All bow down to the great and powerful wizard, J J Abrahams!
"Kali ma Shakti de! Kali Ma Shakti de!"
Once again JJ has proven himself a worthy recipient of the reigns of one of the worlds most significant cultural icons, Star Wars!
Having masterfully resurrected Star Trek, breathing new life into the floundering Federation, he turned his eyes towards another galaxy....far, far away! After viewing this splendid, fan favoring treat, I left the theatre feeling vindicated, and thankful that someone gave all the "Lukians" a proper, contrite apology for the travisty that was "The Phantom Menace"!
Now, there is no need for spoiler alerts, as I won't ruin a moment of digital gold of this film, short of saying, PAY ATTENTION if you haven't seen it yet! There are SOOOO many thoughtful tips of the hat to fans, not only giving them the treats they so richly deserve (the Falcons resurrection, and eye popping maneuvers) not to mention, the expected, yet still crowd pleasing appearences of the original six! There is even an exciting moment of homage to the grandaddy of all the sci-fi epics, Metropolis, with the brief cameo appearence of a VERY close, robotic doppelganger for "Maschinenmensch (Maria)" in Maz Kanata's establishment.
And of course, none of his films would be complete without two prerequisites, the unmistakable homorous flare (and there are GEMS!), and the cameo appearances from such shows as "Lost" not to mention carry overs from Star Trek itself!
Sadly some less enlightened critics have branded the film "unoriginal".... but they missed the point, entirely! First off, they are introducing the next generation of protagonists, while at the same time "closing chapters" in the original. What you are witnessing is the passing of the batton (to a more, shall I say, diverse ensemble?) and while it may seem to be the retreading of some lovingly worn tires, they skate the thin line between homage and replication MASTERFULLY! The original fans will cheer the new takes on old themes, and introduce a new generation to the cannon of the Lucas universe.
And who didn't want to see Han give Chwies cross bow a shot?
You have to forgive what seems like a somewhat plodding pace at times, as JJ knows the importance of character development. There's the difference between the original and this one. No, not knocking the original, but in this new offering the characters seem more compkex, offering mere hints of backstories ripe for the telling! And as much as I would have liked to have known more of Solo's history, i am equally intrigued to learn more of the new casts motivations.
All in all, the new direction, not to mention the proposed stand alone films to come, offer up years of that same anticipatory sensations I lamented over while awaiting the release of the original three....a long, long time ago!