REVIEW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

star-wars-force-awakens-elenasquareeyesThirty years on from the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises in the form of the First Order. When former Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) meets desert scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) they get caught up in the fight against the First Order as they struggle to find the Resistance.

The Force Awakens is a really fun movie. While there are some quieter character moments, it starts with a bang and never really lets up. It is wonderful to be in space and to see different planets and creatures. One thing that The Force Awakens does so incredibly well is merge CGI and practical effects, whether it’s BB-8, the most adorable droid ever and a great sidekick, which really did roll around after everyone or the deserts of Jakku which was a real location – it just makes the whole thing feel more real and lived in.

The cinematography coupled with the score that has a lot of nostalgia beats make The Force Awakens a beautiful film. The aerial dog fights between TIE fighters, X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon are easy to follow and thrilling. When there’s a lightsaber duel (it’s Star Wars, there’s going to be at least one of them here) it is well-shot and brutal.

Rey and Finn are great new characters who feel very realistic in terms to their reactions as to what is going on around them, especially Finn. The other member of the “new trio” is Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), the greatest pilot in the galaxy, he doesn’t get as much screen time as the other two but when he’s there he shines and has fantastic chemistry with Boyega. To be honest, Boyega has great chemistry with everyone in this film.

Of course the original much loved characters of Princess, I mean General Leia (Carrie Fisher), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) make an appearance in The Force Awakens and they really don’t feel like they’re just cameos or fan-service. You see some more than others and while of course there’s some exposition to say what’s been happening in the thirty years since we last saw these characters, the film leaves a lot of it up to the audience to infer what’s been going on between these characters and the actors portray all their relationships wonderfully.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is the villain of the film and he is actually an interesting and surprising one. He, along with the First Order which includes General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), are an imposing force for the Resistance and every time they clash you can see that they are often quite evenly matched.

There are similarities between The Force Awakens and the previous films, especially the original trilogy, but in many ways that is to be expected. While some elements may be jarring to some people, I found it fun and a nice homage to what has come before. The next films in this trilogy will no doubt carve their own unique story.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a beautifully shot movie, with great characters (both old and new) and brilliant action sequences. It’s a great film for both old and new fans alike. 5/5.

I shall have a spoiler-filled review up once I’ve seen The Force Awakens again because I’m sure I missed stuff.


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