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Nostalgia Mixes with Newness as “Star Wars” is Reborn 

Nostalgia Mixes with Newness as “Star Wars” is Reborn
Paul Alberici, Lion’s Eye Editor,

In 2005, George Lucas capped his epic space saga “Star Wars” with the final chapter of the prequel trilogy, highlighting the fall of Anakin Skywalker to become the evil Darth Vader.

This chapter connected the critically acclaimed trilogy of the 70s and 80s with the recently released films and it seemed that the series concluded. However, in 2012, Disney bought out Lucas films for $4 billion, and their announcement was as expected: they will be continuing the “Star Wars” saga from where “Return of the Jedi” (1983) left off. The announcement also came with skepticism.

“[I was] curious how Disney was going to handle it,” sophomore Carly Dargitz said. “I was excited, regardless, that the series was coming back.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” the seventh chapter of the saga, 30 years after “Return of the Jedi,” and “Empire,” a new evil emerged from its ashes — “The First Order,” led by an
evil dark side user, Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver). Opposing The First Order is the heroic Resistance, which is the fighting force of the New Republic.

Some of the main pieces of the fighting force are new characters: pilot Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Isaac), a feisty desert scavenger, Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) and a former Stormtrooper, Finn
(played by John Boyega).

Many of these new actors have been praised for their portrayal of these new characters.

“I absolutely loved Boyega’s portrayal of Finn,” freshman Dave McDermott said. “I think that whoever cast this movie made an excellent choice, and I think that he will have a good future after his run in “Star Wars” movies. Ridley was also excellent. I think that she played Rey well, but I sense that there was a bit of a difference between what she was showed onscreen, what she wanted to show, and what was written. I think that she will evolve as an actress with the series, and it will be interesting to see where she goes. Although his character was immature and his performance wasn’t loved by all, I think that Driver’s Kylo Ren was intended to be exactly as he was.”

Yet, the freshness was also paired with nostalgia. Between the flight of the “Millennium Falcon,” one of the iconic movies of the series and the original cast of the first movies, including the lovable smuggler,
Han Solo, and his faithful companion, Chewbacca (played by Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew respectively), General Leia Organa (played by Carrie Fisher), and Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamil), it was hard for some fans to pick one iconic moment.

“I think the movie fit really well into the series so far,” senior Kevin Cardella said. “They made tons of references to past movies and followed up on the stories of the old characters. It isn’t just a movie of
all new characters. The characters are learning from the older classic characters.”

Needless to say, the movie has become a worldwide phenomenon and has been acclaimed by both critics and fans alike, making Disney’s big buy a favorable one.

“If I could, I would rate it an 11,” freshman Andrew Leake said. “I believe this installment will be an amazing addition to the saga. At the moment, it fits in perfectly, in my mind at least. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.”

With this chapter, the series now in the books, and seemingly redeeming the series from the continually bashed movies known as the prequel trilogy. Expectations are already high for the next chapter.

“The next one will be even more awesome,” sophomore Coleman Hart said. “Rey will work on learning about her past while Kylo Ren moves closer to the Dark Side. I feel like showing the parallels in
their training would be cool to see.”

While fans of the galaxy far away have to wait until December of 2017 to see where all of these characters are going to be in “Episode VIII” (the title has yet to be released), a new “Star Wars” movie will be released this year. “Rogue One” is the first movie of a spinoff series of the movies known as “The Star Wars Anthology.”

While they will be based on main characters and events of the main series, these spinoffs will focus on some of the more minor characters. The focus of “Rogue One” will be how the Rebel Alliance of the original trilogy was able to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s superweapon that blows up planets, prior to “Episode IV; A New Hope.” This spinoff is set to be released in December of 2016.

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