Daisy Rigby and John Boyega in The Force Awakens
As a Star Wars fan, it’s always annoyed me that the films have been classed as a Boy Thing. But a quick poll around the InStyle office has unfortunately confirmed what a lot of people believe: most girls don’t like Star Wars. In fact, many women of all ages that I work with have never even seen ONE of the films. Not even the original! But with Star Wars: The Force Awakens taking over everything everywhere, you might find it hard to avoid being dragged to the cinema to watch the latest film over the coming weeks (I have no sympathy for you, but I’ve done a Star Wars cheat sheet for you that might be useful). And having seen the film last night, I can tell you that you’re in for a treat…even if you’ve never seen a Star Wars film in your life.
I grew up with Star Wars. Literally. I was born in the very year that the first film – A New Hope – was released: 1977. My memories of childhood from that moment on are completely intertwined with it. Early 1980s Christmas Eves for my family used to mean going to The Wishing Well pub with my parents, where they watched a brass band and carol singers in the bar while my brother and I joined the other kids in the room next door to watch Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Magical! The first trip to the cinema that I really remember was to see Return Of The Jedi in 1983 when I was six. And my older brother, Joe, had some Star Wars figures that I was under no circumstances allowed to play with, which, of course, made me want them even more.
You’d think that by the time I went to university my love of Star Wars might have worn off a bit, particularly seeing as a new film hadn’t been released for 12 years at that point. Wrong. My bedsheets when I first left home were old Star Wars ones (I know, chic). I met my now husband that year and the first Christmas present he ever bought me was a limited edition VHS box set of the trilogy, complete with the full scripts and beautiful art prints. It’s no coincidence that I said yes when he proposed the following year. And as soon as technology allowed in the early Noughties, my ring tone on my phone was the tune played by The Cantina Band (AKA that song from Kellie Bright's brilliant Star Wars Charleston on Strictly Come Dancing and the new Subway advert).
So it was with much excitement that I attended the press screening of the new film a whole TWO DAYS before the UK release, making me one of the first people in the whole world to see The Force Awakens (squeee!!!). As far a Star Wars fans are concerned, it doesn’t disappoint…but what’s in it for you if, unlike me, you don’t really care whether Han or Greedo shot first?
MORE: See all the red carpet looks from The Force Awakens premiere
EIGHT REASONS YOU'LL LOVE THE FORCE AWAKENS
1. Let’s start with the fact that it works perfectly well as a stand-alone film. While there are loads of in jokes for the die hards, you really don’t need to know them to enjoy the movie.
2. It’s got a stellar female cast including Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie and Lupita Nyong'o. There are goodies, baddies, weirdos, extras...we’re represented everywhere as strong badass characters and not a metallic bikini in sight. If, like me, the little girl in you wanted to be Luke Skywalker WAY more than Princess Leia, you’ll leave this film happy.
3. J.J. Abrams is a brilliant director. There’s obviously loads of action, but plenty of LOLs too. Newbie John Boyega in particular impresses with his comic timing.
4. The special effects aren’t over the top – there’s loads of live action stuff and while the CGI isn’t OTT, the effects that are used are brilliant. Look out for a completely unrecognisable Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata.
5. There's even a cute factor - the droid BB8 (above) is absolutely charming and will have you saying "awww!".
6. It’s beautifully shot. The sweeping landscape shots combined with the classic music makes for some real spine tingly moments.
7. Daniel Craig MIGHT make a sneaky cameo. After explicitly denying filming a small part in the film, rumours are that Craig is actually a Stormtrooper in one special scene ("You will remove these restraints", is all we'll say...). We'll wait for his confirmation.
8. It’s not too long! At just over two hours, you might as well take the risk and give it a go. You won't regret it!
That time Hannah suggested this guy was a llittle short for a Stormtrooper at the Preen show at London Fashion Week