Yes, an embarrassing confession – at the ripe age of 34 I have only just seen my first Star Wars movie from start to finish.
Let me assure you before you read on – there will be no movie spoilers within this blog! I promise.
Although I’ve not seen any of the movies in full, I know a lot of the characters somehow (or at least their names) and I’ve always been amazed by the sheer number people who are huge fans of the franchise. I have caught parts of the films on ITV2 on a Saturday afternoon, and recently on Sky Movies, but I have not actually sat through one of the films from start to finish; truth be told, I’ve not been that enamoured by any of the clips I had seen so far.
Yes it’s a little embarrassing when talking to friends who are fully bought in to Star Wars, and I have been treated with similar disdain that I give to people who haven’t watched Back to the Future (I hope that you have!).
So last night I took the opportunity to catch up with friends and tick this glaring omission off my list – we went to the Odeon in Cardiff Bay to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 3D.
I really enjoyed it! I’d give it an 8/10.
Although I didn’t understand all of the references and some of the historical stuff (which some people verbally nodded along to during the showing), I quickly got up to speed and was impressed with the storytelling element, where a lot of neat references were weaved into the narrative to explain who different people were (ideal for first time viewers).
The latest movie was written by JJ Abrams (as well as Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt), which is always a good start for me. I was one of those sad (I like to call it committed) people who religiously watched Lost, and even got up at stupid o’clock one morning to watch the final episode at the same time that it was broadcast in America.
I thought that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was funny, well produced with great effects, and it certainly wasn’t too exclusive or nerdy for me (which was my worry). I was surprised at how much humour there was, and maybe this is where I haven’t previously understood Star Wars movies – maybe I took the idea of them too seriously? They are one of the most popular movie franchises in the world ever, with every type of merchandise item that you can imagine, so they must be doing something right!
My highlights of the new film included the droid character BB8 (I want one!) and some cameos that even I understood (no spoilers though). The movie worked well in 3D, it’s not perfect but certain scenes worked really well; one scene even leading to my friend (a grown man who should know better) reaching out at one point to touch whatever was extending out of the screen – yes, if you are reading this, I saw you do it.
We watched the movie in the Gallery area of the Odeon – giving us larger comfy seats, more legroom and unlimited nachos and popcorn (the last two things sold it for me!). It was a good experience and worth the extra couple of pounds. There was a slightly awkward moment when I almost drank the drink of the stranger next to me, but he seemed distracted by the movie thankfully so it’s all good!
I really recommend that you go to see this movie, particularly in 3D or IMAX, whether you are already a fan or you are a Star Wars virgin like me. It has even inspired me to watch the older movies to be brought up to speed on the whole franchise – what order would you recommend I watch them, and what did you think of the new movie?