Review: The Force Awakens is everything I hoped it would be

tfa-kylo-finn-rey

Let’s just cut to the chase: The Force Awakens is a pretty good Star Wars movie.

Some are saying great, but I’m not sure if a single viewing is enough. (And I don’t do rankings, because that’s tedious.) But the important thing, for our purposes, is that I enjoyed it.

Granted, I’m an easy mark for this one. I’ve been a Star Wars fan for both the special editions and the prequels – I waited in those lines. (Briefly.) But I never approached any of them with anything beyond idle curiosity. They were not a cornerstone of my personal fandom. The Force Awakens is the first brand-new Star Wars film that’s actually important to me. The first film where I was actually a little scared to watch, because what if I don’t like it?

In the theater, none of that mattered.

UPDATE: Please do not leave spoilers in the comments of the review. We have a special discussion post for that sort of thing!

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Review roundup: Star Wars #1 does pretty well for itself

marvel-sw1Now that the million or so copies of Marvel’s Star Wars #1 have hit the comic books shops, let’s see what people are saying:

  • IGN: “There’s an emphatic “Give the people what they want!” feel to this issue, and the creative team certainly delivers.”
  • iDigitalTimes: “…the best character work is Princess Leia…” (spoilers)
  • /film:”Not only does Vader make a great dramatic entrance but theres a very cool tense sequence that feels ripped out of Homeland (this is a strong compliment) and Vader’s response is nothing short of bad ass.”
  • Nerdist: “Writer Jason Aaron perfectly captures the pacing, action, and humor of the original Star Wars in a way that a lot of the comics haven’t for a long time it seems.”
  • Jedi News: “The true test of any comic script is does it leave you longing for more, and I can’t imagine anyone reading this issue and not being absolutely compelled to pick up issue #2.”
  • Tosche Station: 4/5 – “At times, it was difficult to NOT hear the actors’ voices inside my head reading the lines.”
  • Big Shiny Robot (a double review from Bryan and myself): “It brings us to familiar territory while still feeling fresh.”
  • Coffee with Kenobi: “Reading “Star Wars” No. 1 is like watching a movie.”
  • EUCantina.net: “Marvel knew they had to make a big impression with their first Star Wars issue, and they have succeeded.”

Talking with the creators:

Review: A New Dawn pumps up excitement for Rebels

star-wars-a-new-dawnOn sale today, A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller is the first novel that is part of the Lucasfilm Story Group approved timeline. Set in the dark times between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and several years before the upcoming Rebels cartoon, it’s a tale of how two of the show’s main characters, Hera and Kanan, first encounter each other and eventually decide to team up. As someone excited by Rebels, I enjoyed the novel and found it interesting to see the characters before they united for a common cause.

Miller brings his skills in combining likable characters with clashing viewpoints, in a story setting that he has mastered before in Kenobi and Knight Errant: a Jedi alone in hostile territory. Only this time, the Jedi’s not interested in being a Jedi, or even be on the hero’s path at all – while someone else is sorting out what type of people are and aren’t needed for a rebellion to the Empire’s rule. And as with Knight Errant and Lost Tribe of the Sith series, where various Sith philosophies were being forged and tested against each other, the villain, Count Vidian, has his own philosophy being pushed to the extreme, and we witness it in practice.

Minor spoilers beyond this point.

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Comic review: Legacy Vol. 2, #18

Comic review: Legacy #18 wraps up the conflict between the Imperial Knights and the Sith and Darth Wredd, with Ania Solo and her friends caught up in the middle. Jawajames gives it a big thumbs-up for staying true to the characters and giving us a big epic Star Wars battle.

And if you missed it last week, Jawajames also reviewed Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #4, the finale of this storyline — this would have been a fantastic episode arc of The Clone Wars, and it’s great to see it in comic form.