Falling in love with ‘Star Wars’ all over again

By Daniel de la Rosa

A guy in California who shouted out a spoiler on the opening night of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in front of a long line of people waiting to see the movie had his ass kicked and stomped by a trio dressed as Wookie, a Stormtrooper, and Boba Fett.

In short: I will not go there. I will not repeat the spoilers that are already spilling out of the Internet.

But I will tell you this: Go watch the movie. I watched it on opening night, and take it from a fan who has seen the original, endured the disaster that was Phantom Menace, Clones and Revenge, Star Wars 7 is good to the last drop!

I try not to overthink the movies I watch. Harrison Ford said it best when told Donald Trump liked his character of the President kicking terrorists off his plane in “Air Force One.”

“It’s a movie, Donald. It’s not like this in real life…”

But I digress.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” pays all sorts of homage to the original three flicks, but it also lays the groundwork for what is to come in Episode 8 and 9 when the number of movies begin to approach Harry Potter territory.

This one reminds me of why I fell in love with Star Wars in the first place – from the Samurai warrior clad Jedi Knights to the cantina scenes of creatures weird and small, and the juvenile sense of adventure in saving the cosmos from evil. That is where it all started for me; Star Wars in 1977 was my coming-of-age flick.

Along with the clunky Star Trek movies then, it showed to me that characters from the DC and Marvel universe could be turned into viable movies and be made well. I will (hopefully) get to watch the last flick in the franchise a few years before turning 60 in 2019.

Or put another way, I entered the work force after watching Star Wars and will be retiring soon after the last one comes out. In the meantime, there is the small matter of going through a life.

The same director who did this movie is the same guy who did the re-boot of Star Trek.

The Force gives me another dose of the high imagination needed to make movies like Star Wars.
This is not a flick that has the gritty reality of a “Dog Day Afternoon” or the sense of moral ambiguity that war inflicts on people in “Apocalypse Now” or “Platoon.” It is not a classic a la “Casablanca.”

The fighter scenes of The Force have an elegiac quality about them which reminds me of the dogfights I love to watch in World War Two movies like the “Battle of Britain” or “Red Tails.”

The sabre duels hark back to the Samurai shorts I watched as a kid on Saturday evenings, when a solitary warrior would take out a small army of black-clad ninjas. Star Wars takes me back to a universe that is even updated to today’s sensitivities. The most important character in the next 2 movies will be Rey portrayed with verve by Daisy Ridley.

When Rey takes her seat in the Millennium Falcon and then offers the sabre to Luke Skywalker right at the end of the movie, the symbolism of accepting the baton of the franchise is apparent to anybody who has followed the series for decades.

I’d want to find out if she is really Luke’s daughter because of her great affinity with the force. Or as Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) said in the movie, every second that passes Rey grows into her powers.

The Star Wars franchise has been handed to another generation – an inheritance from the Boomers to the Millennials.

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