The new young leads include a strong young woman (a la Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games) and the first black character we have seen in that far-far-away galaxy. There is a cute new droid, and furry Chewbacca returns to reprise his role in the first trilogy.
The plot has many action scenes, but not all of them make sense when you think about them afterward.
And of course the movie ends with two big story questions designed to bring the audience back for the next of the five more planned Star Wars films.
Honestly, if the Disney marketing department had been asked to turn out the script, it could not have done a better job.
Star Wars Products
Naturally, big new Star Wars areas (a la the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando) are being readied at Disneyland and Disney World.
And of course there are the usual Star Wars products -- shirts, hats, bobble-heads, posters, lunch boxes and Lego sets.
But these are only the beginning. Here are some Star Wars-themed products that I have noticed recently.
|Star Wars Crocs|
|Star Wars toothbrushes|
|Star Wars aprons|
|Star Wars lipsticks|
|Star Wars bedroom sets ($231 for the twin size)|
|Star Wars soccer balls -- and Star Wars basketballs too|
|Star Wars pencils|
|Star Wars Pez dispensers|
Star Wars at the Grocery Store
|Star Wars Grapes (and Star Wars oranges and Star Wars apples)|
|Star Wars Coffee-Mate|
|Star Wars water|
|Star Wars yogurt|
|Star Wars Cheez-its|
|Star Wars cereals|
|Star Wars macaroni and cheese|
At the risk of sounding like a grinch, I wonder about the ubiquity of these promotions, most of which are pitched at children.
Kids naturally will want to play with toy light sabers and to dress up as Star Wars characters next Halloween. I understand that people want to participate in the newest thing.
But children are less sophisticated consumers than adults. It makes me uneasy when children are market targets for so many unrelated products that happen to have Star Wars labels slapped on them.
I imagine that more than a few families are drawing some lines here.