Review: Star Wars – The Force Awakens

The Force Has Awoken
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Summary

J.J. Abrams directs ‘Stars Wars: The Force Awakens’ the first sequel to the Star Wars: Original Trilogy, and the first film in the franchise since much aligned Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy.

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J.J. Abrams directs ‘Stars Wars: The Force Awakens’ the first sequel to the Star Wars: Original Trilogy, and the first film in the franchise since much aligned Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy.

From the ashes of the Galactic Empire rises a new threat in the form of the First Order and the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) defects from the Order and crash-lands on the desert planet Jakku, where he befriends a young scavenger called Rey (Daisy Ridley) and her droid BB-8. The three adventures then joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) to help the Resistance destroy the First Order.

It’s clear that the Prequel Trilogy has cast a long shadow over the decision making for this film. After the digital mess that was the Prequels ‘The Force Awakens’ goes back to the tone and feel of the original trilogy, and thankfully so. And it’s not just the tone of the originals that the film looks back too, old favourites also make a return. Original cast members Harrison Ford , Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker put in excellent performances that gives the film the heart it may have otherwise lacked. New cast members Daisy Ridley and John Boyega aren’t too far behind, both putting in sympathetic and charismatic performances that will certainly stand the next two films in good stead.

As with J.J. Abrams previous work the pacing is excellent, rarely dropping a beat, and where the pace does briefly dip it quickly picks back up again. John Williams score is also top draw, seamlessly blending new and old themes together. The plot, however is a bit more contentious. It’s hard to escape the feeling that if this film was released back in 1999, in place of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, in all probability, the plot would have been heavily criticised for its lack of originally and close similarities to the first Star Wars film, A New Hope.

But, this isn’t 1999 and sadly we all did suffer The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith movies. As a result, even though the story isn’t the most original in the series, it’s difficult to blame the film makers for going in the direction they did. After the debacle of the last three films, it makes sense that they played it safe and returned to the roots of the original series, and it’s clear that everyone involved in the making of ‘The Force Awakens‘ clearly loves the original films and that their hearts were in the right place. It’s also clear the film makers enjoyed themselves so much then even invited their friends along to appear in the movie, check out The Raid actors cameos!

It may not be the most original film in the world, but it’s certainly not a soulless cash grab either. In that respect it’s very much mission accomplished for J.J. Abrams, and with the series now back on a sure footing we should hopefully enjoy some new stories, with a more original plot, in the next two films.

In short, the Force has definitely awoken.

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