The event that has gotten more attention this year than Christmas, the opening of “Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” has finally arrived. Millions filled theaters around the world starting Thursday night to see if director J.J. Abrams would give fans new hope for the franchise or it be another menace.
Quality aside, the movie is chock full of OMG! moments.
Originally, this was to be a story that would reveal the movie’s big secrets – a spoiler-fest, in other words – but as a passionate fan of the franchise who got to see it without some jerk ruining it for me, the favor is being returned.
So this is a look at few of the memorable moments that Abrams labored on so intently.
Never miss a local story.
“Every day felt like there were challenges because I knew how important this was to so many people, and that was never a presence that went away,” Abrams says. “And so every decision I knew had this importance, and yet we had a date to make, we had a story to tell, and it was always about trying to do the best work possible.”
You may be able to guess a few things that happen in the movie by reading the following list. But there are no blatant mentions of exact OMG! moments unless they have been revealed in the numerous movie trailers.
There are no intended spoilers, but if you have any concerns, turn to one of the other many stories you will find in The Bee. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Here are 10 OMG! moments from “The Force Awakens”:
Sound and fury: True “Star Wars” fans will have a pleasant feeling wash over them when the first notes of the incredible John Williams theme blast over the film’s logo. Few movies get as much support and strength as the “Star Wars” films have from the work by Williams. Abrams was smart enough to start the movie with the same powerful punch.
A new look: In past films, stormtroopers have acted in such a mechanical way they could have been droids instead of clones. Not only is it great to see the diversity of the men behind the masks with John Boyega playing renegade stormtrooper Finn, but his decision to leave the bad guys shows that there is a real person under all that armor.
Boyega’s not sure everyone will be thinking about how the stormtroopers have changed.
“In terms of the kids, all they’re going to be concentrating on is BB-8,” Boyega says of the newest droid.
No respect: The first time the Millennium Falcon is revealed drives home the theme that “The Force Awakens” is a true hybrid. Abrams has blended pieces of the middle trilogy with all of the new material to create a smooth transition into this new universe.
There are few vehicles in film history that are as iconic as the ship Han Solo flew to make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. Had it not been in the new movie, it would have been like going to a class reunion and one of your best friends was not in attendance.
Special friends: The cheer was deafening when the massive crowd attending the “Star Wars” celebration in Anaheim in early 2015 saw the movie trailer that showed Han Solo and Chewbacca were back. Seeing them on the Millennium Falcon and Solo saying, “Chewy, we’re home” is a new sure-to-become classic film moment that only gets better as the longtime friends become part of “The Force Awakens” story.
Say it is so: The “Star Wars” films have been filled with lines of dialogue that have become part of pop culture. How many times has a parent said with a deep voice to a child, “I’m your father”? Even those who don’t know “Star Wars” from “Star Trek” have heard the phrase, “May the Force be with you.” It’s an amazing moment in “The Force Awakens” when another one of the series’ familiar phrases gets used.
Family ties: A common theme in the “Star Wars” universe has been bloodlines, from the death of Anakin Skywalker’s mother, Shmi, setting him on the path to the dark side to the revelation that Luke and Leia were siblings. There are a lot of new and old characters in “The Force Awakens,” so this theme of family can continue.
The trend already continues with Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as twins. How that theme continues makes for one of the biggest OMG! moments in the film.
Heart and soul: Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) got most of the glory in the second trilogy, but Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia Organa was just as strong and twice as witty as the guys combined. Her return to the franchise not only is a nice kick in the nostalgia, but it is great how she continues to be a strong role model for young women.
In the dark: The way Adam Driver portrays Kylo Ren keeps the character from being two-dimensional. This is one of the most complicated characters in the “Star Wars” mythology, and Driver shows a great acting force whether it is in small or big moments. One of the things Abrams has done differently with this character is to have him not always be in control.
Driver says, “I remember early on not to think of him being bad or evil or a villain, and trying to make something that was more three-dimensional because that, to me when we were talking originally, seemed more dangerous and more unpredictable.”
The end is near: A common theme through the “Star Wars” movies has been the death of characters great and small. The “Star Wars” cemetery features tombstones for Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, Padame Armidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul, Greedo and Luke’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
All of the battles staged in “The Force Awakens” set up the potential for this theme to continue. There has been a lot of speculation because of this tendency. Any death in the film series has been an OMG! moment.
Isn’t technology grand: It’s a big OMG! moment when it becomes clear which character Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o plays. Abrams got a lot of grief for not taking advantage of Nyong’o’s beauty.
“People have said to me, ‘I don’t understand. You cast someone so beautiful as Lupita, and then you had her be a motion capture character.’ And I think, ‘Would it be OK if she were ugly?’ ” Abrams jokes.
No, but it wouldn’t have been as big an OMG! moment if she hadn’t been hiding behind a CGI form.