We figured it would be good, but this good? It looks like J.J. Abrams has knocked it out of the galaxy on this one.
On movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is rating 97 percent fresh right now.
It seems the gist is that Abrams did the original franchise proud, staying true to the original trilogy’s tone and theme while adding plenty of nods toward nostalgia, but also adding in some new surprises.
Really, that is pretty much anyone could ask for when trying to pick up the gauntlet on such an epic series.
Oh, and Harrison Ford is back in a big way, getting major props from most reviewers.
Warning: If you’re afraid of spoilers, you might want to avoid actual reviews, but the blurbs below from critics’ reviews shouldn’t give too much away.
Let’s take a look at some of the finer talking points:
Wall Street Journal: “Disney, the new proprietor, and J.J. Abrams, the director, haven’t diluted the appeal of this space opera for the ages. Far from it, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ flatters old and new audiences alike, and straddles generations with aplomb.”
LA Times: “Perhaps inevitably, this, the most hotly anticipated motion picture since ‘Gone With the Wind,’ has an erratic, haphazard quality to it. Though a definite improvement on the last three abortive ‘Star Wars’ prequels directed by series creator George Lucas, ‘The Force Awakens’ is only at its best in fits and starts, its success dependent on who of its mix of franchise veterans and first-timers is on the screen.”
New York Times: “It has the usual toy-store-ready gizmos and critters, but it also has appealingly imperfect men and women whose blunders and victories, decency and goofiness remind you that a pop mythology like ‘Star Wars’ needs more than old gods to sustain it.”
The Guardian in the UK called it a “spectacular homecoming” with a major shoutout for Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as the new villain everyone is going to love to hate — “gorgeously cruel, spiteful and capricious.”
“The Force Awakens is ridiculous and melodramatic and sentimental of course, but exciting and brimming with energy and its own kind of generosity. What a Christmas present.”
A few folks who were less than impressed:
Forbes sent two reviewers, one loved it, one did not with the headline “The Empire Strikes Out.” Ouch.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens offers strong visuals and engaging new characters, but suffers from a slapdash screenplay that mimics the initial trilogy sans new context while overloading on generic action sequences, nostalgic callbacks and overt fan service.”
Salon wrote “You’ve Seen This Movie Before”: “‘The Force Awakens’ is more like a remake or a mashup of the first two ‘Star Wars’ pictures than a sequel.”
The GeekWire team is hitting the streets tomorrow around town to screen films and talk to fans. See you out there, and of course, may the Force be with you when it comes to scoring some awesome seats.