ByLd Kristoffer J Chelidoni, writer at
Ld Kristoffer J Chelidoni

So today was the day I could finally go see Star Wars the Force Awakens in theaters. Actually it was my roommate's Christmas gift to me. The excitement was high, and obviously this being the first Star Wars film in thirteen years and the first one by Disney, much hangs on its success.

My initial scoring is an 8.5 out of 10. I'm usually quite critical of films, and I will not be any less harsh here. That said, be forewarned, there are SPOILERS ahead.

Cinematics and Effects were brilliant, surpassing most of the past films. This is especially highlighted by the 3D version of the film. Most of the time the 3D is lost on subtle scenes, but the large scale battle scenes pop off the screen in an unexpected way.

I give this aspect of Star Wars the Force Awakens 10/10

Quips and References were also brilliantly placed, though some seemed a bit forced...ehem. Some of the best parts of the film are wrapped around the interactions between Han Solo, Chewbaca, Rey, and Finn, while at the same time referencing the other films. Some in subtle ways, others that are outright repeats. ("What do we do with her" said Finn, "Do you have a trash port...with a compactor" said Han...)

I give this aspect 9.5/10

Acting: The acting from new and veteran Star Wars cast were spot on, though in some cases the new actors struggled. This seemed to be an issue with writing and the natural feel of lines rather than acting ability.

I give this aspect 7/10.

Writing and Plot flow

This section is a bit more difficult to quantify. While many of the scenes were dazzling and well written, others were too rushed. Like many films these days, character development was left to short bursts of discovery surrounded by strung out battle scenes. I'd estimate that almost all of the character development in this film for Rey happened right near the end of the film when battling Kylo Ren, whom we discover is Han Solo and Leia's son Ben. This ties into existing canon from the extended universe, and ultimately could prove to support, rather than decanonize, source materials like the novelizations and comics. It may even support the video games, which could suggest an introduction of Starkiller, Vader's second apprentice.

Much character development is still needed for Kylo Ren. He goes through little growth and certainly felt two dimensional throughout the film. Almost as two dimensional as Darth Maul, but without the mystery.

Finn sees the most growth within the first half of the film, going from a brainwashed from birth Stormtrooper, to a runaway, to someone willing to battle against Kylo Ren and his apparently extraordinary Force skills. But it isn't until he is severely harmed that Rey, who has unwittingly fallen in love with him, seems to grasp her Force powers in full and is able to take on Kylo Ren in a lighsaber duel, even though she is untrained with the lightsaber.

The overall plot centers on finding Luke who has disappeared, and retrieving a map piece from BB-8 who is left behind on yet another desert world by his companion who is later rescued by Finn.

While finding Luke is important, the plot takes a predictable turn when Kylo Ren kidnaps Rey because she has seen the map piece that is missing.

Strong parallels with this movie exist when compared to previous prequels. Kylo Ren fell to the Dark Side and then wiped out the entire new Jedi Order who were under the training of Luke. This fits into some of the earlier Star Wars video games storyline. It is also reminiscent of Anakin killing all of the young Padawan in Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith. While this all seems to fit into the grander cyclical story arc that is alluded to by J.J. Abrams and others who've worked on the series over the years, it left the plot very predictable. While the writing was superb in many respects, something was missing.

And what was missing most, was Luke Skywalker of course. Our pragmatic "Last Jedi" doesn't appear until the very end of the film. Not a single word spoken and the film ends in a stare down between Rey and Luke.

One of the more interesting parts of the film is the very much alluded to idea that Rey is in fact Luke's daughter. This would explain her uncanny connection to the lightsaber that was once Luke's and before that once Anakins. Though at least, for now, the mystery of how this lightsaber, lost in Cloud City during Vader and Luke's first battle, was recovered still remains to be explored.

I rate this aspect a 7.5/10. (Well and above the Prequels, not as good as I'd hoped.)


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