is this so important?’, you may ask. Well, practical effects were what gave the original trilogy its heart. There was always a tangible, real aesthetic to the whole film, and in comparison to the somewhat lifeless-looking prequels, those films that use practical effects can always trump CGI-dominated ones in character, and that’s what we’re hoping The Force Awakens will make use of once again.
2. The characters are actually three-dimensional
We saw in the two most recent trailers the character motivations and backgrounds for Rey, Finn, Han Solo and Kylo Ren, and they’re so satisfyingly convincing and well-rounded in comparison to the prequels.
Rey, like Luke Skywalker, appears to be a destitute living on a desert planet, Jakku, whilst Finn, whose identity isn’t still fully revealed, looks like he was a former Stormtrooper that left the First Order and joined the Rebel Alliance. Meanwhile, Han Solo returns as the man who guides Rey and Finn along the journey through the illusive ‘stories’ of the original trilogy, and Kylo Ren is a Darth Vader copycat villain who has a genuine reason to attempt to control all the galaxy.
As a result, it looks like we haven’t got any more cheesy Padmé/Anakin romance that runs throughout every film, but some deep, fully interesting characters that are going to go perfectly hand-in-hand with what looks to be a thrilling sci-fi movie.
3. THIS SHOT
Just look at it. What the hell is going on? It looks even better if you watch it in the Japanese trailer, but it just looks AMAZING.
4. Disney’s recent track record
When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, everyone was terrified that they were going to turn Star Wars into a kids’ film; Princess Leia would become a Disney Princess, and Jar Jar Binks would be the main character.
However, Disney’s acquisition of the company is actually something to make you excited about. Firstly, they have left creative control up to the Star Wars crew, so that’s director J.J. Abrams, Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and others, meaning that Mickey Mouse is unlikely to get a look in.
Also, Disney bought Marvel Studios at the beginning of the now legendary Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although those films haven’t set the world completely alight, they’ve been consistently strong, and have created a huge fanbase while maintaining a decent quality of films that please fans and general audiences alike.
And for the best proof of Disney’s potential with Star Wars, look at Guardians Of The Galaxy. That film is basically a comedic version of A New Hope, and it was fantastic, so with such similar backgrounds and ideas all in the mixing pot at Disney, surely there’s a good chance that they’re going to make the new Star Wars amazing.
5. The Prequels
The world was crushed when The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones turned out to be so poor, and although Revenge Of The Sith proved a small consolation, the damage was already done.
But now, we know what NOT to do. Over the last ten years, the prequels have been analysed to the finest details by the Star Wars fanbase to find out what went wrong, and now the makers have got the message, and will be doing everything they can to avoid a crushing disappointment.
As a result, you can be sure not to see hours of trade negotiations meetings in the Jedi Council, seemingly endless scenes of Anakin and Padmé ‘flirting’, ridiculous CGI and preposterously choreographed lightsaber duels, and more of what made the original trilogy so good: interesting characters, a sense of adventure and imagination and a visually beautiful aesthetic.
6. You still have no idea what it’s about
Unless you’ve insanely decided to go and spoil it for yourself by searching fan theories, the trailers have given you basically no clues as to the story.
It’s not based on the Expanded Universe, so die-hards can get in on the excitement too, but how many times in the last twenty years has there been such a big film that you’ve been able to go into not knowing what the story is about.
Yes, we know the various character motivations, and that Kylo Ren is the bad guy, but that’s it. Where’s Luke? We haven’t seen anything of him, nor have we actually delved into the situation going on in this newest movie, and that’s a rare treat that’s making the whole world so giddy about watching this film…