And the Light
By Kane Ogier. 21 Apr 2016
It’s December 2015. The days are short, and the frost lays crisp upon the ground. For people around the world, the tension is building, they’ve been counting down the days, nibbling on a haphazardly moulded chocolate on each, as the main event approaches. It’s an early night tonight, you need to get in plenty of sleep. In the purgatory between your dreams and the world around you, bells start to ring in the distance… could it be? Yes. It’s your alarm, set for 11.00pm on the 16th of December, ‘cause you need to get showered and throw your giant green ears on - a midnight screening for Star Wars you have.
OK, I’ll admit, that my the above example is pretty extreme, but there’s no denying that the anticipation for millions of fans of George Lucas’ iconic space opera’s seventh instalment had been building since Disney acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in October 2012. For a film with such high expectations, the next in one of the largest movie franchises of all time, that held a reputation that for many seemed all but tarnished, Episode VII was expected to deliver. J.J. Abrams and co. had the task of a generation on their hands. However, despite its monumental box office gross of over 2 billion dollars, and it’s positive critical acclaim - many people couldn’t care less. Hearing about a film franchise you’ve never even seen or felt the desire to see incessantly from all of your fanatical friends is a little more than a bore.
So apologies to those guys, tune out now…
Okay guys, the boring ones have gone, only the interesting people are here now (in this moment, the writer braces himself, just in case any overly interested members of the KEFW rugby teams who hate Star Wars made it here)
In this article, we asked some members of BackChat’s Arts and Entertainment team to answer some questions, and give their thoughts on the film.
Q1 – Did you like the film? Why?
A – I loved it! Some people have criticised it for being derivative of A New Hope but a film that’s got: the same essential structure; great new characters; an emo trash villain with the swishiest of L’oreal hair; an extra adorable tiny robot and all your favourite characters from the original (except Lando, I demand more Lando) is an instant win as far as I’m concerned.
K - I loved the film. I actually enjoyed the ever-criticised prequels, as they have a very special place in my childhood heart and used to watch the arena battle on Geonosis over and over. When I watched this film, I sympathised with people who disliked them so much. The fast paced action, new found injection of humour and reintroduction of the classic storylines and characters brought a much needed heart to a series that lost it for many devoted fans in episodes I, II and III.
I - Yes, I did like the film quite a bit. I felt that the characters were interesting and relatable, and that the overall story was (perhaps only to an extent) interesting and enjoyable.
E - Yes, I really enjoyed the film. It was exciting and dramatic, and really lived up to the standards that I was expecting of it; a great addition to the Star Wars franchise. I really enjoyed all of the new characters too, and it was great to see some of the traditional and favourite characters back as well.
T – Yes, I did like the film a lot. The camera angles were used to great effect, with an excellent cast of characters. It was a dynamic plot that fitted the extended universe really well. My favourite part was actually right at the start, when we see Rey’s everyday lifestyle and how the appearance of BB-8 completely changes it.
Q2 – Where would you place this film in the order of all the others?
A- 2nd after A New Hope followed by the other two in the original series. (We don’t talk about the prequels.)
K - This is tricky, because the prequels do have a place in my childhood, but after seeing the continued story line of the original trilogy in VII, I am reminded of the utter originality and fun of the original trilogy. I would have to say that V(The Empire Strikes Back), IV (A New Hope), VII (The Force Awakens), VI (Return of the Jedi), III (The Revenge of the Sith), II (Attack of the Clones) and finally I (The Phantom Menace).
I- I would say it is better than Revenge of The Sith, but perhaps just a little bit worse than A New Hope.
E- I haven’t seen any of the other films, as I have never really been interested in Sci-Fi movies/books before. However, now I have watched this film (the 7th in the series), and really enjoyed it, I felt tempted to watch the others too!
T– I would say this is my second favourite Star Wars film, second only to ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.
Q3 – Who was your favourite new character introduced?
A- Definitely TR-8R. In my opinion he is the true hero of the entire film. He bravely faced down the traitor FN-2187 with his sick spins. He was loyal when no-one else was.
K- Although I could probably say the entertaining beeps and rolls of BB-8, I’d have to say my favourite new character is Maz, as I love her yoda-esque humorous wisdom, her ‘force-sensitivity’ and her interesting back story (look into it).
I - My favourite character was Rey, as she has a very interesting story of betrayal and friendship with new characters, and is quite relatable in many aspects of the movie.
E- I really liked BB-8, the main droid in the film. He was very cute and he was very loyal to his owners. I think he also seemed quite friendly to everybody, and the fact that he was sometimes scared or panicky made you feel a lot of sympathy towards him. Some of the things he did in the film were quite funny, which added a bit of humour towards it as well.
T– Rey was my favourite character, as she showed very clear character development, and was very cool in the fight scenes.
Q4 – If you could be any character from the film who would you be and why?
A- Poe Damn-eron #goals. I mean really. Just look at him. You want to be him too.
K- I would probably have to say I’d love to spend a life in the day of Kylo Ren, purely to see how someone could really have daddy issues that bad. If not I’d choose Phasma, since I feel bad that after all of her publicity, she was mostly left on the cutting room floor and played a relatively inconsequential role in the film.
I - I would be Rey, as things such as the new discovery of power and adventure seems quite fun, despite the constant presence of death and failure (which just makes it more risky and exciting!)
E- I’d probably be Rey. She was the main heroine in the film and most of the story was focused on her. She was very brave and courageous throughout the whole film, despite some ups and downs. Also, she was strong and a good warrior- very good in battle. She was also logical and very tactful, planning things carefully and precisely. As well, she was very devoted to all her friends, and would go out of her way to defend them. She was a very good character, so I would choose Rey.
T – I would be BB-8 because he is so kawaii.
Q5 – What would you say to J.J. Abram’s if you could?
A- Good choice, leaving Star Trek for Star Wars. You made the right decision. (even though Spock is pretty cool)
K- I didn’t really realise how broken Star Wars was until you fixed it. Also, why did you have to leave Phasma out like that? She was so cool. P.S. THAT part broke too many hearts. Not cool J.J. Not cool.
I - Great film…
E- Although I did love them film, I have one fault- the length of the film. It lasted two hours, and although I loved it all, some of it was dragged out a lot and there were some times where not much was actually happening. If I could say something to J.J. Abrams, it would be this.
T– I would ask him to clarify Luke Skywalker’s race. Why does everyone always die on a bridge?