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The Force Awakens: The New Hope

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now in theaters!

It all started back in 1977 with Star Wars IV: A New Hope. As we all know, it was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Good vs. Evil. Droids and Lightsabers. Storm Troopers and Jedi’s. Han Solo and Princess Leia. The Death Star and the Millennium Falcon.

The spoiler-free reviews and reactions from the privileged few who have already seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been stellar. And why shouldn’t they be? Embracing the out-of-this-world expectations, director and sci-fi aficionado J.J. Abrams seems to have delivered on the fresh reboot of the beloved franchise. The trailers look fantastic, the cast incredible (Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac), the story appears to have an intriguing premise and feel and, most importantly, the sets are rooted in practical effects.

The latter is paramount because green-screens can ruin even the most popular series (cough cough Star Wars prequels). Yes, there are digital effects in The Force Awakens. However, practical sets seems to have trumped digital wherever possible. This extra effort and attention to detail is a great tribute to the original 1977 and 1980s episodes IV-VI, which were driven by the story and its iconic characters.

Speaking of iconic characters, perhaps the best way to prepare for Episode VII is to watch the most famously pivotal scene from the Star Wars saga.

Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader.

After the disastrous prequels, The Force Awakens seems to be offering Star Wars fans optimism not only for this movie, but for the next two chapters episodes in this epic space saga.

J.J. Abrams + Company (Bad Robot and Lucasfilm) seems to have found the force within themselves and it has led them to their cinematic destiny:

The right side of the Star Wars universe.