A long time ago in galaxy far, far away….
There was a time when we thought the world wide phenomenon that is Star Wars was dead in space thanks to the now infamous prequels that are Episodes I-III, but with the help of Disney and the recruitment of one J.J. Abrams, the force has awoken and there is no Jar Jar in sight. This long awaited continuation of the events after Return of the Jedi has met it’s fare share of skepticism and equal amounts of excitement. Since the $4 billion buyout to the rights of Star Wars by Disney broke headlines in 2012, the world awaited the possible stories that were yet to come, and what we have been given is arguably the greatest fan service in film history and will leave you wanting more.
It’s been nearly forty years since the events of the original trilogy and much has happened in the galaxy far, far away. The Death Star has since been destroyed as Han, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, and the gang have since aged and gone in different directions after the death of Sith Lords – Darth Vader and Darth Sidious – but this film isn’t about our beloved old characters, but the new era of unlikely heroes acted by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. The Force Awakens immediately proves that it is a passing of the torch for a set of new heroes you will fall in love with. John Boyega is Finn and the beautiful Daisy Ridley is Rey, two specks on their respective planets who steal the show and project the new age story of good and evil and the power of the force.
With Boyega and Ridley being such newcomers to the film world – this is Ridley’s first ever film role – they are exceptional on one of the biggest stages of all time. Finn (Boyega) brings some surprisingly on point humor to the film similar to his acting mentor Robert Downey Jr. but also brings heart, hope, and adventure to his role with every scene he is in reminding us of a young Han Solo, but this is Ridley’s film. The beauty of Star Wars has always been its knack for diversifying their cast and though the lone racists and misogynist trolls out there expressed their unimpressive opinions on the matter, there is brilliance in these young actors and much more to come.
Daisy Ridley is who steals the show for me. She becomes the perfect mixture of an Ellen Ripley from Alien while mixing in the best aspects of Princess Leia. Strong but compassionate, Rey is not only beautiful aesthetically but captivating in her development as a new character in this Star Wars universe. Her chemistry with Finn is one that will blossom to become something we as fans can all support in the future as the natural emotions they both convey towards each other drives their story along. With such a vast amount of new characters to fall in love with, it all comes full circle with the duo of Rey and Finn.
But what is a Star Wars review without discussing the villains? Kylo Ren whom we see in the trailer -played by Adam Driver – is menacing. Unflinchingly powerful, but flawed like all villains, Kylo Ren takes you into often disturbing aspects of what it takes to be a Sith as well as how far they go for power. This is a Star Wars film that took notes from the original classics and gave it a modern day upgrade while staying true to what Star Wars fans fell in love with ever since they saw A New Hope. Taking us back to the wonder of a world built with love and imagination, The Force Awakens brings new and old audiences a sense of adventure and peril like we felt from the original trilogy. There will plenty of moments that will make the audiences applaud and audiences shed tears of joy, sorrow, and hope and it will not leave your heart until your dying days.
The action is superbly done without falling to the overly choreographed stylings of the prequel trilogy and delivers a raw and edgy style like it once did while exuding a poetic mystique and suspense to the fight scenes, but the scenes that took the cake were the battles that include T.A.I. Fighters and the classic X-Wings. Minus a slightly cheesy moment here and there, you understand that J.J. Abrams truly wanted to make a classic Star Wars movie and he succeeds. The characters are all well realized and injected with a new depth and gripping backstory we have yet to complete. The villains are cast with thought and inspiration and prove to be “forces” to be reckoned with.
If you were nervous seeing The Force Awakens, fear no longer. We have been given a fresh take on a classic story between good and evil that has only just begun and proves that, in the right hands, Star Wars will never die. This is an amalgam of what we loved and what we will love as the films continue their stories for another two epic episodes to the Star Wars catalog. If you’re even remotely a fan of Star Wars you need to see The Force Awakens and come to the theaters to appreciate what most of us thought was over only three years ago.