For Christmas 2015 Disney launched the new Star Wars film "The Force Awakens" and as my family and I are big Star Wars fans we got tickets to see the film on Christmas Eve as a special treat. We donned our Star Wars t-shirts and although we were shocked to discover Han Solo got butchered by his son we all came out on a high and ready to tackle the festive season.
All last year I had been eagerly anticipating the release of the new Star Wars spin-off "Rogue One". When the tickets were available I booked for the day before Christmas Eve. I didn't want to spoil the surprise so I didn't check out any sites for reviews although I was a little worried it might be a little too complicated for my son to follow. As it happened because he is a big Star Wars fan he actually knew more about the planets visited in this film than I did! We went to the Odeon and were blown away. The film was fantastic - one of the best Star Wars films I have seen. The plot was great, the story was great and the whole thing worked its way in to being part of the 6 initial films. The look and feel of the film was of the same period as "A New Hope." The online tech was kept the same too so as not to make the film look like it was from a different period.
There was everything a full blooded Star Wars fan would want all the original space craft X wings and ATAT walkers and ATST the single walking guns and Darth Vadar appeared. It was all great. My son and I were in Jedi heaven.
Now halfway through the film Grand Moff Tarkin appeared who was played by Peter Cushing and as I hadn't read up before about anything was completely thrown by how he was there first thinking the you used old footage or he some how was still alive and looked the same. But I was really excited to see him and looking so good. Having read up afterwards this was done using CGI and an actor with similar features. The company behind the transformation was Industrial Light and Magic. So this has raised the bar and may help in develop more prequels where actors are no longer looking like this.
Now to finish on a slight spoiler so for anyone who has not seen the film stop reading now and go and see it.
For others read on:
The only thing that caused discomfort (but not too much) to my young son the new droid charactor K-2SO (a mix of C3P0 and R2D2 charactor). He was the light relief in a quite serious film at some point towards the end of the film he sacrificed himself for the greater cause and my son felt sorry for this droid.
Now with this in mind we get to the end of the film and as it was made by Disney I was expecting beautiful lovers kissing in the sunset and everyone cheering that a mission had been a success. Alas no, the director had a number of endings set aside if Disney didn't go for the most obvious but most distressing one of which he though they would go for it. They did! Well done Disney you have gone up in my estimations and I hope other films in the franchise will be shown the same respect.
My wife and daughter on the other hand this year didn't feel quite as Christmassy because of the ending and may not want to come next year when Star Wars 8 comes out. But the boys are ready and waitng for the next installment.
The very final scene ties this film with "A New Hope" and you briefly see a young Carrie Fisher (RIP) more CGI, taking the death star plans and Darth Vadar in pursuit. This is what was needed for my son to put it together with the old films.
I can see many other films coming out over the next few Christmasses which is going to make them more special from now on. I never thought I would say this but well done Disney keep up the good work.