‘Rise of Skywalker’ teaser should have included the fall of Kathleen Kennedy

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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ delivers, Lucas’ prequel-stink grows

Han Solo Force Awakens

Anyone who ran relay races on the high-school track team knows the importance of smoothly passing the baton during transitions. It is now safe to say that J.J. Abrams “coached” his team well — the “blaster” was seamlessly passed from one generation to the next.

Director J.J. Abrams created a Star Wars movie with heart and soul. He created a Star Wars movie that fans can embrace. He created a Star Wars movie that fans do not need to make excuses for, which is a nice way of saying The Force Awakens will open more eyes to the horridness of George Lucas’ prequels.

Rey

Star Wars: The Force Awakens begins, as usual, with its iconic scrawl across the screen. The announcement: Luke Skywalker has vanished. Within minutes the action starts and fans are introduced to the droid BB-8, ace-pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac), the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and the soon-to-be ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega).

Poe gives sensitive information to BB-8 and instructs him to flee as Kylo’s Ren’s forces close in — reminiscent of R2D2’s mission in Star Wars: A New Hope. From there we meet “scavenger” Rey (Daisy Ridley), and the mystery unfolds. Everyone is looking for Luke, and the fate of entire star-systems will be determined by who retrieves BB-8’s data first.

Force Awakens Kylo Ren Finn

One of the most welcome surprises of The Force Awakens is Han Solo’s role, played admirably by a grizzled Harrison Ford. Solo and General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) could have been given throwaway cameos, but Abrams chose instead to make them extremely relevant to plot.

There isn’t too much more one can disclose without getting into spoiler territory, other than to say Abrams made a movie with a little something for everyone — but he did it well. He was asked to juggle the Star Wars universe for everyone’s amusement, and he didn’t drop a single ball.

In some slightly sad but wonderful way, Abrams is now a better “George Lucas” than George Lucas.

Perhaps the only two criticisms The Force Awakens may be susceptible to are: 1.) Many of the situations these characters must overcome are rewrapped versions of events from the original trilogy, and 2.) Certain scenes seem a bit rushed. I, however, am inclined to dismiss the first critique since history does repeat itself and, more importantly, Abrams’ script and direction were superb.

The second observation has merit, but it does not change the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a legitimate return to form after the embarrassments that were Episodes I-III.

If you haven’t seen J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, then I would suggest doing so sooner rather than later. There is one major spoiler that will not remain a secret for much longer, and it’s better to go into the theater without that knowledge.

Editors Note: I refrained from including spoilers in the review, but the comments section are fair game. Do not read the comments section if you want to avoid spoilers. 

Did ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ draw inspiration from Operation Focus during the Six-Day War?

Star Wars Force Awakens XWingThe new teaser trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is out, and it looks pretty darn amazing. It’s got a little something old, a little something new, and George Lucas has been replaced by J.J. Abrams. Score. However, the history nerd in me has his interest piqued because of the squadron of X-Wing fighters seemingly headed into battle about 100 feet above a large body of water. Did Mr. Abrams draw inspiration from Israel’s Six-Day War — Operation Focus in particular? If so, then I’m more excited to see the film.

If you’re not familiar with what the Israeli air force did during the Six-Day War in 1967, then look it up. In short, Israel’s air force pulled off a daring operation in which they flew over the Mediterranean — so low that they would not be picked up by Egyptian radar — and then destroyed the entire Egyptian air force.

If J.J. Abrams needed the Rebel Alliance to pull off an inspiring win, then drawing from Operation Focus was a brilliant move. If it turns out to have absolutely nothing to do with the movie, then I guess we’re just left with really cool images of X-Wing Fighters flying over water. It’s a win-win situation.

Star Wars Force AwakensLet me know what you thought of the trailer below, and make sure to include your thoughts on the new lightsaber as well. I think the crossguard looks cool, but I’m not sure if it would work in battle. Since I’m not a Sith Lord, I’ll withhold judgment until December, 2015.