The following is a SPOILER FREE Review of “Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens”, no easy task mind you… Honestly though I do feel the need to point out that those maliciously posting spoilers for the film are the lowest kind of scum in the galaxy.
THE FORCE AWAKENS is the latest film in the Star Wars saga, taking place 30 years after the original trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) and suffice it to say, a lot has happened since the Rebellion’s victory over the Galactic Empire… The movie features the return of classic heroes like Han and Chewie while introducing us to a whole new cast of characters like Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8 and the evil Kylo Ren!
For me, watching this movie was a lot like watching Star Wars for the first time as a kid: it absolutely blew my mind! It’s a great movie in it’s own right, but ultimately it is a movie for the fans. That said, there were a few elements in this chapter that seemed like a rehash of familiar material, playing up the nostalgia factor. While I could see that being a detractor for some, I found it to be very effective.
The Force is strong with J.J. Abrams! After relaunching the Star Trek franchise, he jumped star-ship to revitalize another staple of sci-fi lore. Not only is Abrams one of the most talented directors in Hollywood, often cited as Spielberg’s apprentice, he’s also a HUGE nerd, making him the perfect man for the job. I’m also incredibly happy he brought John Williams back to score, because Williams’s iconic music helped to make this saga the legend it has become.
Another very strong aspect of the new film is in it’s stellar casting: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac are all amazing, as are all the returning cast members – most notably Harrison Ford, with perhaps his best performance in decades! I also seriously have to give them props for diversity, it’s rather refreshing for a movie this big to have a female lead. Plus it’s nice to know that Lando and Mace Windu aren’t the only black guys this side of Tatooine.
It is important to keep in mind though that this is the first in a new series and as such, it does have to reestablish things for a new generation. In fact, it faces a lot of the same challenges that the prequels had to contend with, but I’m glad to report that this movie succeeds spectacularly where the prequels… well, didn’t. Most importantly, this movie felt like a Star Wars movie. Going forward we’re bound to see quite a few things we’ve never seen before and just the knowledge that we’re actually getting more Star Wars movies is an incredibly exciting notion!
Do you have to see the other movies before seeing this one? No, but I highly recommend at least watching the ‘Holy Trilogy’ prior to seeing this one, because it’ll add an extra layer of meaning to it. Not only that, but the other six movies are actually given extra weight by some of the events in this one.
‘The Force Awakens’ is not a perfect movie, but then again neither were the other films in the series. However (in my humble opinion), it is without a doubt, one of the best. Seriously guys, Episode VIII can’t get here fast enough!