I wrote recently about how I had abandoned watching the Star Wars series after being disappointed with Start Wars I: The Phantom Menace but a review of the latest entry Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi suggested that it had somewhat progressive politics that might make it worth watching. But my son-in-law, who is an aficionado of the series, suggested that before watching it, I should see Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens because otherwise the plot of the latest film would be hard to follow.
So I watched The Force Awakens yesterday. It was fun but (or maybe because) the story did have a very familiar feel, recycling many tropes those from the first trilogy: a dysfunctional father-son relationship because one person chooses evil over good, a Darth Vader-like villain complete with black robe, mask, and wheezing husky voice (in this case for no apparent reason other than to mimic Vader), the aerial dog-fights, the plucky young adventurer (in this case a woman) who discovers she is imbued with the Force, and a climactic battle with yet another Death Star (or whatever it was called in this film). They even brought back the cantina with all the weird-looking characters and someone who looked like Yoda. The light sabers, spacecraft, other weaponry and technology also looked pretty much the same and not advanced much in the 30 years that had supposedly elapsed since the end of the first trilogy.
But while the second trilogy can be (and in my case was) ignored, it does seems like the latest film would be pretty mystifying if I did not know the backstory created by The Force Awakens. Here’s the trailer.
If you have already seen this film (or do not mind spoilers) you can see the Honest Trailers take on it.