Not so long ago in a theater near you, Star Wars: The Force Awakens shined in all it’s geekiness as people crowded to the theaters in anticipation of seeing the epic continuation of the Star Wars franchise. With so many people hitting the box office, The Force Awakens quickly skyrocketed to the top of the charts and nearly beat every record in movie history. But alas, The Force Awakens could not remain in theaters forever, and thus began the wait for the digital and Blu-Ray release.
Thankfully, we Star Wars fans did not have to wait long, because on April 5th, Star Wars The Force Awakens was released on Blu-Ray and DVD! Its good vs evil story that captured our imagination so few months ago can now be played when and where we choose!
[FYI: There are Spoiler to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Below this point.]
At this point in time, there are several reviews, theories, twists and fan stories all arching from the original movie. We have doubters and naysayers, and those who simply think the story was reused from the Original Trilogy. In fact, I read an article about how the movie was a direct reprint of the original trilogy, from the ice planet of Hoth to the destruction of the Death Star. Their theories, from their certain point of view, can be valid and maybe even seem to be a disappointment, but I think they are missing the point. What they see as repeats or recycled plot lines, I believe are more of a nostalgic moment for the fans as we enter something new and exciting. The great stories always find a way to sum up the information from the past and recreate a new story from the ashes. What better way to do so than to create a plot line giving homage to the ghosts of Star Wars past.
How does Star Wars: The Force Awakens pay homage to the Original Trilogy but keep it new? That is where the brilliance comes in. Look at the machinery, the planets and the people. Each item brings forth massive nostalgic emotion as we remember the Original Trilogy and everything within. Yet, upon closer examination, each item is more advanced, changed or different than what we remember.
Star Wars The Force Awakens takes us on an epic journey as the rebel alliance fights the First Order while the First Order works to eradicate the Rebel alliance and systems sympathetic to their cause. Enter a rather large weapon known as Starkiller Base; similar to that of the Death Star but far more advanced. This weapon is capable of destroying systems from great distances by absorbing the energy of a star. While there is a similarity or homage to the Original Trilogy and the Death Star, out of the ashes of this similarity comes something much stronger and much more deadly. We find the the Starkiller Base is the perfect creation to show the passage of time and progress of technology. I mean, if you think about it, it totally works. Look at our own technology. A monitor really hasn’t changed much in 30 years. Oh sure it is brighter, thinner and has better graphics, but it is still based off of that piece of technology all those years ago. It is only reasonable to think that another war weapon would keep the shape and ideas of it’s predecessors but be more powerful, deadly and destructive.
This brilliance of paying homage to the Original Trilogy is not limited to the Starkiller base, it is also found within the new planets of The Force Awakens. Jakku, a desert planet, looks very similar to Tatooine. Takodana, a lush green plant, looks similar to Endor or Naboo. All of these are meant to arouse nostalgic emotions as we remember what happened 30 years ago. But there are changes. For example, on Jakku we see Speeders have advanced in shapes and sizes, Sandpeople don’t seem to be a problem, and scavenging is a way of life due to the fallen imperial ships. We also find, on these new planets, new characters and their struggles.
The original characters, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and Luke lead the way to bring about a new generation of rebels. A force user, a pilot, a traitor and a droid (sound familiar) are all brought into the new rebel alliance. As we learn more about them, it is clear the stories of Rey, Finn, Poe and BB-8 will be different and exciting. I, personally, want to learn more about Rey, why she was left on Jakku, and who her parents might be.
Of course what happens on the side of good also happens on the side of bad (I think we just found balance). Darth Vader is dead, but his ideals live on in Kylo Ren. Kylo believes he must be the one to finish what Vader started, but his connection to the past must be severed. To do so, he must kill someone every fan has grown to love, [SPOILER] Han solo. My heart still breaks as I think about him plummeting to his death. But the old must make way for the new. The homage to Vader killing those who helped and loved him is now making way for a new and even more crazy villain.
Ironically, if you think about it, Han’s death was a way of severing the old and new. The past is over and a new generation rises in the ashes. While their might be a few more nods to the old in the next installments of the Star Wars franchise, the new will be the main focus because Star Wars The Force Awakens is an epic symbolic homage to the Original Trilogy and a bright new star of hope for the future of Star Wars.
In celebration of the new and the old, Disney has released an epic pack of free printable activities to download, print and create! Simply click the image below to download the PDF!
Activity pack includes:
- Coloring Pages:
- Kylo Ren
- C-3PO & R2-D2
- Millennium Falcon Maze
- Memory Game
Information about Star Wars The Forcew Awakens Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital:
Visionary director J.J. Abrams brings to life the motion picture event of a generation. As Kylo Ren and the sinister First Order rise from the ashes of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is missing when the galaxy needs him most. It’s up to Rey, a desert scavenger, and Finn, a defecting stormtrooper, to join forces with Han Solo and Chewbacca in a desperate search for the one hope of restoring peace to the galaxy.
Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey (documentary)
The Story Awakens: The Table Read
Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight
ILM: The Visual Magic of the Force
John Williams: The Seventh Symphony
Force for Change (charitable initiative)