Han, Chewie and the rest of the gang are back with a host of new characters to fall in love with.
There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? Star Wars fans certainly have!
It’s been nearly 33 years since the Original Star Wars Trilogy wrapped up, with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Chewbacca happily partying with Ewoks after defeating The Empire. Return of The Jedi (1983) was the closing statement to one of the most renowned trilogies in film history, producing some of the most memorable movie characters to this day.
Of course this wasn’t to be the end of the tale, from 1999 until 2005 George Lucas, story creator and director of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), directed a prequel trilogy, looking at the rise of Anakin Skywalker and his transformation into the illustrious Darth Vader. These movies were rather unpopular with both fans and critics, seeming to leave a sour taste on the Star Wars cinematic world. However in 2012 Disney came to the rescue, buying Lucas Film Ltd. for $4 billion and announcing a new trilogy of films.
Fast forward to December 2015 and the first of those films has arrived, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. What is probably the most hyped film over my 23 years in this galaxy, it had a lot to live up to regarding the original trilogy, and a lot to make up for concerning the prequels. Director J.J. Abrams was in many eyes the perfect choice for this continuation of the saga, after successfully rebooting a franchise as large as Star Trek, who better to bring that gritty 21st century tone while still keeping the qualities that made the originals so great.
From the first teaser trailer we knew that the audience would have little knowledge of plot going into the film. Over the next few trailer’s we’re introduced to villain Kylo Ren, a Darth Vader fan boy played by Adam Driver. We meet our heroes; Finn, played by John Boyega, a storm trooper turned good and the films primary protagonist Rey, a scavenger from the planet Jakku, played by newcomer Daisy Ridley. The trailers introduced other new character, Oscar Issac’s X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, Gwendoline Christie’s chrome storm trooper Captain Phasma and the loveable new droid BB-8. Along with fan favourites Han Solo, Chewbacca, Leia, R2-D2 and C-3PO, the whole gang was back. But where was Luke?
Director J.J. Abrams is famous for having a so-called ‘Mystery Box’ in his films, an aspect of the storyline that doesn’t get revealed until we see it in the cinema. In our current cinematic landscape, full of spoilers and leaked plots, this is a breath of fresh air. Luke was this films mystery box. Going into the film we had no idea where Luke was, we had little idea of the plot and had our various theories and thoughts about what would happen once those world famous opening credits started to scroll up the screen.
However I can happily say that the film did not disappoint one bit. It was a perfect blend of new characters and old, new characters Finn, Rey and BB-8 could of easily carried the film on their own with their humour and charm. Kylo Ren is a deeply troubled villain, giving a personal touch to the enemy in a way that Count Dooku, Darth Maul and possibly even Darth Vader never could. The Empire’s back in the form of ‘The First Order’, they’re as malevolent as ever in their distain for the resistance. The films narrative is similar to A New Hope, but I personally think it’s more a homage to the original, paying respect to the beginning and giving the new set of fans their own launch into a new trilogy in a galaxy far far away.
The movie’s like a trip through hyper drive from start to finish, pleasing the old fans with the appearance of fan favourites from the originals, but also giving way to these new set of characters who are sure to go on to become legends themselves as this new trilogy plays out in the coming years. So yeah, do or do not, there is no try, go see The Force Awakens and be prepared to watch the best freakin’ film of the year!
May the Force be with you.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill.
Runtime: 135 minutes
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