Star Wars The Force Awakens (2015)
Director – J.J. Abrams
Writers – Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams
Starring – Daisey Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford
Rating – PG-13
Genre – Adventure, Fantasy
Metascore – 81/100
Rotten Tomatoes – 94%
Like much of the world, I waited with bated breath on the eve of The Force Awakens release date waiting for the universe according to JJ Abrams to make its move. Needless to say, Abrams obviously accepted all my blood sacrifices and delivered a cool and refreshing plunge into a galaxy far, far away.
I read several reviews after seeing the film that point to its similarities to EP 4 as a weakness. My assumption of these critiques is that they don’t truly love Star Wars as a whole but rather admire a fixed point of nostalgia when they saw the originals. They wanted something entirely different, something else to be born. While the rest of us just wanted to know that the universe of Star Wars was still alive. Abrams has shown us it is alive and more.
Utilizing the familiar pacing of EP 4, TFA quickly throws us into the worlds we know and love and doesn’t slow down for us to ask the multitude of questions we will eventually have. I will say, it takes a bit of time to get acquainted with our new set of characters but that is expected and worth the pay off. Eventually, through excellent chemistry and well-written and funny dialogue, we feel as if we know the four new characters to the tale: Rey (Ridley), Finn (Boyega), Poe (Isaacs), and Kylo (Driver). TFA feels lived-in in a way that the prequels did not. The language is approachable and familiar and the laughs are genuine and believable.
TFA is doing some things that are crucial to the Star Wars universe. It is setting the groundwork (much in the way that EP 4 did) for a universe we don’t know everything about; it is introducing us to the mystery of a franchise where we don’t know everything. It is also setting the bar very high. Ultimately TFA will not be measured on its own, but in the midst of its descendants.
The script, while reminiscent, provides the perfect stage for a new generation of Heroes. The performances of the new additions are all excellent and I would refer you to Jesse’s review for more detail. Adam Driver, however, is worth mentioning. Never before have we seen an openly neurotic, insecure and human Sith in the franchise. He adds a dynamic that really takes the character and the film over the top where it wouldn’t have otherwise.
My critiques, which are few, are centered mainly on existing Star Wars canon and the holes that are now within it following this movie. I will spare you. I was slightly let down by John Williams. The score was apt and fit, but it didn’t move me the way “Binary Sunset” does in EP 4.
Time will ultimately weigh and measure this film. If you are a Star Wars fan, or fresh to the franchise, TFA stacks up in my opinion to the originals. See it for yourself, there is much to be seen and enjoyed.
TLDR – Abrams successfully reaches back to our favorite universe to bring us a new batch of characters and a fresh story with minimal faults.
Blake’s Rating – 8.9 / 10
Author : Blake Burrough