‘A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...’
That’s all it takes. As the words appear on the giant IMAX screen, a hush falls over the audience. Finally it’s here.
There’s nothing quite like a Star Wars movie. The unmistakeable shifting cinematography; the ‘whoosh’ of lightsabers, the mysterious ever-presence of the force, and the deliciously doom-filled opening notes of the Imperial March...damn George Lucas knew what he was doing with this franchise.
It’s movie history in the making, sat right here at this preview showing at Sheffield’s Centertainment, I know I’m watching movie history unfold before my eyes and I’m honestly thrilled.
Straight off the bat I’m not sure what to call this film; in terms of timeline it falls right between the original films and the three prequels, which could be quite confusing to less than avid fans, but it’s delightful to happen upon familiar faces and realise that we’re catching them midway through their journey. The tale isn’t theirs this time of course, there’s a rich cast of new characters to get acquainted with, but there’s enough of them there, on the outskirts, to keep fans satisfied. And thanks to the miracles of modern storytelling in a digital age, most of them are looking a lot younger than we’re used to seeing them.
It’s incredible to enter this galaxy in a time when the infamous Death Star is still mid-creation. I won’t give anything away other than to say that, despite being initially dubious of this ‘space filler’ of a film, I was hooked within the first ten minutes.
And I get it now, what this film was about. It’s not simply a way for audiences to tread water, biding their time until the next big installment. It’s a unique opportunity for us to revisit a much-loved time in our cinematic history through fresh eyes, to see a familiar story from a different perspective and to better understand how everything in the other films came to be.
And it’s a wonderful excuse for us to spend a little more time in this much-loved galaxy.
Two huge thumbs up!