The film follows the story of a young girl, Rey, who though seemingly average for the Star Wars universe, finds herself on a mission to return a small droid safely to The Resistance. She is helped by ex-Storm Trooper, Finn; Chewy; and Han Solo himself. Along the way, we learn about The First Order and it’s leader Kylo Ren. It seems that Kylo Ren is obsessed with Darth Vader and The First Order is an attempt to mimic the ambitions of Vader.
As it would be rather tragic to have this particular movie spoiled, that’s as much as I’m going to tell you.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (No seriously – sometimes it gets ugly.)
There are things I like about this film and there are things that I don’t. Mostly I like it. Let’s start with the good things.
We all saw what happened the last time somebody tried to make new Star Wars movies. Fans all but rioted in the streets. They banished the prequels from the Star Wars universe declaring them “non-Canon”.
So when Disney announced that J.J. Abrams was going to be making a new Star Wars movie, everyone was rather apprehensive. Could anyone really create the same magic that the Star Wars fans had loved for so long?
Well, I don’t know how he did it, but he did it. He officially appeased the fans and made a movie worthy of the Star Wars title. (Fitting, since he has done the same thing with Star Trek.) The same heroism and adventure that is key to cinematic storytelling and to the Star Wars universe filled the theater. The familiar awe of unknown creatures and battles worthy of heroes filled our hearts. I was even appreciative of the editing style as it mimicked the old (and modernly never used) wipe transitions.
All of our old favorite characters graced the silver screen once again. Carrie Fischer as Leia, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and even the droids, C-3PO and R2-D2.
The new characters were awesome. Rey is a compelling, perfect hero and fits nicely into the Star Wars universe. Though the idea of a Storm Trooper with feelings is a bit jolting at first, Finn grows on you as well. And lastly, Poe is a perfect supporting character, rather reminiscent of Lando Calrissian.
I could sit here all day and tell you about the things that I love, but it would take (as I hinted) all day. So, now onto the bad…
Though I loved seeing Han and Leia on screen together once again, I was rather underwhelmed by their performances. In the originals, these two were my hands-down favorites. I watch Star Wars for the sarcasm from Han and the witty comebacks from Leia. I loved that they were so obviously in love but that they acted like they hated each other anyway.
In The Force Awakens, everything that I loved about their characters and their relationship was diluted. What we got from these characteristically passionate characters was uncharacteristically dispassionate. I understand that as characters age, it makes sense to calm them down a little bit. However, when turning points in the story are pointedly emotional, they still should have some passion. Some spark as a hint at what used to be. (I mean, he doesn’t even kiss her for heaven’s sake.)
Though I liked the familiar feel from the originals, I was a little annoyed at how similar it really was to A New Hope. There’s a droid carrying important information, a seemingly nobody hero who lives on a desert planet and never knew her parents and there’s a Starkiller Base that they insist isn’t a Death Star but it really is that they must destroy by blowing it up (oh, but first we have to turn off the shields so the planes can shoot at it). (There’s even a scene that looks practically identical to the Cantina scene) The similarities are glaringly embarrassing. Kylo Ren showcases this in that the only reason he does anything he does is to copy Darth Vader – an iconic villain from an iconic series that Abram’s only prayer at honoring was to copy it.
Case File (Content Advisory)
Many people were very concerned that this movie was PG-13. Rest assured parents, aside from a little bit more than PG level violence, there really is nothing to be worried about. In fact, I’m a bit amazed that The Force Awakens merits a PG-13 rating at all.
All in all, my complaints are not things I’m going to freak out too badly about, but I am hoping that this was only the beginning and that future episodes will exhibit more originality now that the blessing of Star Wars fans has been given.
4 Out Of 5 Popcorn Buckets (For MoviePilot peeps that's 8.0)