Is Star Wars: The Force Awakens worth all the hype? To quote Han Solo: “It’s true, all of it.” J.J. Abrams has taken the franchise that was severely damaged thanks to the lackluster prequels and reenergized it with his style of action and cinematography that definitely fits Star Wars more than it did Star Trek.
I watched The Force Awakens through Phantom Menace lenses, looking for the things that would annoy me in retrospect (a la Jar Jar Binks) but was thrilled to really see none of it. Now, to be fair, TFA borrows heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) from the original trilogy, hitting many of the same beats from A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, but the writing and direction are so improved that it can be forgiven.
The new characters, Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Poe, and yes, BB-8, are all wonderful additions to the Star Wars universe and they fit right in next to their original trilogy counterparts. Speaking of whom, Han, Leia and the rest hit the right heartstrings but aren’t just nostalgia bait; they serve very important roles.
TFA is the new Star Wars George Lucas wishes he had made. It’s the new Empire.