Hi everyone, Bryan Here….
I can’t believe it’s finally here. Ten years since the last ‘Star Wars‘ movie, which was ‘Episode III‘ by George Lucas. In the decade that followed, we all thought we would never see another ‘Star Wars‘ feature film again, since Lucas himself destroyed and ruined the prequel trilogy and continued to alter the original trilogy to dried up mess of movies that are almost unrecognizable. Fortunately for every ‘Star Wars‘ fan in the world, he sold his production company that included the rights to ‘Star Wars‘ to Disney for a modest amount of $4 billion.
Disney needs to make that money back somehow so their first announcement was to make the three ‘Star Wars‘ sequels with ‘Episode VII‘, ‘Episode VIII‘, and ‘Episode IX‘. Not only did they announce that, but they also said that Lucas would not be a part of the future films, which is when they announced that J.J. Abrams would take over the first movie in the sequel trilogy. It’s a crazy, yet smart move, because Abrams directed the ‘Star Trek‘ reboot and now he has ‘Star Wars‘ under his belt, which is one of the biggest film franchises in history and one of the largest and most rabid fanbases ever.
Through future announcements and trailers, we realized that Abrams had enlisted the original cast to return in their roles. Yes, that means Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are back as Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. It’s something we all collectively thought we would never see again, and through these trailers, we cried, we cheered, and we became those kids again, waiting in lines at theaters without mobile phones for hours on end to see our favorite movies. That’s all changed as the Force has indeed awakened in a big way. J.J. Abrams has made one hell of a ‘Star Wars‘ film, one that should please all fans who haven’t been excited or happy with ‘Star Wars‘ since ‘Return of the Jedi‘ in 1983.
Abrams was adamant about using almost CG here, but rather practical effects with big props, real set pieces, and puppets and robotics to make this movie, just like the filmmakers did in the original trilogy, and I’m here to say, it looks fantastic and true to form without any of the unrealistic CG. So where and what is ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ telling us? Taking place some thirty years after ‘Return of the Jedi’, the film focuses on two new young people named Rey and Finn (Daisy Ridley and John Boyega respectively). Rey is a scavenger while Finn is a stormtrooper who abandons the The First Order to help Rey.
Since the fall of the second Death Star from ‘Return of the Jedi‘, Luke Skywalker has been missing and both The First Order (the new dark side faction) and the resistance, led by now General Leia Organa, are looking for him. Luckily, a new, cute droid named BB-8 might have a key to what’s happened to Luke. Abrams has taken careful consideration with the new and old characters, using their skills and traits to their fullest without ever being over-the-top or paying homage. It all seems realistic and made from the heart instead of trying to pay homage. Other past characters and of course the famed Millennium Falcon show up quite a bit as well.
‘The Force Awakens‘ is action packed with a fast pace from start to finish. There is barely any time to breathe. That being said, Abrams along with original ‘Star Wars‘ writer Lawrence Kasdan have achieved a great mix of drama, character development, and comedy to make this a very successful, entertaining, and quality ‘Star Wars‘ movie. Boyega is fantastic as Finn and Daisy shows she has a ton of range of emotions and physicality for this amazing role. The original cast members all turn in great performances as well.
There is also an excellent performance from Oscar Isaac who plays Poe, one of the best X-Wing fighter pilots here and is key to the story. One of the bigger surprises in the form of acting is from Lupita Nyong’o who plays Maz Kanata, a pirate who is virtually unrecognizable from all the makeup. She steals the film in every scene she’s in. Then there is of course Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who is the new big bad guy who is just one of the better villains in recent memory.
Driver is one of the best actors right now and his struggles and emotion here in the film is fantastic. He’s not your typical villain, and it’s a breath of fresh air. On top of all this success is John William’s new score, which has the nostalgic fanfares along with some new scores. It’s simply amazing. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ is the ” movie we always wanted since 1983, but never got, but now that we do, we can all rejoice and become those kids again. The force is strong with this movie.
– Bryan Kluger