Are you crying tears of joy?

Featuring
Daisy Ridley as Rey
John Boyega as Finn
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata
and Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron

It took Disney’s control to make a modern Star Wars movie that is good. No more crappy, hammy dialogue penned by George Lucas. No more stupid Jar Jar Binks. This is Star Wars back to its roots. With the original cast members returning to their roles, The Force Awakens is exactly what us oldies seeking a little bit of childhood nostalgia wanted. But was there just a teensy bit too much nostalgia?

I don’t think I need to say too much about the storyline. You can read all about it online…or by the opening crawl that is traditional in Star Wars. Suffice to say the war that was thought to have been won in Return of the Jedi has continued to rage across the galaxy for thirty years.

In many ways, The Force Awakens feels a lot like the original trilogy. Let’s have a look at the similarities (mild spoiler warnings follow):

  • Starts on a desert planet
  • A new Force prodigy
  • Old war heroes in exile
  • Jedi largely forgotten
  • Petulent teenage angst
  • Supersized superweapon (with even more questionable physics)
  • Trench run
  • Being lost in an imposing military facility
  • Unexpected familial relationships
  • People falling into exhaust vents
  • Cute robot companions
  • X-WINGS!!!
  • TIE Fighters!
  • MILLENIUM FALCON!!!!

Yes. All of those things appeared in the original trilogy. At least this time, there weren’t any really anoying aliens designed to lure children into the merchandising. There’s enough desire for children’s toys during Christmas as it is.

In fact, as I expected, J. J. Abrams would draw some inspiration from the Star Wars books that followed on from Return of the Jedi, chronicling the adventures of our favourite Rebels turned Republic leaders. I can think of two major Extended Universe storylines that have sort of been melded into this movie.

The further into this movie I went, the more The Force Awakens felt like Star Trek Into Darkness. Another nostalgia trip directed by Abrams, that rehashed (even more unashamedly) a much loved Star Trek storyline. That realisation, that The Force Awakens is pretty much just A New Hope with a new generation of heroes and better CGI, meant that I still loved the movie, knowing its faults, of which there are some.

  • The first is the music, which felt a little flat. I don’t know why, perhaps the occasion of a new Star Wars movie just wasn’t quite matched by the score. It was good, mind, beats going to a Taylor Swift concert and listening to her whine about her exboyfriends, but not as good as it could have been.
  • And that stupid superweapon and its stupid physics. Why?
  • Captain Phasma, or, as I like to call her, Brienne of Chrome, was the biggest letdown of the movie. What’s with the hype for a character with literally five lines?
  • And how in hell does Rey…well…do what she does? To quote Qui-Gon, her midichlorians must be off the chart of charts.
  • The actual main villain, (not Kylo Ren) looks like the cross between Voldemort and a ghoul from Fallout 4
  • Also, why the hell is the main villain’s name Snoke? This is not Harry Frickin’ Potter. Might as well have called him Darryl.

Still, you can’t help but love the movie. Its sense of humour, supplied by an old Han Solo, BB-8 and the awkward timing of C-3PO, powers the movie along. Also, the new lightsaber fights are fantastic, bringing weight and power to a proper sword fight, not like the over the top ballet choreography in the prequels. The (new) main characters themselves are very well done, and you just want to find out more about them.

The Force Awakenis basically what the doctor ordered for Star Wars. Plenty of nostalgia, references to the originals and in jokes. It attempts to reset the agenda after the commercially successful but dead prequel movies, which had awsome actors, but sh!te scripts. What could have been… If you’re a Star Wars fan, you will enjoy this. If you’re a child, you’ll enjoy this. Just don’t get on the Abrams Hype Train, and you won’t be disappointed.

Rating

Abrams locked his S-Foils in attack position and went for a successful trench run.

Watch this if you…

Too many reasons to watch this, not enough time to type them all out.

Skip this if you…

Prefer the prequels. So that would be one person, ever.

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One thought on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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