Star Wars is back. It’s been 10 years since Revenge of the Sith and 32 years since Return of The Jedi. Ever since news of the new trilogy surfaced after the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, Star Wars fans have been eagerly awaiting this new film’s release. In that regard I have been eagerly awaiting it as well. As a fan of the franchise I was thrilled to hear that the original cast is returning under the direction of J.J. Abrams. So needless to say there was a lot riding on this. The fate of the future of the franchise rests solely on this film. So how does it stack up?
I am here to tell you that this film does not disappoint. It is everything that a Star Wars film should be and more. Never have I experienced the excitement sitting in a theater filled with fans reacting and engaged completely in a film. It made everyone in that theater feel like a kid again. Every moment and every line of dialogue was reacted to appropriately. I found myself just as entertained, thrilled, and moved as everyone in that theater with me. My inner kid was happy and I was completely satisfied in every way.
I will not reveal much in terms of story details here because it is a film that I believe deserves to be experienced without knowing much of the plot details, but the film revolves around a clever combination of new and old characters that feel like they belong together. Every element fits like puzzle pieces and they all belong in the same world with the new characters adding a lot to the Universe. The story itself revolves around the search for Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren’s obsession with Darth Vader. Kylo Ren is played brilliantly by Adam Driver and instantly becomes a very memorable villain that is multifaceted, which lends to severity of the events that occur during this film.
One of the greatest elements was the cast which all had intense and palpable chemistry. The new characters bring a sense of energy that is necessary for pushing the story forward into new directions. John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, and Daisy Ridley all give terrific performances capturing a similar energy that the original cast had in A New Hope. John Boyega is a young, scared stormtrooper. Rey is a mysterious loner scavenger towards the beginning of the film. Poe Dameron is a trusted Rebel pilot. These three characters mirror that of Han, Luke, and Leia. The chemistry that these characters have is a joy to see and I feel like they have the potential to be just as iconic as Luke, Leia, and Han.
The original cast also return with years on them and it is excellent to see how they have progressed after the fall of the Empire. Harrison Ford is the star of the returning cast with the largest portion of screen time and gives an extremely believable return as the iconic Han Solo. Carrie Fisher is also featured prominently as General Leia Organa and Mark Hamill’s Luke is a mystery I will leave for you to discover as you see the film.
One of the most interesting technical elements was the clever blend of actual puppetry and CGI that came together nicely and never looked distracting. It all fit as part of the Star Wars universe and the fact that actual physical puppets and costumes further separates it from the solely CGI prequel trilogy. In addition to this the CGI that was used was top notch and all had a purpose that brought the story forward rather than being used as a crutch.
If I was hard-pressed to say anything negative about the film it would be that certain characters weren’t fleshed out and that it felt very similar to A New Hope, but these minor issues don’t hurt the film in any way.
I have no problems or qualms in stating that Star Wars The Force Awakens is the best film that I’ve seen in 2015 and quite possibly a long time. It was thrilling, joyous, funny, and dark in all the right moments. It was a return to what made the original trilogy fantastic. It had a strong focus on characters and deeper themes that shined through. This film is all that Star Wars fans had been hoping for and then some. I am not ashamed to admit that as a fan some tears were definitely shed, but these tears were tears of Joy. I implore you all to go and see this film if you love the series and I also implore that if you have children to bring them to see this. It will inspire a new generation of Star Wars fans and spark their creativity, which I feel strongly about.
All in all I highly recommend this film. It is definitely an excellent film to end 2015 on and I cannot wait until we see the next installment in this epic franchise.