Don't mistake continuity of story and universe with "reboot or rehash" - This is a story that continues on from the end of Return of the Jedi". We are not worried about The Force being explained anymore, we don't care - It's a mystery and back to being a mystery. It starts with a simple enough premise: The Empire was defeated and their end Death Star obliterated, but as always, in fiction as in true life, when old bad guys are killed off, new bad guys take their place.
This is not a universe that is "in the same condition as it was in Eps IV, V, and VI" - As there is a new republic, there is also a new group of imperialists and fascists that want to tear it down. It's happening in the US this very day, so this is nothing new.
The main thing here is "Where is Luke Skywalker" - And both bad guys and good guys want to know the answer to this. So do We. These include some of the old regulars, plus a new bad guy who wears a Helmet that looks like the Ugly Narc-Alien from Episode IV, who narced on Hans Solo to Imperial Storm Troopers and particularly Jabba the Hut. In an early confrontation in this episode, this duck faced guy takes out Max Von Sydow who indicates this person came from the Good side of the Force.
So to me it's just continuity, as there are Jedi who followed Luke and his mentor Obi-Wan, any new recruit that goes down the Dark Side ends up doing Darth Vaderish things, like killing Off a whole school of Jedi Kids.
As in life with often repeated scenarios, that keep on repeating over and over, this is just the same in the Star Wars universe. I'm not worried about that, what's important here is "Does this film play out like original Star Wars"? And yes, it does.
And although this film includes people from Eps 4, 5, and 6, this is a new story, and so there are two new players, a girl, who is waiting on a crummy sand planet, and a storm trooper, who turns away from his programming because he wants something better. And there is something about this Kid, do we know *his* father?
The imagery is pure original Star Wars. The gadgets, the Droids, the Crashed Imperial Destroyers. New and Old Aliens, in new and old Bars.
I very much wanted to know who this girl was, and I very much wanted to know about this kid who walked away from being a storm trooper. In the Meantime, it was great to see Han, Chewie, and Leia, who have scars of age and experience. At one time, they were the young ones who had the responsibility laid on them, in this episode, it is the girl and the boy. Because in real life it is always the young choosing to do good, who have long term effects, who save Nations in some cases. It's generational, the old guard passes it on the the new guard. If you live in this world, you're feeling the change of the guard - As the old song says.
That's what this episode is, although there is a major victory, it is at major cost. And although the old Empire had built two powerful Death Stars, those were nothing compared to a new threat. It's a death star on steroids. So some ask, why make new Death Stars? Why have one in this movie? Because, it's the limited thinking of The Imperialists and Fascists. Because they always go back to comfortable norms for weapons design- In their Supreme Leader's small thinking, another huge planet sized weapon with a huge GUN.
I saw this in IMax, in 3D, and I was impressed with how each 3D gag was well thought out and well placed. My brother kept trying to reach out and touch the tip of the Imperial Destroyer. A film shot in 3D has to look good also in 2D, and this does, in the IMax theater I could occasionally pull off my glasses and see a 2D Scene, and the composition in 2D was just as good. I'm not really a fan of 3D films, you can't really call them films anymore, as they are made on all digital medium. But for this episode, it worked well.
In Lucas's overblown Eps I II and III, the CGI was over the top and blatantly CGI. IN this film, the CGI blends with the practical elements so that you absolutely cannot tell which is which. And also in Eps I II and III we have a multitude of scenes which are boring discussions explaining the force, mainly people sitting on couches talking. That, to me is about exciting as eating a plate of Tripe! I guarantee you, you will NOT see any Jedi sitting on couches talking in this one. Or Senators, or Sith Lords. This film is action from start to finish- about 2 and a half hours worth.
And after walking out after the last scene and the film credits, there is no way in hades or Tattoine, that this will not have sequels. And this episode deserves to have sequels. And I for one cannot wait for those to come out!
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