With the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi set for Thursday, we thought now would be a good time to have a retrospective on The Force Awakens. We’re now two years removed from the film that brought Star Wars back to the big screen for the first time in 10 years; and to some, in over 3 decades. With that in mind, and with the fervor ramping up to The Last Jedi, we posed this question in a round table discussion, and stated our predictions for domestic box office numbers for The Last Jedi’s opening weekend. Many people think that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was just a rehash of A New Hope. Do you agree or do you believe TFA was something more?
Derreck @corruptingthesystem (IG) :
The Force Awakens is what the Jurassic World franchise is doing. Redoing and fixing any undesirable parts, to recycle an already serviceable mythos and enhance it accordingly. A New Hope was a great movie, arguably one of the best ever. So when it comes to The Force Awakens, the filmmakers applied the cookie cutter parameters to it and just seasoned to the current palette of the modern film audience. The Force Awakens achieved what Episodes 1-3 could not by reflecting on what came before, refurbishing outdated conventions and reminding us of our love so we could prepare for a new cinematic Star Wars adventure.
(Derreck’s The Last Jedi prediction: $215 Million opening weekend)
Nate @npgpx (IG):
It’s easy to say that The Force Awakens is a remake of A New Hope. The Force Awakens is its own film. At the same time, it features a strong call back to the A New Hope because I think it had to. It needed to get the bad taste of the prequel’s out of people’s minds and reintroduce them to the “magic” of the universe that people first fell in love with. I think even the most critical of The Force Awaken whiners can agree that this felt more like a Star Wars film than the prequels ever did.
(Nate’s The Last Jedi prediction: $220 Million opening weekend)
BK @playlifeyourway (IG):
I can understand the different schools of thought heading into the production and development of The Force Awakens. On one hand; your senses are shown a concerted effort to completely depart from the convoluted storytelling style and conflicting messages of Episodes 1-3. And at the same time; you are watching a film written almost as a love letter to Star Wars fans reminding them that “hey eps 4-6 are still classics, tho,” resulting in deliberate nods to the audience such as Han’s “We’re home…” line (albeit some being more obvious than others). What we ended up with as a theatrical experience, was more fanfare, celebration and narrative foundation for the REAL story (Episodes 8 & 9). So was Awakens (Ep 7) a throw away…um for the most part…yes. How? Its basically Eps 4 & 5 (almost beat-for-beat at times). You get maybe about 30-45 minutes of original content. The rest is just fun, which played well in theaters at the time, but doesn’t hold up as well years later.
(BK’s The Last Jedi prediction: $200 Million opening weekend)
Alex @AlexDMaldo (Twitter):
Let’s get this out of the way first. The Force Awakens was better than the prequels. The REAL question is: Do we feel that The Force Awakens lives up to the original trilogy (episodes 4-6)? What JJ Abrams did was try his best to handle a delicate situation. On one hand, you have people who hate the prequels for not being Star Wars at it’s core, and on the other you have people who want something new and refreshing. Disney and Abrams took the safe path, they made a movie that so closely follows the beats of the original trilogy that people have called it an outright remake. What I think it was, was gaining the trust of your core audience, and re-expand the reach that is arguably the most valuable film franchise in the world. I believe Disney accomplished this task. The Force Awakens, rehash/remake or not, is a good movie. It also sets the groundwork for new adventures in episode 8 & 9. I think the jury is still out on where The Force Awakens lands in the eyes of many, and a lot of that hinges on how Disney handles the franchise going into the next to films in the Skywalker Saga.
(Alex’s The Last Jedi prediction: $250 Million opening weekend)