I should have seen this film, the film of the year at 00:01 on Thursday 17th December at the BFI IMAX in Waterloo. As already made clear, this was postponed until further notice. We finally got around to watching the latest instalment in the space opera franchise some 16 days, 17 hours, 14 minutes later in the Odeon at The Peel Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire. Friends has seen the film multiple times during this two week period. James had seen at least seven times (perhaps having broken into double digits as I write this) and my brother in law Steve had seen three times. Although to be fair to him, he did not give away anything but wondered how I would be able to avoid spoilers in the modern era of social media. To assist me in this endeavour I installed an Extension in Chrome to block our spoilers and I avoiding looking on Facebook and Twitter as much as I usually do (multiple times daily, starting while eating my breakfast in the morning). My struggle is documented at length in a previous blog post.
I would have preferred to have seen the biggest release of 2015, in the biggest screen on this little island, although perhaps it would have been better to have actually watched it in 2015. It was not to be, and we booked tickets via the Odeon app on my mobile in the final few days of the year. We selected the biggest screen at the cinema and as expected this particular showing at 17:15 on 2nd January was dead, with only a handful (surprisingly Premier) seats sold.
The film was great, harking back to the formula that worked so well in the original trilogy. Plenty of nods for us geeks without alienating the new generation, meeting these characters for the first time. The comedy was at the right level, in particular I loved the relationship between Finn and Rey. The female lead has the stand out performance within the film and as we go on this journey of self discovery, we realise that this is just the first part in a new trilogy. Many questions were answered but so many remain unanswered. It was fun, entertaining but did not really have me at the edge of my seat. I understand that this was just laying the ground work for the next picture, the ending felt a little rushed. However, I will ensure I catch Episode VIII on the day of release. I can never go through the pain of having to avoid spoilers for over two weeks. Did the film live up to the hype? Considering I had the addition burden of waiting more than two full weeks before seeing the film, I have to say no. Perhaps my expectations were a little too high, more from anticipation than anything else.
I leave the final line to my dearest wife, whom asked, as the credits rolled – “Where was Yoda?”. I responded in a rather stern voice, “Michelle, Yoda died in Return Of The Jedi, he was a 900 year old Jedi Master!”