Let me just level with you right away: I've never liked Star Wars . It's not for lack of trying, either — I watched the first three movies (as in, the original 1970s films of Episodes IV through VI) and just couldn't get into them. There was something missing that I just couldn't connect with, so I wasn't all that excited about seeing The Force Awakens when it hit theaters. Still, I like being a part of cultural trends, so I grabbed a Diet Coke and a medium popcorn, popped on my 3-D glasses, and prepared to be bored. Spoiler alert: I was so wrong. To say that I liked The Force Awakens is an understatement — I absolutely loved it, and had it been the first Star Wars movie I'd ever seen, I'd never have had my doubts.
It's hard to describe what it is I enjoyed so much about Episode VII. Likely it was a combination of factors: the updated special effects, the new characters, the fun storyline — all of those play a part, no doubt. But there was something about the feel of Force Awakens that was so refreshing, and which will no doubt usher in a whole new generation of fans who are either too young to have seen any of the previous installments, or, like me, just weren't into it previously.
Here's why Force Awakens is so great:
1. Rey Is An Amazing Protagonist
I know Princess (now Commander) Leia is pretty badass herself, but Rei is a hero for a new generation. Imagine being a young girl seeing what's stereotypically a "boy movie" and coming across a lead character that's not only a girl, but totally strong, powerful, and all-around amazing. Newcomer Daisy Ridley is incredibly refreshing and I can't wait to see Rey's growth in the upcoming episodes.
2. Kylo Ren Is A Complicated & Fascinating Villain
Kylo Ren, the grandson of Darth Vader and son of Han Solo and Leia, seems downright evil. After all, not just anyone can kill their father with a light saber. However, it's clear that Ren isn't just a run-of-the-mill villain, and there's more that's bubbling below the surface that will be interesting to see.
3. One Word: BB-8
He's cute! He's smart! He's BB-8. While there's no replacing R2-D2 (who, thankfully, was in Force Awakens), BB-8 will become legendary, I can tell.
4. Finn Is A Total Badass
There are so many things to love about Finn: the fact that he was mentally strong enough to fight against the First Order's indoctrination to do the right thing; the fact that he fought the urge to run and insisted on going back for Rey; the fact that he's just so adorable and likable... the list goes on and on.
5. Poe Dameron Puts A Smile On Everyone's Face
The rebel pilot is not only incredibly good at flying planes, but he's also just a really awesome guy who seems stoked on life. How can you not find that infectious?
As you can see, Force Awakens is a whole lot of fun, and the perfect introduction to Star Wars for new fans and those who never thought they'd be fans. In fact, I'd like to see it again.
Image: Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy