As a sports editor, my job is to like sports. On any given day, I can talk most people under the table about sports teams and player statistics. But this column is not about sports. Today, I take off the ball cap and jersey in exchange for my Jedi robes.
Today, the force awakens.
Yes, beneath the beard and sports fan attire, I am a nerd. My holiday break included not one, but four trips to my local theaters to see the J.J. Abrams spectacle “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
I have very few films in my life that I have re-watched with the vigor that I had for this film, but there is a simple reason. I loved this movie.
No really, it is amazing.
Now, granted, I have a few qualms with it, like when Rey eats with her mouth open, but nothing too serious, like some things people on the internet are arguing. I’m not here to argue the merits of each opinion, but instead to tell you why I fell in love with the film again every time I saw it.
First off, it was very familiar, and there’s a good reason for that. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Abrams let the world know that that was a good thing.
“It was obviously a wildly intentional thing that we go backwards, in some ways, to go forwards in the important ways,” Abrams said in a podcast interview. “Ultimately, the structure of Star Wars itself is as classic and tried and true as you can get.”
He’s not wrong. The story of an orphan lost on a desert planet that flies off into space with a renegade and discovers that they are connected to the force and thrown into a battle of good versus evil is a tale as old as time, and when applied to the theatricality of J.J. Abrams, it shines on the big screen.
Secondly, unlike in the abominations known as episodes one through three, everything feels real—from the enormous size of the spaceships to the feeling and attributes of every character. I feel like every time I watch the characters, I can relate to them emotionally and on levels that are more realistic than the cold characters from the prior films.
Lastly, the music. You read that right—the music is the last major reason as to why I love this film.
Every good film in the last 15 years has had a killer score to match its killer screenplay. Think about it for a minute. When you hear the sounds of Hedwig’s Theme, you think of a wizard boy studying to defeat a dark lord. When you hear an African chant and see a sun rising on the Serengeti, you know that it’s the circle of life, and you belt it out in your most off-key voice.
With The Force Awakens, you get that. There’s the bellow of the classic theme at the beginning that lets you know you are taking that trip to a galaxy far, far away. Along with the old thrills, they brought in new themes that will become classics for young kids as they grow. Even the director got in on the action and recorded an “alien song” for the new cantina.
Look people, I could go on and on on this subject, but suffice it to say that this film will rock your socks off. Sure, there may be some unresolved issues, but that’s why it’s a trilogy. In the end, hate it or love it as you will. Whatever you choose, may the force be with you.