Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens review
Star Wars! These two words are all I need to say when describing what is probably the most iconic cinema story of all time. I’ve never said it was the greatest (some may argue that though), it’s responsible for reinvigorating the science fiction genre, raising the stakes on blockbusters, and turning a man with a creative vision into one of the biggest leaders in Hollywood. Star Wars has transcended upon generation after generation, letting children and their grandparents relive the tale of a warrior’s journey through the combination of several likable characters and amazing special effects. This original series became of one cinema’s greatest treasures…until the prequels.
Three movies were never enough, so a whole galaxy of merchandising and novels had to fill the gap for fans that wanted more. It wasn’t until 1999 when creator George Lucas returned to the galaxy far, far away to give us three more movies that gave us information on how the events in Star Wars came to be. I don’t think the prequel saga is as bad as most people say it is, but I can agree that it was no where as entertaining as the original trilogy. Now under the mind of J.J. Abrams, the battle continues in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It’s revealed that sometime after the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker has left and has been missing for years and that though the Galactic Empire was weakened after the death of Darth Vader and the Emperor, it didn’t end the war by a long shot.
The First Order is searching for Luke as is the Resistance. The key seems to be within a ball-like droid, BB-8 whose owner is the best resistance pilot, Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Isaac). BB-8 manages to escape before Poe is taken away by commander of the First Order, Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver).
BB-8 is found by junk scavenger Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) who also bumps into Finn (played by John Boyega), a Stormtropper who goes rouge after seeing the horrors of the First Order. The two and BB-8 manage to get away from a First Order attack after acquiring the Millennium Falcon from the previous movies. Along the way, they come across Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford), Chewbacca, Leia (played by Carrie Fischer) and more as the resistance takes another stance to try to find Luke (played by Mark Hamil) and battle the First Order.
Much of the hype driving this movie is that not only is it a long awaited sequel to such an iconic franchise, but also that J.J. Abrams is taking over George Lucas. The Force Awakens not only reminded me why I love Star Wars, but made me excited by the possibility of seeing another one soon. The result is a fantastic, exciting movie that boasts a ton of great things.
The casting is perfect as the older crew fits into their old shoes just as well, especially Harrison Ford who seems more at ease here then he was in the last Indiana Jones. The newcomers like Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega have no problem setting themselves up as new likable characters that should set into the Star Wars saga without a problem. The gold star here goes to Daisy Ridley who this movie really belongs to. While I won’t say why, she is perhaps one of the best new strong female characters (since Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road).
Adding to the show is the special effects which learned it’s lesson from the previous movies that it’s not digital all the way, but a blend of practical and computer effects that bring it’s life back to the good old days of the original trilogy.
The story is also really good, taking us on another hero’s journey that the Star Wars movies is famous for telling. Though it is familiar, it feels fresh with the way it is written and portrayed. The only problem I had without giving anything away, is that it does feel like it makes too many winks at the original Star Wars movie, following certain beets we’ve seen before. While not bad, it did manage to remain predictable in some areas.
I’ll give this four and a half BB-8’s out of five. I doubt anyone coming in will say that it was bad from beginning to end. The Force Awakens is properly titled, as the folks at Disney and J.J. Abrams have brought back the science fiction magic in such a new and fantastical way that everyone will be glad they saw this. So may the force be with you and longer as the movie should delight you.