A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away… Or actually just an Odeon in the city of Southampton. I entered the cinema a whole 2 hours early for one of the most anticipated movie events of the 21st century. To call Star Wars just a film, belittles its cultural impact. Star Wars being released at the cinema has become an occasion. In the age of the internet, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube is taken over by the Disney machine of marketing. Star Wars is everywhere. There is no other franchise that has had such an impact on cinema and pop culture. I stood in the queue to buy popcorn and a drink, of course in the Star Wars limited edition bucket and cup. Then I proceeded to watch people train how to use a lightsaber while surrounded by full grown men and women dressed as Wookies, Droids and Jedis.
It hit midnight and the room was full of people with their limited edition popcorn buckets, lightsabers and blasters. The anticipation of the film was felt all round the room. Middle aged people for this one night was nattering like children, anxiously waiting through the onslaught of adverts and trailers. As soon as the film logos started to pop up, a thunderous applause erupted. People had waited just under 30 years for the continuation of their beloved characters. After the bitter taste of the prequel trilogy, Star Wars had returned.
All through the film, I looked round at all the faces around me and I could see their eyes through the tinted 3D glasses all wide, analyzing every section of the screen. The film succeeded my standards and much more. It catered for previous fans and brilliantly introduced Star Wars to a new generation. With no pun intended, this film is universal, moments of comical relief mixed with scenes that are darker then any of the previous installments. Laden with action, surrounded by sound of old and new. I sat in my row looking up at the spectacle of Star Wars. As the ships flew past my head, the sound of blasters erupted throughout the whole room. This film was suited for IMAX 3D. However it can also translated to a smaller screen, Star Wars Episode 7 is not all spectacle. The story of each character had an emotional connection. This film is just mindblowing, fun and dark. George Lucas was right when he said that this is the film the fans wanted.
After the film finished, the thunderous applause returned and people left the screen with a communal excitement. I guess some people went on their phones, not to tweet or write a status on Facebook, but to book another ticket to watch it again. Star Wars has become an experience. A communal experience that harnesses the secret essence of cinema. Technology can evolve to put the cinema in your home but it cannot replicate or even try to reproduce that moment when you are sat in a room full of a 100 people all reliving their childhood through a 2 hour film.
Star Wars is a franchise that spans over numerous generations, impacted culture like no other film. It has been imitated, parodied, ripped off and inspired generations of film makers. Star Wars Episode VII has had universal claim and looks to break every record at the Box Office. People can criticize the amount of marketing and products of Star Wars that has infected the high street, but this is an event.
As a fan of Star Wars, I cannot wait to the see Episode VIII, well not before I buy another cinema ticket to watch Episode VII again. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens recaptures the magic of cinema. It blends the huge blockbuster spectacle with the emotional connected with beloved characters. This has created one of the biggest fanbase of all time for film and you can see why. Star Wars is not a film, it is not just a product or a money making scheme. Star Wars is an event, an occasion; the true magic of cinema.
By Jason Blight
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