Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review


     This was a film that was never supposed to exist. The rumors and legends were played up for years, and then, well, it’s not only happened but it’s finally here. That was my thought process the entire time watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In many ways the hype for this installment, while not as bad as The Phantom Menace, still gave enough cause to be weary, even with its pedigree. After finally witnessing the events onscreen, the film carries a magic all its own.
     Since the trailers of the movie didn’t tell us jack shit about the plot, I do have to issue a spoiler warning to all who wish to go in cold.
Still there?
      Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has vanished, Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han (Harrison Ford) have been searching furiously for him, while also fighting a new threat called The First Order lead by a mysterious Force user named Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). A humble girl named Rey (Daisy Ridley) meets a man named Finn (John Boyega), along with Poe (Oscar Isaac) and are shocked to learn that the myths they grew up with, are all true.
     I did the best I could to not include spoilers, it reads like fucking mad libs. The joy of the film is discovering it’s secrets, and exactly what happened in the thirty years since Return of the Jedi. That’s why we all came, but why should we stay? Characters. Director JJ Abrams is a fan of characters. Just enough mystery, just enough fun. It was weird seeing the movie because while many things did look familiar, it just felt completely different. This is the first time in over thirty years that someone other than George Lucas has directed a Star Wars movie. That made it a very interesting ride. I’m not saying it looks like an Abrams movie; I’m saying it doesn’t look like Lucas, and yeah, that’s a real good thing.
     One thing I do need to touch on without having to go into specifics, are the criticisms that the movie rehashes earlier plot points. No shit. Did you know that the sky is blue?  Because it is. I was downright counting on certain elements rehashing. It’s the mythic nature of stories to repeat certain elements. Or the darker notion that history repeats itself; much like if you watch Phantom Menace, and A New Hope, you’ll notice more than a few passing similarities. The fun is figuring out how are things changing. Could they be changed?
     There’s way too much fun to be had here. The new characters are charming, but Kylo Ren is the villain that you always hoped for in a Star Wars movie; complex, arrogant, angry. Yeah, the movie had one or two scenes where the pacing was off, but that is just picking at straws. The only advice I can give on this picture is that this may not be the story you wanted, but it’s the experience that you needed to see. Bring on Episode VIII!!!


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