Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Star Wars! nuthin’ but Staar Waars!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally out. This is truly the most anticipated movie of the year. Now that the world has been given ample time to watch this film, here, we, go!
The Force Awakens takes place about thirty years after Luke became a Jedi and the second Death Star was destroyed. Now he’s disappeared and the First Order (what became of the Galactic Empire) and the Resistance (backed by the Republic and led by General Leia) search the galaxy to find him.

The film is directed by J.J. Abrams, it stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max von Sydow. It’s written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.

Now that the weekend has past you’ve all had a chance to see The Force Awakens, spoilers ahoy!

The good; the original cast is back, Hamill, Ford, Fisher, Daniels (and others) return. It’s great seeing them again, we wouldn’t want to have it any other way. And we wouldn’t want a new trilogy without them, so glad that they signed on.

Abrams made this film in the way that the previous films were done, it fits right in with the rest rather than being an Abrams film in the Star Wars Franchise. Sure it’s got his tropes; shakey cam, whip zooms, red motifs, lens flares, debris in frame… but it doesn’t call out to itself like in the Star Trek “films.”

From the moment go this film had me. When the title bursts on screen and the familiar score booms I was already there! The world of the light side and the dark side is all there, the simple story of good versus evil set in a sci-fi fantasy world is what Star Wars is. It’s as if we hadn’t left. It’s a glimpse “into a larger world” and I can’t wait to see more.

*SPOILERS* There’s a confrontation scene between Han Solo and Kylo Ren, it’s a very important scene plot-wise as well as being character and emotionally driven. The staging of this scene is brilliant. Han is lit by pale blue on one side and a hint of red on the other, the same is done with Kylo, but the red then over shadows everything as the sun is devoured by the weapon, making the red light the only light on them both… then someone dies. It’s great visual communication of what’s going on.

The Force Awakens is the anti-prequels, it got me misty eyed at the most insignificant scenes, perhaps because of all the stuff we’ve had to endure after Return of the Jedi? Han and Leia being together on screen again carries so much weight because of the time that’s passed…
The poetry and mirroring of the other films that Lucas wanted with the prequels is actually here in this film. Rey longing and waiting for something more is the same as Luke wanting a better life, Jakku has two moons where Tatooine has two suns… I could go on and on and wave my nerd flag, but I’ll move on.

BB8 will win you over, from his first scene where he parts ways with Poe, the urgency and emotions projected on to a non-human object hits me in all the right ways, then when BB8 is reunited with Poe on the Resistance base, it’s a great cinematic one-two punch how BB8 nearly runs Finn over to greet Poe. *END SPOILERS*

The bad; you haven’t seen this movie yet? What are you waiting for?

These are all my personal biases… I wanted more space craft. When we last we left our heroes at the end of Return of the Jedi we had X-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings and Y-Wings attacking the new Death Star. But this time around we have only a new X-wing, where are the other space crafts? Hahaha

I wanted more Captain Phasma.

The Force Awakens left me with a bunch of questions, which means I’ll have to wait two years for the next movie?!?! Not necessarily bad, just bad for me.

Overall, it’s like we’re back home. Albeit, it’s a dirty lived-in, future world, but it’s a world that’s a part of our culture now, each generation since its inception has grown up with these stories and after taking a break I’m glad we’re back.

Side note, there are cameos and cameos, other than Daniel Craig two guys from The Raid appear. Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian make an appearance as gang members, watch for them.

Side side note, on my second viewing of the film I could hear a grown man cry right behind me, and he kept sniffling after a certain scene till the end of the movie. There’s something in here for everyone.

His name was Solo, he was a pilot
with a blaster at his side and a smile twelve parsecs wide...

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