Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Running time: 2 hours 16 minutes
Walking into the theatre
In an era saturated with the constant deluge of notifications, the cinema is one of the only remaining refuges of the too-connected. It is the forced disconnection from irrelevant updates, into a world outside the sometimes banal realities of existence. Done right, it stirs the deepest emotions and memories that make us human. Some movies permit us to see things our tedious lives won’t allow, while others are simply romps of fun and adventure. Depending on whom you ask, the Star Wars franchise reliably succeeds on some of these fronts – although it’s admittedly had its ups and downs.
Director J.J. Abrams is under an enormous amount of pressure. He has the ultimate task of pleasing several demographics: die-hard fans who need this to be better than the OT; children who’ve grown up loving the PT; those who aren’t fans of Star Wars but are prepared to dabble in the occasional science-fiction; reluctant girlfriends and boyfriends of avid fans; and everyone else who might be disenchanted by franchises like The Hunger Games. My views on Star Wars generally lean towards the passive fan base: I think the original trilogy is a great story. The Empire Strikes Back is my clear favourite of the series (probably because it wasn’t directed by George Lucas). Further, if it adds anything, I have very little sympathy for the prequels.
Walking out of the theatre
Wow, this is different. It’s satisfying, surprising, inspiring, suspenseful, modern, funny, creative, and honest. At the same time, it feels remarkably similar to A New Hope. It’s encouraging. I’m sure J.J. Abrams is sleeping very well at night.
Also: cinematography is on point.
This is the new generation of Star Wars, and I like it.
8.5 out of 10. Would watch again.
Image courtesy of Disney
 No pun intended.
 Original trilogy.
 Prequel trilogy.