An Open Letter to J.J. Abrams

Rey Letter.jpg

Dear Mr. Abrams,

Upon the release of the first The Force Awakens trailer in November of last year, I blogged about my affinity for what looked like a return to glory for the franchise – practical effects, grittiness and energy to spare. Along with the trailer’s design, I enthusiastically shared my excitement in being able to take my (then 4 year old little girl) to see her first Star Wars film on the big screen.

Well, opening day finally came and I relished in observing my daughter’s face (behind Stormtrooper 3D glasses) look in awe as the opening frame encapsulated the screen. To provide context, both my children (5 and 2) are no strangers to the multiplex. We frequent often; from kid friendly fare such as Peanuts to “big kid” flicks such including Antman and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  With that said, Charlie Brown and Hank Pym are not Han Solo , Rey or Kylo Ren. This is evident in the two days that have passed since viewing the film, as my daughter is still asking many questions about the universe that unfolded in front of her.

In my daughter’s words “the director made an excellent movie.” Seeing Star Wars with her and observing her being taken away by Tie-Fighters, X-Wings and blazing light sabres will be a cinema going memory that will never fade. More importantly and here is my sincere thanks to you as a father to a little girl, the character of Rey has had a monumental impact on her. Without giving spoilers away to potential readers, Rey left an empowering impression on her. Although, from birth, she has been nurtured to be a vocal, strong and empowered girl,  it is rare in a culture of hyper mediated renderings of woman that are often entrapped in complicity, to see a fully developed, strong, empathic, courageous and loving female character fill both scenes of contemplation and action. No high heels required – Rey is practical and is aware of who she is.

This is The Force Awakens greatest achievement. Beyond balancing old with new and sparking a well-paced through back to the original, your characterization of Rey is the film’s greatest gift to audiences. She is a Ripley to my daughter’s generation.

With all of this, my thanks are extended to you.

We can’t wait for the universe to continue its evolution in Episode 8.



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