WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS!
Since appearing for the first time on the silver screen this week, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) has been capturing the hearts of audiences and critics alike, while breaking some box-office opening records in the process.
Today, I finally had the opportunity to see Episode VII and I definitely wasn't left disappointed. Consequently, here are 5 things which The Force Awakens get absolutely right. Thank you for reading!
1. Staying true to the spirit of the original trilogy
In a lot of ways, the plot of The Force Awakens (2015) mirrors the story in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). However, I believe that this is a positive thing because the movie's goal is to pay homage to the original trilogy while introducing some completely new protagonists, not plagiarize it.
In addition, seeing characters such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, (General) Leia Organa and C-3PO find themselves entangled in situations with completely new characters was touching and nostalgic, as well as refreshing.
2. Establishing intriguing new main protagonists in the faces of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega)
When he was casting roles for the movie, director J. J. Abrams wanted to replicate the success that George Lucas had when he cast relatively unknown actors as the main protagonists in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). Only a few moments into The Force Awakens (2015) and you realize that he has absolutely nailed all of the casting choices.
Daisy Ridley (in her major motion picture debut) and John Boyega give intense performances, playing characters who are tormented by their past, but eventually realize that they have to move on. Both Ridley and Boyega show impressive acting prowess in more dramatic sequences as well provide a comic relief at times.
Besides, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver (albeit being more established actors) also bring a freshness to the series which was missing in the prequel trilogy.
3. Maintaining the right type of balance between action sequences, emotional moments and humor
In other words, The Force Awakens (2015) manages to strike the same fragile balance that made the original trilogy a pop-culture phenomenon.
This is a movie which will make you laugh at some scenes and cry at others. However, more importantly, Episode VII makes you sympathize with its characters and also keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
4. Kylo Ren is a strong and intimidating villain, who is only going to get more powerful (and perhaps more conflicted)
Darth Vader has definitely found a worthy successor in the form of Han Solo and Leia Organa's son - Kylo Ren. He is obviously strong with the force, but his inner conflicts and doubts make him more than just a powerful one-dimensional villain.
With further installments, I expect to see Kylo Ren become even more powerful and destructive, especially after completely "finishing his training". Last but not least, kudos to Adam Driver for delivering a fantastic performance and keeping Darth Vader's legacy intact.
5. BB-8 is incredibly charming!
Move away, C-3PO and R2-D2, there is a new droid in town and he/she has come to stay! Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Rey's (Daisy Ridley) companion is absolutely adorable and is responsible for some of The Force Awakens's funniest moments.
Overall, definitely the movie would not be as entertaining without the enthusiastic presence of BB-8.
So, there you have it! What did you (dis)like most about Star Wars: The Force Awakens?