A Long Long Time Ago, in Movie Theaters Near and Far…


The most recent Star Wars film

Natalie Bell

The most recent Star Wars film
Old and new Star Wars fans were excited about the new film! Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

George Lucas released “Star Wars,” the first movie in a long, successful franchise, on May 25, 1977. Following were his five blockbuster films, titled “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” (1983), “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999), “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” (2002), and “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” (2005). On Dec. 18, 2015, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” a long-awaited film, was released – almost 38 years after the original film. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie grossed over 1.8 billion dollars, and it now holds third place in all time movie grosses.

The latest exciting film features new and old characters working side by side. Many believe that in order to understand the new film, you must see all of the older films beforehand. Once the movie concluded, I realized that this notion is completely untrue.

The movie was understandable, but I would suggest that if you know absolutely nothing about the Star Wars plots or stories (like me), I would suggest either having a Star Wars fan accompany you to the movie theater, or completing a little bit of research to familiarize yourself with the plot.

In my case, both my parents are Star Wars fans, and they summarized the basic ideas of the franchise. “I had to explain the entire franchise” states Sheri Bell, “It took hours.” Though we may disagree on the duration of the explanation, most of the details provided by Bell were easily extracted in the first 10 minutes of the movie, mostly from the introductory scrolling yellow text. Therefore, I would not suggest letting the fear of not seeing the previous movies, or the lack of knowledge you have about the Star Wars franchise get in the way of watching the new film. You will easily grasp the major ideas.

Within the movie, there is a new evil group in town entitled The First Order, which rose from the remnants of the Empire (the antagonist in the previous movies), and strives to recover the location of Luke Skywalker (the last Jedi Knight), who has gone into hiding. In addition, there is a new robot, BB-8, who possesses a map that leads to Luke’s precise location.

The movie takes place after “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” the third of the Star Wars films. It was a delight to see several of the old actors still portraying the same characters within the movie such as Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. In addition, I was excited to see some new, young characters that immensely contribute to the plot of the story, such as Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, and Finn, portrayed by John Boyega. The film contains suspense, adventure, and a touch of romance, defining a relationship by two key protagonists from the older movies and creating a new one between two new characters. Between the suspenseful race between good and evil and  with shocking twists placed sporadically throughout the movie, you will be kept on the edge of your seat throughout the entire film.

After the long wait for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” it certainly did not disappoint its viewers. The new plot and new interesting characters come alive right in front of your eyes. Though the storyline takes place after the third Star Wars movie, you should not feel the need to see the previous movies in order to understand it. The movie itself brings out a wide spectrum of emotions, and once you see it you may just want to watch the previous films as well.