The Star Wars Franchise is back, and picking up like its never left
When the news of another Star Wars trilogy broke in 2012, fans all over the world were excited and anxious. The last time we had explored the galaxy of Star Wars was in 2005, when the last of the prequels was released. After a lackluster trilogy, the hype for episode 7, 8, and 9 was mostly that they would be better then the prequels.
A release date was revealed, followed by a director, and the announcement of the new cast, followed by another that revealed that the original trio of Carrie Fischer, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill had also signed on. Trailers were released, we became invested in the mythos of Star Wars once again, and began speculating about Rey, Finn and Poe, the new protagonists, along with Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma, along with other villains.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released on December 18th, 2015, and raked in a new high of $57 million just on opening night alone. It’s estimated to bring in around $250 million, overtaking Jurassic World as the #1 selling movie for opening weekend.
Right away, its hard not to see the parallels between the original trilogy and the sequels. Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) story follows that of Luke’s while also filling the role of Leia, as a strong female character. Finn and Poe (John Boyega and Oscar Issac respectively) both take on the role of Han (and some of Luke), with Kylo Ren being the only outlier, and paralleling the story of prequel Anakin.
J.J. Abrams didn’t fail us either, showcasing spectacular cinematography, taking cues from the original trilogy with using little CGI, and using the same film ratios. John Williams was also brought on board, with new themes beautifully interwoven with the old, giving us the sense of nostalgia we wanted.
J.J. Abrams also utilized something he calls the mystery box technique, where each new clue unveiled leads to another. The character development in TFA showcases that, just giving us the tip of the iceberg for some of the characters, and leaving us with cliffhangers and heart wrenching moments throughout the movie (yes, I cried multiple times. It’s hard not to). It leaves us wanting more and makes us anxious for Episode 8 and 9, which are being released in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Until then, we have the anthology movies to hold us over, giving us more insight into the Star Wars Universe, with Rogue One being released in 2016, and an untitled Han Solo movie being released in 2018. Rogue One will cover the rebellion leaders trying to steal the Death Star plans, filling the void between Episode 3 and Episode 4, and will star Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, and Alan Tudyk.
Congratulations Star Wars, you’ve done it again.