By Norm Bour & Christopher Trela | NB Indy
Can you duplicate the Mona Lisa? Can anyone beside Michelangelo create another David sculpture?
That was our fear when we attended a screening of the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at The Port Theater in Corona del Mar.
Just like unwrapping a beautiful Christmas present to find something inside you always wanted, we’re happy to report that J.J. Abrams, the new “Star Wars” director, co-producer and co-writer, successfully continues the saga where Part VI left off (actually the third movie in the series if you discount the three prequels that came after), complete with nonstop action, excitement and even some welcome nostalgia.
Beginning on the planet Jakku with unknown pilot Poe Dameron, it takes a while to understand the characters and where they fit in to this new “Star Wars” plot puzzle. Also on Jakku is a young female scavenger called Rey, who has uncanny mechanical and fighting skills. They and several other new characters play important roles, as do a handful of familiar faces.
We don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but it’s safe to reveal that Rey and another newcomer, Finn, steal the old Millennial Falcon and later get picked up by none other than Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca. It was like seeing an old friend after many years apart, and the audience clapped in approval.
This new edition also brings the return of Princess (now General) Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, along with C3PO and R2D2. Missing, of course, is Darth Vader, but in his place we have a new villain, Kylo Ren, a Dark Side Jedi with similar powers. Later we understand how he got those powers.
There is a generous amount of déjà vu in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” as there are scenes on the ground as well as space battles that are reminiscent of the early “Star Wars” films.
As fans of sci-fi and comic book movies, we think this is a true “must see” film.
For us, the Port Theater was a must see venue. The seating is luxurious (choose between couches and recliners) and the food surprisingly good (we had pizza and appetizers, plus notable wine). We can’t think of a better place to see a movie.
Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to “Star Wars” in the comfort of the Port Theater. It runs through Jan. 11. Reserve tickets at PortNewport.com.