Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars is back. As I’m sure most Star Wars fans did, I went into this new film with cautious optimism. I was thrilled to see another Star Wars movie again, but was very worried that the movie wouldn’t meet the high standards that the trilogy has set. After all, we already had a whole second trilogy fail in meeting those standards. But I am thrilled to say wholeheartedly that I loved The Force Awakens.
It’s so nice having characters with personality in a Star Wars movie again. Here we are introduced to two great new characters; the frightened Stormtrooper with a conscience Finn, and the amiable and rambunctious Rey. Both characters immediately drew me in to the movie, and once they met up and began interacting is when I was sold on episode 7 completely. Also, BB8 is adorable.
We are also given a great new villain, Kylo Ren, who is sort of in the shadow of Darth Vader but also completely his own character as well. I really like that they made the choice to give him a connection to the ongoing story rather than just have him as someone completely new. It provides a more meaningful undertone to everything.
The characters are really what make this movie great. But then on top of these new faces, we get to see our old friends return. I mean sure, the prequels had the droids and Yoda, but actually having Han and Leia and everyone return is something altogether different. This really is Star Wars again. And I’ve got to say, Harrison Ford fell right back into the role. It was so great to just be with these characters again.
The story mirrors that of the first Star Wars, while putting its own spin on things. The main plotline is very similar, while the characters layers are quite a bit different. Finn is trying to find a balance between cowardice and heroism, Rey is discovering things about herself almost entirely on her own, and Han is haunted by his past. However, I don’t think it was necessary for the movie have a “bigger and better” death star, the First Order resurgence was enough of a threat on its own.
This will be the movie’s thermal exhaust port, where the attackers of the film will take aim. Clearly it was an intentional choice to mirror the story, a decision which some will like and others won’t. It doesn’t bother me, other than the fact that it gives the naysayers and detractors their ammunition.
One more thing I need to talk about is the look of the film. Force Awakens looks magnificent because it actually looks like it exists within the same world as the original films. This is a big deal, because it provides that sense of cohesion we fans have been longing for. The ships and sets look great (the Falcon is back!), the CGI is minimal and not too distracting (except for one character perhaps), while the camera work still manages to make it all feel modern at the same time.
I am elated right now because I have been given a chance to fall in love with Star Wars again. It’s brand new and familiar all at the same time. Somehow the filmmakers were able to recapture that magic, a task which must have seemed monumental (3720 to 1 odds perhaps?). But they did it. It feels like Star Wars again. We were given great new characters, revisited old, and were taken on a roller coaster of thrills and excitement once more.