STARRING: 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, Kenny Baker and Max von Sydow
A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
Now comes the cinematic event that many have been waiting for. Though I’ll be talking about the film in this next paragraph is literally what is giving to you in the first five minutes of the film, scrolling text and all. If you consider this spoiler worthy then feel free to click out now and return after you have viewed the film for yourself and enjoy the experience.
After the events of Return of the Jedi in which the second Death Star was destroyed, thirty years have passed and Luke Skywalker has vanished off the face of the galaxy. With the Galactic Empire fallen, The First Order has become its successor, searching the galaxy for Luke as is the Resistance, a military force backed by the Republic and led by Luke’s sister Leia. The best pilot in the Resistance, Poe Dameron, is sent to retrieve an item from a village on the planet Jakku which is set to contain key information to Luke’s whereabouts.
So here we are. Episode VII of Star Wars, a beginning of a new chapter, new trilogy, new characters and some familiar faces that fans have been fond of for generations….that didn’t come from the prequels. The Force Awakens arrives with a bang in setting up the current situation within the galaxy a few decades after Return of the Jedi thanks to the traditional scrolling text and arrive on planet Jakku establishing a few key characters for the journey ahead. Right from the get go, The Force Awakens brings a key ingredient that felt missing from the prequel instalments (in my opinion) was that sense of fun and it comes in bucketloads to the point you can smell the cheese with the blink and you’ll miss and close your ears and you’ll miss nods to the original trilogy, though for some people I’m sure the bags of nostalgia brought to us here by J. J Abrams and company may be overcooked too much. The action sequences themselves are actually shot and edited really well especially when it comes down to the dog fights in the sky. It helps that the practical effects take up most of the screen time with the prequel levels of CGI kept to a minimum by comparison.
In terms of mixing the balance of the old guard with the newcomers, I like how it established the new set of characters to take the story forward, particularly Daisy Ridley’s Rey, John Boyega’s Finn and Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron and in terms of performances they brought it to the table, especially Ridley and Boyega in terms of they’re still relative newcomers in the early stages of their career while Oscar Isaac feels like he was just born to fit into this universe with that amount of charisma and charm he carries as Poe. The returning cast in particular are fine in their roles, though it’s the duo of Han Solo and Chewbacca that get the most screen time and Harrison Ford possibly gives the best performance in the film as Han. In terms of Adam Driver playing Kylo Ren, visually the character looks the part, I’m not entirely sold in his motivation. He shares an interesting dynamic between himself and Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux as there’s almost a game of oneupsmanship between the two of them. In terms for what is going to takeover children’s christmas wish list this year is the little guy BB-8, the droid is bloody awesome! As for negatives The Force Awakens has a familiar feel to it…and by that the beats are very familiar to the point that the film almost feels reboot-esque than sequel so the film feels more safe than anything can happen, that may be nitpicking but that’s what brought the film down for me in terms of finding something negative.
Indeed The Force Awakens for Star Wars as it hits the ground running with this new instalment, recapturing some of the original magic while establishing the new characters to make us care for them. Sure it feels familiar to the original to the point of doing similar things but the base has been set to build foundations on. 8/10