Fans of the galaxy far, far away have several questions about J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, but there's only one billion dollar query that everyone wants to know the answer to. Is the movie good? After The Phantom Menace burned a hyped up moviegoing public back in 1999, many have been afraid to even think about this in the months leading up to the Force Awakens premiere.
The various trailers and TV spots have certainly made many feel optimistic, and reactions from the cast have only fueled the excitement surrounding the project. With Disney getting ready to unveil Star Wars 7 at the world premiere on December 14 (and press screenings the day after), soon professional critics and the general public will get a chance to weigh in. Now, it's been revealed when they can share their thoughts with the world.
Collider is reporting that Lucasfilm will lift the Force Awakens review embargo on December 16, 2015, two days ahead of its wide theatrical release. This obviously includes full written reviews for publications, and typically social media reactions are also incorporated. Some may still sneak a tweet or two after immediately seeing the film, but for the most part all will be quiet on the Star Wars front until Disney says it's OK to talk openly about it.
It's not an understatement to say the first batch of Force Awakens reviews will generate heavy amounts of traffic. There is a lot riding on the movie's success. Not only do fans want to see the franchise return to the glory days of the original trilogy, Lucasfilm is hoping to release a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as people want. The best way to ensure continued business in a crowded marketplace is to make great, entertaining films, so everyone will be interested to see if Star Wars 7 lived up to the wild expectations.
Disney already knows The Force Awakens is a runaway hit at the box office. It's generated over $50 million in advanced ticket sales alone and is projected to have one of the biggest openings of all-time. Star Wars 7 is critic proof in regards to worldwide gross; this is more about setting a tone for the future of the series. If word-of-mouth for this film is not positive, it would be a major blemish for the franchise as a whole and diminish the enthusiasm that has underscored the Force Awakens marketing campaign. The studio needs to start this new era on the right foot or the fan base could turn against them.
Fortunately, there are many signs indicating The Force Awakens will be a triumphant comeback for the Skywalker saga. Die-hard fans like Simon Pegg have called it "genuinely magical," and the principal cast have maintained their personal excitement for the project as they've begun doing the promotional rounds. Those involved with the movie seem to know it's something special they can't wait to share, so fingers crossed they're not pulling a collective Jedi mind trick and acutally end 2015 at the movies with a bang.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens releases in theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.