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Star Wars is fun again!!! AGAIN, *** SPOILERS ***


My wonderful wife was kind enough to make "The Force Awakens" the first movie we saw as a married couple, and as JJ Abrams has proven wont to do when he takes the reins of a beloved franchise, his first effort spurred mostly positive feelings within me.

So I'll start with a few things that didn't quite sit right. As we've seen, the occasional lack of originality and some mind boggling plot failures have been known to bog Mr. Abrams down. Yes, I'm talking to you "Star Trek: Into Darkness", with your terrible "Wrath of Khan" rip-off and your magic Khan blood. Fortunately, this movie didn't devolve into "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes the Jedi's Hope Back."

Anyway, yes, another desert planet, another bar filled with intrigue, another planet blowing up dealie that gets subsequently blown up itself. We've seen those before, though they were hardly movie killers. In fact, I thought the crashed Imperial fleet on Jakku was a nice touch, especially with the lack of explanation as to how it wound up there.

However, there's been one thing that I absolutely haven't been able to wrap my head around: If the Empire was defeated, and the Republic returned to govern in it's place, and the First Order arose from the Empire's remnants, shouldn't the Republic be battling the First Order? Why is there a resistance (staffed by many prominent rebels) and who are they resisting? Wasn't the rebellion's entire purpose to restore the Republic, and shouldn't they have hitched on with the Republic once the Empire was defeated? Did I miss something during my viewing?

Oh, and why did the Republic put seemingly their ENTIRE FLEET around one planet? Doesn't anyone pay attention to history in the galaxy far, far away?

BUT, despite all that, I had a freakin' blast watching the movie. I grabbed the wife's arm in glee when Han and Chewie walked onto the Falcon again, said "uh oh" when Han and Kylo Ren faced off, and could barely keep from shouting "Get some!" when Rae nearly chopped off Ren's head. While the shoddy acting and plodding stories of Episodes I - III may have given Robot Chicken great fodder, Episode VII gave me a renewed appreciation for just how bad those movies are.

Let me ask you this -- for even one minute, did anyone feel like Liam Neeson, Ewen McGregor, Natalie Portman, or Samuel L. Jackson fit into the Star Wars narrative? All great actors and actresses, yet seemingly totally out of place. Surround them with a largely terrible supporting cast and...accchhh. Hayden Christensen's high pitched "I hate you!" at the end of Episode III sounded more like it came from a 15 year old girl who just had her cell phone taken away by mommy rather than an alleged Sith bad . It is what it is though.

So in conclusion, huge thanks to JJ Abrams, Harrison Ford, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and everyone else who helped make the Star Wars franchise a whole hell of a lot of fun to watch once again. No it didn't dethrone "Empire" as my favorite, but that isn't what I was hoping for. I just wanted to recapture some of that magic I felt when I first saw "Jedi" (I originally saw the trilogy in reverse when I was a kid) some 25 years ago. Mission definitely accomplished.

I look forward to your comments.

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