Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Released December 17th, 2015
2 hrs 16 mins
Rated PG-13
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Action


Director: J. J. Abrams
Writer: Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, Michael Arndt

Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
Daisy Ridley as Rey
John Boyega as Stormtrooper FN-2187 / Finn
Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata
Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke
Domhnall Gleeson[8] as General Hux
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka

Review by Stephen M.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the epic space adventure that you would have hoped for when the last trilogy came out.  J. J. Abrams who has shown that he is more than capable in handling Sci-Fi franchises with huge fan bases pays homage to the original trilogy perhaps a bit too much.  With many similar themes taken out of The Empire Strikes Back, he does make it his own that is still well worth watching on the big screen especially if you are a fan of the franchise.

First thing that stood for me are the new characters from John Boyega's Finn to the new droid B-88. The characters each stand out well on their own with a sense of humor and realism in the middle of a galactic war.  J. J. Abrams creates a strong female lead in Rey played brilliantly by Daisy Ridley which can be seen as him catering to girls.  Think of her as Princess Leia but with more kick ass.

Besides the characters from the special effects to the settings and the soundtrack, J. J. Abrams foray into Star Wars is beautifully done.   So why do I consider the latest installment very good and not great?   While the film introduces many new elements and characters, you can't help but feel a sense of deja vu from the (Some may consider this a spoiler, though I try to keep it vague. Highlight to read the rest of the sentence.) father and son issues to bombing run of a weapon of the enemy to droid delivering a message, they're themes we have seen before in the first three original films.  Besides that, though the original films suffer through this as well and that is parts of the film tends switch to a plodding pace that lulls you to sleep until the next action scene.  Some of these scenes are more so that you can enjoy the amazing CGI and some in which you would think that J. J. was just padding up the run time.  Lastly, Kylo Ren, interesting villain in several ways but at the same time a bit disappointing with the way the character turns out and Adam Driver as a choice actually.  It wasn't necessarily that his performance was poor but I guess I am just use to him in comedy roles like the movie What If with Daniel Radcliffe.

Overall, the movie will be a delight for new and old fans.  However as I have mentioned the film borrows a lot of themes from the past movies which may or may not be a good thing depending on your view.  From the trailers, you should already know Harrison Ford is back as Han which along with him, Chewbecca and the Millennium Falcon as well as others from the original trilogy will have you cheering.  While Finn, Rey and B-88 put their stamp as the new kids on the block showing that there is still a lot of stories left to tell.  The film with its flaws will still be an enjoyable time on the big screen if you are not one of the many throng that have seen it on opening day already.


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