We respect our readers and anticipation around Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Any plots points discussed have already been revealed in trailers for the film.
Since its initial release, Star Wars became a cultural phenomenon. The science fiction space opera has gained an abundance of new fans since Disney purchased Lucasfilm. After a less than stellar prequel series, does The Force Awakens have what it takes to continue this legendary saga?
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Taking place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, it seems the Rebels’ efforts were somewhat in vein. A new sect, The First Order, has risen in place of the old Empire. They plan to eradicate the rebels and the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker. Unfortunately for them, Luke disappeared some time ago and no one has seen him since. Not even the Rebels, now called the Rebellion, know of his whereabouts.
The movie starts off with the series trademark rolling yellow text of exposition. It seems Disney has learned from Lucasfilm’s mistakes and created a short, sweet compilation of text free of any politics or meandering. Director J. J. Abrams shows there’s no place for politics anymore in the Star Wars universe.
Our titular heroes, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega), both have excellent intros and are introduced in very Star Wars-ways. Their acting talents and on-screen chemistry are a thrill to watch and quickly suck you into this epic story. The same can be said for almost all of the supporting characters, with the exception of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie). Her role feels somewhat forced and for a character given a lot of promotional material, she’s hardly featured at all.
The new villain is perfect. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) comes across as menacing and threatening with some interesting character details that really spice up the Star Wars movie mythos. It’s a welcome change after quite a few generic villains from the past six entries.
Almost all of the dialogue, emotion, and humor in the new movie feels natural compared to the prequels. There are one or two motivations that don’t quite fit together.
The humor is akin to the original films, but retooled for modern audiences. There is some slapstick and physical comedy here and there, but it doesn’t feel forced and the majority of the humor comes from dialogues between the characters.
Set pieces in The Force Awakens really steal some of the scenes. After the CGI-fest prequel films, Abrams has opted for a large number of built set pieces. Certain parts of the film, such as space battles, are CGI, but it’s not overdone or over the top. The majority of The Force Awakens feels like it could have been filmed alongside the original movies. It’s great that Abrams has captured all of the magic that make the originals so special.
John Williams’s score rekindles thoughts of Tatooine and Hoth while updating and creating new melodies for a newer age. Each piece of music perfectly captures its specific scene while adding emotion.
Though many fans were worried J. J. Abrams would create a Star-Trek-Star-Wars movie, this entry stands on its own as a Star Wars title. He’s done a fantastic job of bringing the series to the big screen once again.
Verdict: The Force Awakens is a worthy sequel to the Star Wars saga. This seventh installment is sure to capture the hearts of many new and old Star Wars fans alike. It’s an emotion ride of galactic proportions.