Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Star Wars is the most well-known franchise on the planet. There is no question about it. Almost everybody absolutely loves it. It’s given people great memories, and in some cases, changed lives. The first film I explicitly remember seeing in theaters was Revenge of the Sith. I would watch the original trilogy over and over as a kid. My brother and I knew the all the lines and would assign each other characters to play. It’s something I hold very closely to my heart, as with a lot of people. Three years ago when it was announced that Disney had bought Lucasfilm and was going into production on new Star Wars films, it seemed too good to be true. Yet here we are.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. As Disney hasn’t given away much of the plot at all with the marketing, I honestly do not feel like I could write anything about the plot without spoiling it. So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s easy to see that this is the most anticipated film of the decade for a lot of people. But does it live up to expectations? Does this film feel like the Star Wars that we all know and love? Here’s what I thought…
This is a Star Wars film. There’s no other way to say it. It feels like Star Wars. The Force Awakens managed to capture that classic feeling that we all felt whilst in a galaxy far, far away.
Let’s start with the newcomers to the franchise; Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. They were all amazing in their respective roles. I was kind of nervous going in that they weren’t going to be able to hold up the weight of this film. Because, while the original cast is in it, this new crew is very much the focus of the film. Every one of them did their jobs brilliantly! The chemistry amongst all of them was great. They all worked so well together, and every time they were on the screen you felt like this were actual people, not just actors. Kylo Ren as portrayed by Adam Driver was so much better than expected. I was looking forward to him, but he blew my expectations out of the water.
However, there were a few very minor details that could have been tightened up a little bit. Because most of the films effects are practical, when CGI is used it’s very noticeable. There was one scene in particular (that I won’t spoil) that the CG was way too over-the-top.
The way this film introduces the original cast was fantastic. They resisted the urge to make them the stars of the film and riddle the whole thing with references to the original films. While those references are there, the movie doesn’t rely on them. The film as a whole could have been one big nostalgia fest, but it wasn’t. It was an actual film that forwarded the plot of Star Wars.
Conversely, there were a few characters that I would have liked to see more of. Granted, this film is the first of a new trilogy, so we can expect a lot more from them. But, the marketing was misleading in the fact that some characters you’d expect to play a major role, are barely in the film at all.
The directing and cinematography in The Force Awakens was unlike anything we’ve seen in Star Wars before, and it was a welcome change. This film was shot masterfully. J.J. Abrams really makes you feel the gravitas of outer space and the magnitude of the events unfolding. He did a magnificent job directing this movie. It was undoubtedly a difficult task, and congratulations J.J., you’ve given fans around the world another great movie to cherish.
The music in the film was better than most films. But I have to say, after one viewing, it’s the least memorable of the whole Star Wars saga. There are no new scores that really stand out in my mind after viewing. This could change after I see it again, but for now, the score was a little disappointing.
BB-8 was one of my personal favorite things about this film. It reminds me a lot of R2-D2 in the original trilogy, but it wasn’t a straight copy of R2. BB-8 was definitely its own thing, and it provided some of the best moments in this film. It wasn’t just there for the kids either. Parents and their children will love BB-8. I have a strong feeling that there will be a lot of little droids under the Christmas tree this year.
This film had a very good emotional range. The humor in the film was surprisingly outstanding. It felt a lot like the smart humor of the original trilogy, rather than the Jar-Jar humor of the prequels. Each character in this film shines in their own moments. The Force Awakens makes you laugh, cry, cringe, and holler with joy. You’ll share great moments of joy with these characters, yet join them in facing the troubles that ensue.
When the credits started to roll in my theater, The Force Awakens received a well-deserved round of applause from everyone in the crowd. J.J. Abrams directed this film masterfully, it was a completely original look at Star Wars, yet it stayed true to the nature we’ve all come to love. There were a few things here and there that could have been a little better, but at the end of the day I loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens! I can’t quite give it a perfect score, as it does have its flaws. But, this is without question my favorite film of the year so far. It feels so great to step back into the galaxy of Star Wars.
So what did you think of Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Where would you rank it among all of the other Star Wars films? Would you like me to do a spoiler-filled review next week sometime? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and editorials!
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