Star Wars returns in full force
IT'S been 10 years since the last Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge Of The Sith, was released.
After that supremely disappointing film, which prompted us to look to the heavens and scream "nooooo" emphatically like Darth Vader, I'm pleased to report that the franchise has found its magic again with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Director J.J. Abrams is a worthy successor to the Star Wars legacy. He has stuck so faithfully to the first Star Wars film that it will be hard to disappoint the fans. The majesty, wonderment and drama of the original trilogy is most definitely back.
Here are five things I learnt after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Wednesday night in Singapore.
GIRL POWER RULES
The Force is strong with newcomer Daisy Ridley, who kicks some serious butt as Rey.
Scavenger Rey is so plucky and resourceful that she is the new Princess Leia, but without the attitude.
I'm super impressed by how she fights off baddies with her staff and proves herself a handy mechanic and pilot time and again.
In a twist on gender stereotypes, it is Rey who constantly rescues former Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega).
IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR
The origin of villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is one of the great mysteries of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Hint: His fate is inextricably tied to the heroes of the original trilogy - Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo.
Just as all the Star Wars movies were ultimately a family drama set in a galaxy far, far away, the latest film continues with the themes of atoning for past sins and families being caught in the struggle between the Light and Dark sides.
HAN IS KING
When Harrison Ford made his first appearance as Han Solo during the Wednesday night screening, the audience let out huge cheers.
It is no wonder, as the fans have missed his wit, sarcasm and handsome mug a great deal.
While we had young Obi-Wan Kenobi and young(er) Yoda in the Star Wars prequels, we did not have Young Han. Han fans will be pleased to know they will get plenty of the loveable rogue in this film and he definitely shoots first on multiple occasions.
IT'S ALL ABOUT LUKE
Though much of the movie follows the adventures of Han Solo and his newly recruited allies, Rey and Finn, the question every viewer will have on their mind is: Where is Luke Skywalker?
The movie plays like a giant "Where's Luke?" game and fans will be glad to know their wait for the original Jedi hero will be ultimately rewarded.
DROIDS MAKE THE MOVIE
Star Wars just would not be the same without the intrepid droids rolling across the landscape.
This time, most of the rolling is done by new droid BB-8, or as some people know it, "the orange football".
BB-8 is certainly the new R2-D2, talking in the same adorable bops and beeps. He even has a similar sense of humour.
And never fear, for the original trilogy droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are around for some nostalgia as well.
THE NEW PAPER