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Star Wars: The FOrce Awakens - Movie Review


5 stars

I cannot imagine the pressure JJ Abrams must have felt putting this film together. Again, after a decade of waiting, the anticipation for the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, had reached new heights of expectation. After the critical failure of George Lucas’s prequel trilogy, and a truly acidic consensus for an admittedly flawed trilogy that failed to retain the wonder and tone of the originals, it was always going to be a tall order to bring Episode 7 to the screen and a very brave director.

When it was announced the new trilogy would be made, it was met with a lot scepticism and fear. The world had changed dramatically since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, and it took no time for it to hit the web and start with the negativity and doubt. So bad had Star Wars’ creative virtues fell in the eyes of a vocal audience, that even the man responsible for it all, bad and good (something not mentioned enough the last decade), hung up his hat and sold the franchise to Disney for a cool 4 billion.

JJ Abrams eventually agreed to be the man to set the tone for a new generation after understandably balking at the notion of picking up where George Lucas left off. And this is where a set of factors took a page out of Star Wars’ own narrative: a new hope emerged. In Abrams, you got something the fans wanted: one of their own. JJ is far too savvy a businessman and far too much a gentleman to ever badmouth Mr. Lucas but he knew what a Star War’s movie should feel like, and what was needed to make it organic to the original three again. He got the writer of the finest Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes back, he ditched the overreliance on effects, avoided all the excessive fakery of the prequels, he cast unknowns to type just as Lucas had in the beginning. His sensibilities were the world’s sensibilities and he set out to make a STAR WARS film, with no compromise.

Set 30+ years after the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker has disappeared. From the ashes of the Empire a new threat has risen throughout the galaxy, the First Order, and they are actively searching for the last jedi to eradicate all hope of their return. A confluence of events on the outer rim planet of Jakku see a Stormtrooper defect, a resistance pilot hide plans in a droid, and a solitary parts scavenger stumble upon that droid and begin a new adventure that will pull them all into old legends and new dangers.

If you are fearful of the unfamiliar, as this film and the coming sequels are about a new generation of characters, I’m confident within the first scenes of these new characters you’ll feel like you’re back on familiar territory. Each is drawn thoroughly into their respective roles with a succinct and fun narrative that is classic Star Wars. It’s not too long before familiar faces come into the fore and it feels like they never left. Of particular note of the fidelity to these iconic, beloved characters, compare Chewbacca in this movie to how he was in a glorified cameo in the last. This is the Chewie we remember; he’s funny, banters with Han naturally and takes away some big laughs. The new cast to a one are spectacular. Daisy Ridley’s Rey is obviously this generation’s main character and she’s wonderfully wide eyed and promises great things for the future. John Boyega brings a new unexplored dimension to the Stormtrooper Finn and is appealingly moral and witty and flawed. BB-8 is also a successful new character as the rather emotive droid.

The effects are plentiful, but there is a perfect blending of real effects and CGI, and as a result the actors had something to work with—it shows. The script is solid. It’s economic, pacing is rapid fire, but characterisation is never compromised. Everything has been worked out and this film perfectly steeps you back into this world.

This film is a resounding crowd pleaser. In JJ you have been given the fan’s voice to recapture the magic of the originals. It is a fun movie to experience, it is emotional, and will give you more than one shock throughout its narrative, and it sets the stage for the others perfectly. If Rian Johnson does half as well with Episode 8, we are in for an entertaining few years. Well done Mr. Abrams, your bravery and love for this world is in every scene. In this reviewer’s opinion, best one since Empire.


[tab title="Film Details"]

Star Wars: The FOrce Awakens - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.
135 mins
: J.J. Abrams
Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams
Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
: Action | Fantasy | Sci-fi
Every generation has a story.
Memorable Movie Quote: "The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power, too."
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site: http://www.starwars.com/the-force-awakens/
Release Date:
December 18, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available
Synopsis: A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).


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