A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, George Lucas directed a new kind of film, an epic space opera called Star Wars. It became a cultural phenomenon, and ingretiated itself into the lives of people all around the world. Now, 38 years later, a brand new Star Wars film was released to a new generation of children to capture their curiosity. The sci-fi film, called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is directed by JJ Abrams and stars newcomers Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver. It also stars seasoned Star Wars veterans Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, and Peter Mayhew.
The movie centers on a young scavenger named Rey who lives on the desert planet of Jakku as she is swept into the fight between the sinister First Order(fomerly the Empire) and the legendary Resistance(fomerly the Rebel Alliance). Along the way, she meets Finn, a former stormtrooper that does not always agree with the methods of the First Order. She also meets Han Solo, the man who helped lead the Rebel Alliance to victory in the original trilogy. Together, they must fight to destroy the devastating weapon made by the First Order, and to gain a map to the long missing Luke Skywalker.
The first time I saw this film was in a sold out theater of fans. I, along with the entire theater, laughed, gasped and even cried through the film. It was visually astounding, with the practical effects blending seamlessly with the computer-generated ones. The music swelled at just the right moments, while it was also somber when it needed to be. Even the costumes make you feel like you are standing on these foreign planets with these foreign characters. Leaving the theater, my mind was a buzz with everything I had just seen. But, upon a second viewing, there were a few flaws, however small they might be.
The film, however gripping, is a practically a carbon copy of the original film. Granted, it is a very good copy, but it is still a copy. The loner on a desert planet teaming up the with rebels to fight, the meancing villain in the mask, and the giant, spherical, planet-destroying weapon are all akin to similar aspects of the 1977 flick. However, the details that are changed make it easy to forget all of that. The gripping lightsaber battles will have you on the edge of your seat. The scenes of Rey finding herself will make your heart swell. Every frame that features a character from the initial trilogy will fill you to the brim with nostalgia.
Despite its far-out setting, the script is always plausible and easy to understand. It never sounds silly or forced, and the humor is well-placed. Watch for the banter between Han and Finn, which were some of my favorite scenes in the picture. One of the film's strongest apects is it's storyline. It answers enough questions to keep you informed, but keeps you interested in future films by leaving so many others unanswered. It is never confusing and there are very few plot holes, if any.
The young actors in the film make it even better, with Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver, as Rey and the villainous Kylo Ren respectively, turning in stellar performances to kick off what are sure going to be spectacular careers. Harrison Ford showcases his best performance in years. John Boyega and Oscar Isaac excel in their roles as well, and, though Isaac has little screentime, his role is one you remember. The only performance that was not absolutely superb was Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Fisher's performance often seems stiff and forced, but when it works, she settles back into the role that made her famous.
Overall, I think this film is a must-see. Even if you are not the biggest sci-fi fan, this film is incredibly entertaining. However, I would most recommend to those big fans of the franchise, as the picture will give them waves of nostalgia, while also giving them new characters to enjoy. Abrams does an unbelievable job of reintroducing this franchise to whole new generation of fangirls and boys, and he does it in style.