Brought to us by J.J Abrams, Episode VII takes place 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983). We follow a handful of main characters, who’s importance at first is unclear, as we are told very little about them or what their purpose is in the story is. Eventually, they are all drawn together by the force and attempt to defeat the bad guy. Classic Star Wars.
Similar to Episode IV, a droid called BB-8 carries important but not-so-stolen documents that The First Order are attempting to get their hands on. He will roll, spin and fly his way across the galaxy trying his best not to fall into the wrong hands. Among the new characters we meet are Finn, played by John Boyega, a stormtrooper who feels somewhat misplaced, thinking there is maybe more to life than firing aimlessly at various targets…missing every time, obviously. Rey, played by Daisy Ridley is one of the main protagonists and is basically the new strong female character. Sorry Carrie, your days are done.
We also meet BB-8, the cutest droid in the galaxy, so cute they should rename him “BB-Z”. Of course, we are also introduced to the new bad guy, Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, Poe Dameron played by Oscar Isaac and ever so briefly, a character called Maz Kanata played by Lupita Nyong’o who possesses an uncanny amount of similar mannerisms to Edna Mode from The Incredibles (2004).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been a long awaited sequel by fans alike. Hyped to the max with Star Wars merchandise everywhere you look and to an extent I found this slightly unnerving as to what the outcome of the film would be. More often than not, the more a film is hyped, the harder it is to please fans but this was certainly not the case.
As the opening titles ran, booming the theme tune that most people on the planet find familiar, I found myself grinning with excitement. It was in that moment I realised how excited I really was. With the return of the original score came some new additions to quirk up the excited fans and to give the film its own identity amongst the saga. With no time to spare Abrams jumped straight into the action and fans were greeted by epic battling from start to finish. Perhaps to make up for the lack of warfare and incredibly boring politics from episodes I through III.
When concerning the new, younger actors you could say that the acting “was strong with this one” but unfortunately the same could not be said for Ford and Fisher, who’s acting has clearly deteriorated with their age. This was more so with Fisher as Ford managed to pull off the selfish and sarcastic, yet loveable guy that is Han Solo. That being said, “Chewy” deserves an Oscar for his roaring performance.
However, these minor hindrances are easily overlooked when gazing at the breathtaking scenery that Abrams has presented and if this wasn’t enough, the camera angles placed the audience in the centre of the action.
He restored the faith amongst many fans by using old techniques, such as no C.G.I for aliens and creatures and also stuck to the original Star Wars structure by including classic lines such as: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”. However, one element that was missing was the lack of big celebration at the end. I suppose we can’t have everything but is this going to set a new standard for future Star Wars films?
There was also a fantastic amount of comedy throughout. I found myself hurting at the sides on more than one occasion. Stormtroopers take on the role that the imperial droids did in Episode I by playing the moron and there were also many references to the original trilogy that were appreciated by older fans. It is as if Abrams was attempting to reward us for our patience. This did result in the film not being as serious as the original trilogy but I kind of liked that. It lightened the mood on several occasions and it didn’t mean the film was taken any less seriously. Let’s face it, adding a bit of comedy into the mix was never going to be taken badly because Star Wars fans are a funny bunch…
Finally, my favourite element; no reference to the prequels at all! It is as if Abrams is attempting to apologise for their disgrace and present us with the new image that is the Star Wars franchise. He has decided to place all reference to their existence in a galaxy far, far away
This film will send chills up your spine, bring a smile to your face and break your heart all at the same time and despite some recycled elements I think it’s the best star wars yet. In the words of Walt Disney Studios chairman, Alan Horn:
“Our sole focus has been creating a film that delivers that one-of-a-kind Star Wars experience, and director JJ Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm team have outdone themselves…”.
Unfortunately, Episode VII will not be directed by Abrams which is a real shame as he did a great job with this Episode VII, staying true to the fans and delivering an action-packed, mind-blowing and unforgettable experience.
He reportedly regrets turning down the chance to direct Episode VIII, according to his friend Greg Grunberg (who plays Wexley in the film) he said “It’s so good, I wish I were making it.” Grunberg told Comic Riffs of The Washington Post.
The Force Awakens has smashed the box office opening weekend record with a whopping $529 million. It is certainly well on its way to becoming the highest grossing film of all time and it is well deserved.
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