5 things you should know about Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Johannesburg - While the rest of the world is still waiting to re-immerse themselves in a galaxy far, far away, South Africa finds itself on the lucky end of the spectrum, with the movie being released on Wednesday. 

At the premiere at the Eastgate Shopping Centre on Tuesday night, Star Wars fans and local celebrities gathered to see whether director JJ Abrams' take on the beloved franchise was worth the wait.

Here are five relatively spoiler-free things you should know about the movie: 

1) It has a lot of parallels with the first movie (A New Hope) 

Everything that people found wrong in the prequels is nowhere to be found in this movie. The movie harks back to the original trilogy in a big way, and anyone who is familiar with A New Hope will be able to identify the familiar themes quite quickly. 

The Force Awakens, like the recent Jurassic World, wears its reverence for the original in a big way. 

2) It is very earnest, and has a good deal of humour

What made the original trilogy great was the sheer number of scenes that could be quoted ad infinitum. That often witty and sometimes laugh out loud humour is very prevalent in the new movie. 

It also keeps the optimism the older movies had, and has no qualms about being pure intergalactic escapism that wants to keep emotions running high. 

One big positive it has going for it is its use of practical effects instead of going the easy route and simply using computer generated imagery (CGI) for all special effects.

3) There are a lot of action set-pieces

Gone are long-winded scenes about galactic politics and trade negotiations that plagued the prequels. The Force Awakens, with its mix of old and new cast members and a feature length quest goes through several locations, with a fair share of explosions, fast-paced aerial dogfights and gunplay. 

From the moment the opening crawl ends, to the final shot of the movie, there is rarely a moment to catch your breath.

4) It's the first part of a larger puzzle

The movie is the beginning of a longer story, that will take at least four more years to tell. Waiting for the next chapter is going to be excruciating, however the time between the larger tale will be filled with other movies that take place within the universe. One of these films will focus on the younger years of fan favourite Han Solo.  

5) It has some flaws

There are very few movies that are entirely perfect. The Force Awakens has some flaws, including to some extent the four points made above. This however does not detract from the enjoyment of the movie. 

The movie's few shortcomings actually turn it into a better movie, especially in a time when other filmmakers aim to make amorphous cookie cutter movies that sometimes try too hard to make a spectacle, while failing dismally. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24