Well let’s get the basics out of the way. Many people loved the movie – the original cast was back in a satisfying fashion, the Falcon was involved in some great stunts, there’s a huge new threat, and that last scene where they find Luke was perfect. Don’t forget how the Episode 4 scene had a Star Destroyer dwarfing Leia’s ship while the newest one dwarf’s a moon. Or the amazing aliens of the Cantina scene and how they were upstaged by the Cantina scene of the latest movie.
A few people simply said “Hmmph, it’s a remake of Episode 4, they just destroyed a superdeathstar on a world. To which I always respond “If you were a galactic empire what would be the best way to symbolize your power – even if you had Sith controlling it?”
So, to the interesting stuff. When Lucas did the original trilogy, he had futuristic samurai monks that everyone fell in love with, but there were other things as well. I have spoken before of his passion for Joseph Campbell’s work on comparative mythology. Specifically, there was a theme of “Six Go Around the World”, six allies who have unique skill sets and help him complete his tasks. Six – Han, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Obi-Wan, were there just to help Luke.
But Lucas built on that with other mythological themes. Han was the imperial officer (look again at his outfit in 4-6) who broke from his training to become one of the Rebels’ greatest leaders, Luke’s closest friend, and Leia’s love interest – a villain gone good. Luke and Leia were twins. Very often one twin would turn bad while the other would remain good and have to confront him. There was a threat of that in the original series but it was never explored.
In the new movie, we have an imperial soldier who quits the empire almost from the start, befriends the Rebels’ greatest pilot (hmm), and has already shown a strong interest in the heroine – Rey. And her greatest enemy is the Sith disciple. Her brother? Her twin brother?
I love that the story is continuing. Even better, I love that the mythological themes are being tapped again. I could care less if they have to blow up another death star in Episode 9 (a la 6), as long as the mythology is respected