Daisy Ridley as Rey
John Boyega as Finn
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
So how does the first Star Wars movie in the post-Lucas era fare? Pretty well. It’s the first installment in a sequel trilogy, which is what many believed should have been done in the first place when the series was resumed after a long hiatus in 1999. Personally, I think the prequel setting offers great possibilities. But if you were going to keep this going, you obviously had to go forward at some point. As it turns out Star Wars: The Force Awakens goes forward in more ways than one. While it isn’t the best in the series, it’s up there.
It’s thirty years after Return of the Jedi. The Empire is as distant a memory as the Soviet Union in real life. But just as the ashes of the Union have Vladimir Putin trying to bring it back, so too does the Empire have a group known as the First Order. Led by sith lord Kylo Ren, it is looking for a MIA Luke Skywalker and hunting a droid named BB-8 that knows his whereabouts. After making a great escape from the Order to a nearby planet, BB discovers four people: a scavenger named Rey, a reformed stormtrooper named Finn, and fan favorites Han Solo and Chewie.
The nightmares of Hayden Christensen’s atrocious performances are over. Everyone does a decent-to-good job of playing their roles. It’s great to see Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher playing their own characters again, and Daisy Ridley and John Boyega make great new additions to the cast.
By now the special effects of Star Wars have their own unique feel. Do this movie’s effects capture that feel? Yes. Would they work even outside this series? Yes, particularly the “crossguard” on Ren’s lightsaber. Very cool.
One issue I do have with this movie is that everything comes together way too conveniently. For instance, one of the people, specifically Rey, that BB finds conveniently happens to have strength in The Force. Also, to justify Force rookie Rey defeating sith lord Ren in a lightsaber duel, Chewie gets a shot on him.
Still, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a pretty good movie. A very worthy beginning to the sequel trilogy.
Overall: 8 out of 10