Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – movie review

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

I have never imagined that I would see the day where I could write a review on a Star Wars film near its release. But thanks to Disney’s goal to own the world and George Lucas’s goal to ruin his own brain-child… I can.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is the latest film in the Star Wars saga and it continues 30 years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Yet still a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

This story introduces a new colorful cast of characters as well as re-introducing some old favorites. The new characters include;

Rey – a metal scrap scavenger on the desert planet of Jakku who dreams of flying and longs for the return of her family.

Finn – a stormtrooper who turns against his masters and wishes to join the rebellion.

Po – the best fighter pilot in the Resistance.

Kylo Ren – the new Darth Vader.

And some returning faces include Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker… maybe.

When George Lucas directed the original Star Wars, he wanted to pick actors that were relatively unknown for the main parts (as to make the performances more believable). J.J. Abrams does the same in The Force Awakens by using John Boyega (who’s appeared in a few recent films), Oscar Isaac (who has also appeared in a few recent films) and Daisy Ridley (who has appeared in absolutely bugger-all).

This technique is executed with great results as all three of these main actors are superb in their respective roles as Finn, Po and Rey. I particularly liked the performance of Daisy Ridley as she brings a lot of emotion to her role which nearly makes up for the wooden performances in The Phantom Menace. Although the one performance in this movie that could overtake Daisy Ridley’s is Adam Driver’s performance as Kylo Ren, which is so convincing and evil that he’s managed to make me actively hate all merchandising with the words “Kylo Ren” on them.

The reasons that the original trilogy films (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) were so good, was because they had relatable and layered characters, an epic story of good vs. evil, a detailed world, stunning special effects and an iconic soundtrack. Thankfully, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens follows all of these tropes.

The reasons that the prequel trilogy (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) were so bad, was because they replaced the relatable and layered characters with Jar Jar Binks, replaced the epic story with scenes of negotiation, toned down the detailed world, focused solely on the special effects and re-released the soundtrack. Thankfully, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens doesn’t follow any of these tropes.

Unfortunately though, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens isn’t the perfect movie that I’d like it to be because it does have some minor flaws. The main flaw is that the film introduces this awesome character (Po) and doesn’t show that much of him. The other main flaw is that some of the story regarding The First Order (the new Empire) is vague and unexplained. And the Starkiller Base (the new Death Star) could’ve been really threatening and presented as a force to be reckoned with but instead it’s just sort of presented… as a… thing.

Critique aside, I was fanboying my brain out watching The Force Awakens. This movie not only exceeded my expectations and satisfied my inner nerd, but it’s quality and execution left me wanting more in a good way.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens has everything that you could want in a Star Wars film and it showcases that the prequels haven’t defined the quality of the franchise forever. All the actors are brilliant, the story is wonderful and entertaining and Jar Jar Binks is nowhere to be found. Thank god.

What did you think of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens? Leave your comment on the side and don’t forget to follow my Instagram page for movie posters.

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